By Lee Hana
Photos = Cheong Wa Dae
First lady Kim Jung-sook, on a state visit to India with President Moon Jae-in, spent an afternoon with the Phogat family, the real-life people behind the 2016 Hindi film "Dangal," at a hotel in New Delhi on July 10.
"Dangal" is based on the true story of India's first female wrestlers Geeta and Babita Phogat, who won a gold and silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2010. The two sisters were trained by their father, Mahavir Singh Phogat.
The first lady met with Mahavir Singh Phogat and his wife, Daya Kaur, and sisters Geeta and Babita, as well as their younger brother Dushyant.
Addressing Mahavir Singh Phogat, the first lady said that she passionately rooted for Geeta and Babita while watching the film. "It must've been hard to raise your daughters, pushing them to become wrestlers during that time. You must be very proud of them both."
"Watching you teach your two daughters, I thought of my own parents, and reflected on how I treat my own children. As I have a son and a daughter of my own, and grandchildren, too, I could also relate to Daya Kaur, the mother of the two wrestlers, as well," she said.
When Geeta told the first lady that her mother had, in fact, sacrificed a great deal to ensure her daughters' success, the first lady said, "Not only the two daughters, but the mother and father, too, are gold medalists."
The first lady highlighted the importance of the film's social message. "The issue of women's rights is a hot topic in Korea, and the government is working hard to address the concerns of the public. This film was especially meaningful to me because I watched it at a time when thoughts about women's rights were on my mind," she said.
Just a week before her state visit to India, the first lady watched "Dangal" at an art-house cinema in Seoul on July 4 with a group of Indian students studying in Korea.
At the time, the first lady told the students that, "The film carried a message about women's rights that should be shared with the world."