Ahan-nyong-ha-se-yo or Hello in our very favorite K-Lingo!The K in the K-lingo stands for Korean, a culture that has the whole world fawning over it now. The Korean wave or “Hallyu” is sweeping the urban world from its movies, songs, food, and fashion. What is the reason for this craze of everything-Korean that crosses the boundaries of geography, personal interests, gender, and age?
The history of Korean Wave or Hallayu
The spread of Korean culture began in 1990s in the South-East Asian countries owing to digital and social media expansion of Korean media. The Korean Ministry of culture assisted in this significant reinforcement. With several K-dramas ,music bands and art forms arising, in 2000 H.O.T was the first K-pop band to perform overseas.The first indigenous film to be a blockbuster worldwide was “Shiri” even surpassing “Titanic” in gross selection. In India,the Korean wave arrived in the form of pirated movie DVDs especially in Northeastern states.
The second wave aka Hallayu 2.0 was brought by the South-Korean musician Psy’s single, “Gangnam Style” that broke all the records and became an instant hit. The upbeat song with its horse-dance hook step had the whole world grooving to it. And soon enough K-Pop became one of the most beloved genre of music .The Korean movies too gained audience’s attention and was soon taing its course in other countries as well. In 2019,Parasite a South-Korean film,directed by Bong Joon-ho won the Oscars in all four major categories and became the first ever non-English film to win the Best Picture award.
The Korean fever and its ever rising popularity
The K-wave has engulfed the pop culture stage now.The Korean music bands like BTS,EXO,Blackpink etc are now one of the most streamed and liked songs on all the websites. Spotify reported that BTS and K-Pop related podcasts topped the charts of 2020. In India, platforms like MX Player and Zee 5 is now premiering dubbed K- drama shows in Indian languages. There has been a sudden spike in people learning the Korean language; a digital application called Duolingo reported 236% increase in enrollment for Korean in 2020 alone.
The Korean culture has had a major influence in the fashion world as well, many Indian fashion brands as well like Nykaa now have a separate sub section for K-Pop beauty. Apart from these, Korean cuisine has gathered the interests of food enthusiasts as well. Kimchi, Soft Tofu Stew,Bulgogi,Ramayun Noodles are some among the many mouth-watering Korean foods. Many Korea-themed cafes and restaurants are now huge enterprises in the urban market.
What is the reason for this global K-wave?
From the merch of your favorite K-pop band and proudly calling yourself the “ARMY” to fantasizing about being in a K-drama romance.Haven’t you done it all if you are a Korean afficianado? The biggest challenge for the widespread of K-wave was the Japanese culture influence via the animes, in spite of that hallyu stayed and proved that its not here to go. There are many reasons for its continued popularity:
- Number one reason is its storytelling. The stories in K-drama are realistic and is based on love,crime politics etc but not too violent and mainstream like the Americanshows.
- The Fashion Factor. The K wave has defined a new meaning to fashion.The uniqueness and ferocity it potrays is breakthrough.The bonus is all the refined yet funky colors.
- The Catchy Music.If you listen to a K-Pop song, the chances are you would be humming its melody all day! The meaning the lyrics conveys just helps you get through everything.
- Choreography and Visuals. Be it a song video or a movie the aesthetics and presentation always leaves us in an awe and is the reason why so many people can’t get enough of it.
- Multilingual Medium. Apart from not being allowed to debut unless you are full-trained in your forte, the K-pop entertainers have an amalgamation of other cultures in their works .For example, English language is most often involved in their songs ,being a global language it helps the audience to connect.