If you are a Kdrama and K-pop lover then you’re definitely gonna love reading this. Give me a big high-five because I’m a K-pop lover too!! If you don’t know anything about or just confused about what is all this Korean happening in India, why people go nuts about it, that’s okay, you can still proceed with reading because I spoke everything in common. Actually I made this article for a competition and badly wanted to share it in my blog too for my fellow readers.
So this is me speaking in a very very formal way ha ha.. Hope you like it. This article is a bit lengthy so if you wish to hear only my conclusion , click here!
Let’s get started…
Ever since the pandemic, the Korean culture wave has been surfing the whole world massively. Lockdown has provided much time for us to explore and experience different kind of content in Korean until we land on something that suits and satisfies our taste. It has gained gigantic popularity, especially in India. The word Hallyu refers to the rise of Korea’s cultural economy and pop culture. It first hit all over the world and ended at the same time with the Gangnam style song by PSY which instantly broke all the records and gained the most views on Youtube. Today, the wave had come again on a whole different level and influenced people in a lot more positive way. Those days when Indians refrained from knowing and practicing other’s culture are now completely knocked down. All the teenagers and adults are now shattering the language barrier which has stopped India to view from a different perspective or get to know about other cultures. The modern Korean influence had also enlightened many people on the stereotype of the image of men and women in general.
Indians first dived into the pool of k-dramas. Some channels even started airing it in their channels. Bollywood songs with K-pop mv were also loved by many. Famous ones are Boys over flowers, heirs, descendants of the sun which were even dubbed in Hindi. But people preferred to watch it originally in the Korean language with English subtitles. Artist like Lee min ho still remain as a hot topic among girls and after Priya Prakash Varrier who broke the internet with just a wink, the Korean singer chou Tzu-yu became the new crush of the guys. Now even Netflix has many worth watching Korean dramas.
Colorful MVs, synchronized choreography, catchy chorus with English words in between, visuals of idols, elaborated stories in songs caught the attention next. K-pop music had something unique and special for everyone. Unlike Bollywood songs which center mostly among love, heartbreaks, and friendships, K-pop spoke about all the unsaid emotions of humans, ego, rage, depression, anxiety, Jamais Vu, being fake, staying gold, fear of losing one’s passion, foolishness, about time, domination, insecurities and also about true love, friendships, having fun and partying upbeat songs. Their songs showed varieties within the varieties of genres in music.
BTS and Blackpink need no introduction in India. “They have helped me during my darkest days. When I listen to their songs it makes me feel like I want to live a good life” is what the fans of BTS popularly known as an ‘army’ say. The billboard singers even acted as a main source of motivation and were recognized as a positive influence on society by many. Equal amount of praise comes with the same amount of criticisms. Korean idols were mocked down for their stage presence with makeups and by stating meaningless reasons as ‘Men don’t cry or wear pink clothes‘. But what BTS did in India was inconceivable. It is hard enough to succeed in Asia, hard enough to bring down walls in countries like America and India, hard enough to conquer the world. They did it against all odds. They even made a path between India and K-pop and showed a gateway to other talented groups such as MonstaX, Seventeen, NCT, Itzy, Twice, WayV, and other skillful solo artists to steal our hearts with music.
Indians also started to acknowledge the amazing creation of animes. It made a clear picture for those people who kept on saying anything animated is for only kids. Even though it is Japanese animation, they are yet spoken and cherished by the Koreans. Now comics are becoming quite popular again. It is bringing back the fun and pleasure of reading comics stories when we were young. Webtoons, a free Korean comic app, started to bud slowly and it is sure to bloom beautifully in the upcoming years.
It’s no secret that Indians love to eat delicious curry and are so passionate about trying new recipes. Now many started carving for Kimchi, Ddukbokki trying to eat it in traditional way with chopsticks and the spicy hot ramen noodles were flooded as a hot challenge by all food lovers on youtube. Just like that, Korean foods and desserts have been found in various restaurants and found making in many parts of the country. CDs/DVDs and merchandise with trademark Korean words like Oppa, Fighting are found in some specific shopping malls. K-beauty is not much spoken compared to dramas and music but still followed by popular actress in Bollywood. In 2020 Music streaming apps like Ganna and Spotify released their first K-pop playlists and announced that Map of the soul: 7 album by BTS is the thirst most-streamed album among Spotify listeners in India. The seven-member boy band has even made their appearance in the advertising and marketing world for brands like Samsung, Hyundai, Coca Cola, and Fila. Indian Netflix also released a documentary film of the band Blackpink who has also collaborated with MAC Cosmetics for a line of makeup. Break the silence documentary film was also found to be released in some theaters. Many Indians are now found to take Korean as their third language.
Hallyu wave didn’t stop there without affecting the model industry. Korean idols are very particular and cautious when it comes to style as they shine as fashion icons too. They are the fashion trendsetters and their fans follow them wholeheartedly. The way they casually arrive at the airport with over-sized coats on soft cotton shirt is enough to make all the fans go gaga.
Their high-end fashion on stage is no joke. They have so much influence on the wardrobe of not just fans but on all the viewers. Kim Taehyung from BTS is well known as the Gucci king or Gucci model, the luxury brand of fashion house based in Florence, Italy. Famous Indian online shopping websites are now selling and shipping many products from Korea including eye catching dresses.
Visibility is important for musical careers to thrive. Korean idol’s duality is yet another unavoidable topic to discuss. Duality refers to changing expressions really quick within second. There is nothing special about it, every person in this world shows different personalities but for a idol or an actor it is very important. It is what gets all the fans hooked up and amaze every viewers.
They change their costumes along with the personality which suits the song or the specific concept. Some famous concepts include teen crush, innocent girl, cute flower boy, bad girl or bad boy, colorful or dark, sexy, sad, jazzy and retro styles, military and super fictional. They can change their costume colorful and personality sweet according to one song and savage and rough for the very next performance.
It might be difficult to accept or shocking to believe but this is the truth. The fans don’t go crazy over their idol compared to the idols who go crazy over their fans. Unlike other artists who try their best to hide or stay way from their fans but comes out and reach them to promote their album, Korean idols treat their fandom as a family. They connect with their fandom on a whole personal level, comforting and supporting them in real life too. They conduct many fan meetings where they interact with their fans face to face, updates their day to day lives in social medias, frequently go on livestream interactions which all help them to build a personal relationship with their fans. They reach out to any extend to support them causing their fans to be so royal. K-pop fans are different from other pop cultures. They go far beyond to what regular admirers do for their idols.
These communities and fan clubs regularly interact on social media networks, organize music streaming sessions and philanthropic activities in the name of their favorite artistes. Philanthropy is an increasingly important part of K-pop fandom. Many fan clubs pool resources to support charities.
The following are some flash news that happened in India recently :-
->Fans raise money for Indian night school in honor of RM’s birthday.
->Indian fans celebrate Jungkook, RM and Jimin’s birthdays by raising funds to support children with cancer.
->Pop boyband BTS’ fans match group’s $1 million donation to Black Lives Matter
->K-pop fans a growing tribe in India – they hold concerts, do charity, run stores.
-> “BTS Fans in India Don’t Just Sing On Self Love. They Raised Over Rs 5 Lakh for Assam Floods relief fund”
The only thing that is missing in this current picture is the Korean acts and idols to come to India. Not many are aware of the Indian fan clubs and platforms available, where they can join a community to stay updated about the happenings in the industry. But that is sure to change in the upcoming days. The Korean entertainment industry has given so positive energy and talent to the world and now it’s good to see many Indians are now slowly starting to feel this wave.
I’ve focused mainly on the pros of Hallyu wave, enlightening only on the positive and bright side. As an Indian viewer, I have noticed that Korean shows are more relatable than the US or British series. For instance, they show a lot of respect for elders and believe in family values like us and their songs are so personal and comfortable to listen to, unlike some wild and meaningless songs. I’ve also noticed that not many men in India support K-drama or K-pop compared to women. Even if they know, they are embarrassed to admit it in public. They think it is as a wrong to admire fashionably-dressed men or open minded women and some simply gets jealous. In general, most fans in India are women.
Hope you liked reading. Based on my research I’ve seen many of my friends stanning mostly BTS and Blackpink and some people rarely know about SuperM, stray kids, Twice, Itzy so in my article I’ve limited the relevant images and popularity among these groups. There are yet so many amazing idol groups and artists so pardon me if I haven’t mentioned your bias. Since I haven’t watched any Korean dramas, I couldn’t think of writing or explaining more about that particular area. But I came to know more about it through my friends and have seen some clips in Youtube so I’m pretty sure I’ve covered everything. If you have any opinion or any suggestion, do leave it in the comment section below. Feel free to share your experience or thoughts on Hallyu. I would love to know and gain more knowledge about it. Thank you!!