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Korea, Republic of BTS
Written by Julia (Eunseo) Lee | Published. 2018.11.20 15:16 | Count : 802
“Have you ever seen BTS in real life?”, “What cosmetics do you use?”, “Are actual Korean foods similar to the ones cooked here?” These were the majority of the questions I was asked in the summer camp I attended this year, as I introduced myself as a Korean. Students all over the world had a great curiosity about Korean culture, particularly celebrities and food, and considered Korea the ‘popular’ and ‘trendy’ country. Korea has achieved an enormous growth in various areas in such a short period of time; the general reputation of the country has hugely changed. ‘Hallyu’ stands in the center of this success, not only nurturing the Korean economy but also leading the trend and culture worldwide.
Hallyu is a Chinese term which literally translates into “Korean Wave”. It refers to the phenomenal popularity of Korean culture ranging from music, movies, dramas, online games to cuisine. Even a few years ago, people from other nations would come up with North Korea, the division of Korea, or nuclear programs when they hear the name 'Korea'; but now the first thing they would picture in their head is the horseback riding dance move from Gangnam Style, members of K-pop bands or scenes from Korean dramas. It is not unusual anymore for Korean idol groups to have concerts or fan meetings in other nations as they have huge audiences and fandom globally. I get fairly amazed to encounter numerous advertisements or posters of Korean celebrities every time I visit foreign countries such as China, Japan, and even the United States. In addition, Korean actors and actresses are often offered great opportunities to work in Hollywood movies and to expand their acting careers; this was unimaginable in the past.
[ [BTS] Love Yourself: Official Poster http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20181031000300&ACE_SEARCH=1]
A large number of TV Shows around the world are modeled after Korean shows as they are considered creative and successful. Majority of these cases are when different nations follow Korean shows' general ideas or concepts, but some even plagiarize the original version. Korean TV programs these days are greatly popular and are positively recognized that it even leads to the issues of plagiarism. For example, ‘Running Man’ and ‘Show Me The Money’, which are the most beloved TV shows in Korea, were exactly copied and presented in China; viewers in Korea strongly criticized the problems and called them unacceptable and insupportable.
The future dream job of elementary students reflects the trends and values in the society of the time. Wisecamp, a private education company in South Korea, has conducted a survey on children’s preference of career. The job ‘president’, once a typically preferred job among student
30-40 years ago, was hard to find in the recent survey results. In the new survey, which took place in 2014, 38% of the 2,333 respondents chose the celebrity as their future dream job. This clearly shows how celebrities and their various areas, such as music or acting, are so powerful and influencing nowadays. The impressions people receive from celebrities have greatly changed in a short period of time; the current society got rid of the stereotypes as they watched this type of culture develop and succeed.

[Stage Picture of Busan One Asia Festival, Asia’s No.1 Hallyu Festival,
In my summer camp, the majority of the students showed great interest in K-pop and Korea, the country itself. They even requested me to teach some Korean dance moves and sing popular songs. As a student who goes to a summer camp every year, I clearly notice every time that Hallyu and its global popularity are increasing. Even though there were certain stereotypes and negativities people held about Hallyu in the past, it is now remarkably popular and positively recognized by the entire world. It is significant for Korean citizens to be aware of the growth of Hallyu and provide support and interest for it, as it is continuing to develop.



Julia (Eunseo) Lee
10th grade
Chadwick International School

Julia (Eunseo) Lee  student_reporter@dherald.com

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  • Jaehong Min 2018-12-03 19:45:00

    Such a strong and effective introduction to the article. As a Korean student who has engaged in many international interactions, I really resonate with many points in this article. It is definitely true that us Koreans must be cognizant of the spread of our own culture.   삭제

    • Rachel Lee 2018-12-02 21:22:39

      As someone who has experienced similar questions about Korean culture at camp, I could relate to your experience! I liked how you connected your own personal experiences to a larger, more informal issue!   삭제

      • Jason 2018-11-24 20:48:17

        Great job - you've really delved deep in reporting the Hallyu culture... Next time, I would challenge you to get both perspectives on the issue you're reporting. For example, what do Koreans feel about this 'Hallyu wave'? Are Koreans proud? Is there a darker truth behind such positive phenomenon? ..   삭제

        • Matt C 2018-11-23 20:47:18

          Great Article! I think that this was able to support the rising trend of K-pop. As awkward as it might have been in the camp, it must have been a great experience for you to realize how this trend in K-pop is spreading, although people may be constantly reminding you of this.   삭제

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