By Ricardo Ramirez
Let me ask you something, what kind of phone do you have? A Samusung? Or maybe an LG? If you have one of the two then you’re part of the Korean Wave, and I know what you’re thinking, what is this Korean Wave? Well, the Korean Wave, also known as hallyu is a global phenomenon centering around South Korean culture. First grabbing attention of the rest of Asia, it has since captured the attention of the rest of the world. It has been spread mainly by the growing popularity of K-pop and K-dramas.
K-pop is very different in many ways from the American music industry, in order to be a “big act” or an idol in the Korean music industry you must go through a rigorous training system to improve many skills, which include singing, dancing, acting, and hosting. This might take up to three years, with the possibility of more. It’s extremely difficult, and people go through and extreme process in order to become an idol. With that being said, K-pop popularity continues to grow thanks to Big Acts like Big Bang, Super Junior, Girls’ Generation, 2NE1, Exo, Wonder Girls, SHINee, most Westerners have heard of Psy. I know what you’re thinking, how did this type of music get so popular, well through Youtube. Youtube has been HUGE contribution for K-pop’s growing popularity as big acts must compete to make their music videos very appealing for a wide spread of audiences across the globe. Entertainment companies such S.M., YG, And JYP entertainment work to market their artist holding showcases, fan events, vlogs, reality shows, and etc.
K-drama, from my experience, is highly addicting and I’m not embarrassed by that at all. I know what you’re thinking, “How can it be so addicting if the only thing I can compare it to is Telenovelas (Spanish soap operas)?”, now that I’m thinking about it, they’re actually very similar. They follow almost the same format with each series being a mini-series. Like I said earlier, K-dramas started developing popularity in other parts of Asia then well you know, boom it’s everywhere.
Now why are K-pop and K-dramas important to the growth of korean culture, well as people get into this entertainment they get interested in language, the fashion, hairstyles, the way they act, and much more, that’s why it’s called the Korean Wave. Below you will find some links for some K-pop MVs, it might be “weird” but it has it’s own wave, so it may be a view worth your while.