A HARMONIOUS CLASHING OF CULTURES

In case you haven’t heard, K-pop is Korean pop music (specifically from South Korea). And it’s awesome. Like a combination of pop music of the United States from about a decade ago, with Euro-techno beats, and some traditional Asian noises to sound more Korean. I’m obsessed.

I knew it was love at first sound from the moment I heard Bubble Pop by HyunA about a year ago. Since, I’ve expanded my cuddle to groups such as Big Bang (one of several boy bands) and 2NE1 (one of several girl groups). One thing is certain about almost all K-pop groups: They have too many members, and at least one will look like a Korean version of Lady Gaga.

We live in a world of identity crisis. As people become more globally aware, the integration of cultures is inevitable. I believe K-pop is a direct reflection of this societal shift in Korea. The addition of outside sounds and styles combined with the use of both Korean and English makes it somewhat unique and true to this revolutionary era.

English is a big deal in Korea. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn't. Nearly all Koreans have access to learning English through the public school system or private academies. In addition, most signage on storefronts or around cities is in English and Korean, and the English text is usually bigger and more ornate to look trendy. It’s a sign of the times for sure, and K-pop is no different.

I also think K-pop is the younger generation’s attempt to break away from an oppressively conservative Korea. And it’s working. K-pop celebrities have massive influence on Korean culture. Asian fashion has always seemed a bit wacky and “out there”, but have you ever wondered why? Could it be rooted in a rebellious desire to go against collective norms?

K-pop is fun, it’s catchy, and it’s what’s in now. But, I believe there’s so much more to it than that. K-pop is a harmonious clashing of cultures packed within a music genre. I live for this kind of stuff. I love it. And as a Guest English Teacher in a foreign country, I get to be a part of it every day, furthering the world’s identity crisis one English expression at a time.

Repeat after me kids, "English is fun!"

2 comments :

  1. haha K-pop is catchy... but I'd be lying if I said I were watching those videos for the music :P Although one group impresses me with their music videos: Sunny hill.

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    1. HAHA! Khoi, I think we're all guilty of watching music videos for more than just the music... And I'll have to check out Sunny Hill. I've never heard of them!

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