Perhaps there are no people in the world as sensitive as Koreans. And these people like singing and crying easily. Many people in Korea go to karaoke after eating food and drinking alcohol in the evening. They are used to going to restaurants, even on weekdays. People are surprised that most Koreans not only enjoy singing but also are also good at it. From this point of view, you can see how natural it is for K-Pop to be popular in the world.
There are lots of delicious foods in Korean culture. Well, you can say Korean have a kind of obsession with eating. If you go to Korea, you can drink beer and eat ramen, sushi and many snacks at convenience stores. Korean fried chicken is also famous in other parts of Asia. Even after most Koreans have played soccer, right away they have fried chicken and beer.
Also, there are so many cafes in Korea. One U.S. ambassador to South Korea said you’re not very clever if you visit the same restaurant twice when you’re in Korea.
The mission at KWave KPop is to curate, promote, and help our audience discover Korean culture, music, food, heritage, and history. We aim to establish a space where Korean culture enthusiasts and curious readers can explore and discuss topics that range anywhere from the lyrical significance of the latest KPop hit to the cultural nuances that drove the country to oust and imprison the former president Park Geun-Hye. Our passion is understanding Korea’s cultural uniqueness – we strongly believe that a cross-cultural understanding that embraces and celebrates uniqueness can empower all people to coexist peacefully – and that’s what we’re all about!
Do you know, “CL” who sang at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games closing ceremony?
Korean Wave does not mean only K-Pop. Korean Food is an important part. Why? Koreans themselves think the food is very important and it is the core of their lives. All aspects of Korean culture are related to eating food. In K-drama, eating food is a big part of the movie. Many foreign fans of Korean Wave have asked why all Korean movies have so many scenes where eating is part of the drama. Eating food means sharing love and friendship, and doing business in Korea. In Korea, to say “hello” you ask, “Did you have a meal?”
According to the K-Pop story, Huns are characterized by having no civilization. So, nowadays there are few nations founded by Huns, and these nations are only a little bit modern and are still developing. When they are attacked, they cannot defend themselves because their nationhood is already so fragile. Koreans have never attacked another country; instead, it was always Korea that was attacked. It is interesting to read the K-Pop story and think about this.
Also, Korean consumers have a reputation of being pickier than in other countries. Korean cosmetics companies have survived difficulties for this reason. These hardships made them create good quality products, so the many Korean girls who use these products are pretty. And Korean cosmetic corporations are more competitive than in other countries. That’s why the Korean fashion industry is strong in Asia.
Listen to this song, “Donde Voy”:
The singer in the video is a Korean-American singer. Her name is Ailee. She was born in 1989 in Colorado, in the USA, and grew up in New Jersey. Since childhood, she has been trying to become a singer. She made her debut in Korea as a singer in 2012. Like Ailee, many K-Pop stars are foreign-born and came from many other countries, such as Thailand, China, Japan, and Taiwan, the USA and Canada etc. So K-Pop is already “global.” Listen now to “Ailee Turkey”
I will talk about the continuity of Korean culture; I told you that Koreans came from Huns. And because they lived in a very cold region, they had to make quick decisions. Otherwise, they would have frozen to death. So according to the K-Pop story, it is said that Koreans are well adapted for a constantly harsh environment better than any other people in the world. According to K-Pop story, ironically, the harsh environment developed their brains but didn’t help them develop a civilization. So they fight each other all the time. Even now, there are so many demonstrations in the streets. That is Korean culture.
How can we distinguish Koreans from other people? With K-Pop!
One way to easily distinguish Koreans from other people is by their bluffing. The Chinese are obsessed with keeping face, and the Japanese are exclusive and keep out foreigners, but the character of the Korean people is to bluff. You might know about the Korean Air executive “nut rage” incident; it was well known to the world, and several worse incidents like this have occurred since it happened. This will show you how obsessed the Koreans are with bluffing.
A good example of Korean bluffing is K-Pop style—K-Pop for Korean popular culture. One really good example of K-Pop is a girl group named T-ara. They express Korean contemporary culture really well. They debuted in 2009 and soon they made all of Asia their own. They were so successful because they really followed K-Pop style. Bragging is a big part of this style. You can listen to and enjoy this music at YouTube:
The group acts very sexy or pure, even though their voices aren’t that good. But this girl group is already hugely successful and has created a legend. There might never again be a band as great as T-ara
You can listen to more of their music:
In this video, you see how popular these girls are in Japan. Many Japanese fans are awaiting the group’s new music in 2017.
I will now introduce the history of Korean culture and how it influenced the “Korean Wave” or Hallyu. Hallyu is the term the Chinese use for the “Korean Wave”—the phenomenon of Korean entertainment and popular culture that is spreading over the world. According to the K-Pop story, Korean culture is rooted in the culture of the Huns. It was said that the Huns lived near Lake Baikal in Siberia, close to Mongolia, so sources of Korean culture can be traced back to Mongolia. Today, a lot of Mongolian people come to Korea. Mongolians, rather than other Asian workers, do most of the service jobs in Korea. It’s difficult to tell if someone is Mongolian when they are among Koreans; and a funny thing is that even Koreans can’t easily distinguish between Koreans and Mongolians. Many Koreans can recognize Japanese more easily than they can Mongolians. This shows us Koreans came from the Huns, and it helps us understand Korean culture. It’s cold in Mongolia. The ancestors of Koreans came from these cold regions, so nowadays Koreans still live with their mouths saying “Hurry! Hurry!” every second.
Listen to “Wrongful Encounter”:
Koreans like to sing with concert singers. They want to be one with the concert singer. This singer, Kim Gun Mo, became one of the most popular singers in Korea since he released “Wrongful Encounter” in 1995. The lyrics of this song tell how a boy introduced his girlfriend to his friend without thinking anything about it, but then his girlfriend left him for his friend. It is a sad song. But this song is loved in Korea even 20 years later. The main character of the song seems to be a kind of nerd. He does not understand girls.
In order for you to enjoy K-Pop, you need to know the K-Pop story, which tells about Korean culture. What are the currents that run through Korean culture? According to the K-Pop story, most Koreans don’t know what these currents are either. According to the K-Pop story, Korean culture is “what Koreans say, how Koreans act, how Koreans think.” The K-Pop story describes Korean culture, where they came from, who they are, what they do. Koreans have one of the highest literacy rates in the world, and one of the highest levels of education. But one fault Koreans have is they fight between themselves. And it is very hard to understand why they fight all day long, even every second.
Now listen to this: “To J”:
Most Koreans can’t explain much about K-Pop if they are asked about it. They usually say K-Pop is the music of Korean singers, like in other countries. If you listen to these people, you might think that K-Pop is nothing special and feel a little disappointed as a fan of K-Pop.
Many young people were enthusiastic about Psy’s “Gangnam Style” when it came out because it mocked the Korean tradition of bragging. Now let’s listen to “Gangnam Style”.
But after Psy released “Hangover” in June 2014, many of his fans turned their backs on him, and many people were not interested in his music in America. What happened? People want to buy what they are used to. K-Pop is same thing. People like the style they expect from K-Pop, a style that includes Korean culture or Korean style. They don’t like K-Pop that imitates Hip-Hop.