Article by Sroweta Kar, The North-Eastern Chronicle
Visuals by: Drishtanta Dutta
Hallyu or the Korean wave has been growing for a while. It has been around since the 1990s. Every decade bought a new version or improved Hallyu for us.
When did Hallyu start?
The “New Korean wave” or “Hallyu 2.0” began around 2007 as a result of South Korea taking advantage of 21st-century digital technologies and social media. After Girl’s Generation’s successful showcase at the Ariake Coliseum in august 2010 in Tokyo, Japanese media called it “Hallyu 2.0”.
The concept of Hallyu 2.0 rose in tandem with Web 2.0 giving it a larger scope than the first Korean wave with the increased role and popularity of Korean pop music and other Korean exports like video games and animation.
Beginning of the mid-2010s, “Hallyu 3.0” which refers to the “third-generation” of the Korean wave started. This wave showed us new associations with different platforms, giving us a larger cultural and societal impact all over the world. The rise and spread of K-pop groups such as BTS and new YouTube content like Mukbang (먹방; meokbang) videos have become characteristic of Hallyu 3.0. Musical artists and international media production with foreign studios such as Netflix have also facilitated a new rise in global Korean media consumption.
The ever-growing Kpop culture
The growing popularity of Korean pop culture in the world was partly driven by the South Korean government supporting its creative industries through subsidies and funding for startups, as a form of soft power to become a leading global exporter of culture.
We can say that love for Korean entertainment started when K-pop got famous. The famous K-pop band BTS or Bangtan Sonyeondan uplifted Korean culture, music and has brought it out all over the world. BTS has contributed to South Korea’s economic rising with millions of dollars with their concerts and albums. They were the first K-pop group to deliver a speech at the UN, which themed “speak yourself”.
Like BTS many other K-pop groups have also been in the limelight like Blackpink, Astro, EXO, Girl’s Generation, and many more. K-pop is also one of the reasons for the spread of the Korean language. K-pop songs are loved by fans all over the world and giving them a reason to learn and understand them.
When the TV drama entitled “What Is Love” was aired by the Chinese major state broadcaster, China Central Television (CCTV) in 1992, it ranked second in China’s all-time imported video content. Then, the term Hallyu, or the “Korean Wave” first appeared, referring to the global craze for Korean culture. Korean drama or K-drama rouse to fame again during this pandemic.
Every day people watched 100’s of K-drama serials and were hooked to them. Actors like Lee Min Ho, Kim Soo Hyun, Won Bin, Song Jong Ki, Park Shin Hye, Park Seo Jun, and many others gave us the right amount of entertainment we needed. We felt every bit of love, hate, anger what the actors were trying us to portray. It was like a ray of light during this pandemic.
The list of highest watched K-drama are:
- The world of the Married(2020)- 47.20%
- Sky Castle(2018-2019)- 36.3%
- Crash Landing on You(2019-2020)- 34.1%
- Goblin (2016-2017)- 31.5%
- Reply (2015-2016)- 31.12%
- Mr. Sunshine (2018)- 31.08%
- Mr. Queen(2020-2021)- 30.0%
- Itaewon Class (2020)- 28.4%
- Hospital Playlist(2020)- 25.1%
- 100 Days My Prince(2018)- 23.4%
In India, when economic liberalization started, the South Korean chaebols and their small-medium enterprises invested in it. The first glimpse of the Korean wave in India was felt when universities started courses on Korean language education and Korean studies. From 2002-2005, reputed universities such as Jawaharlal Nehru University, University of Delhi, University of Calcutta, and University of Madras started the Korean week in their respected universities where K-dramas became the highlight of the celebration.
The first exposure of the Korean wave officially in India was seen when for the first time ‘Korea India Music Festival’ was held in Kohima in 2008 under a joint partnership with the Government of Nagaland and the Republic of Korea. This partnership was again seen in Hornbill Festival 2009 featured K-pop singers and promotion of Korean food. Soon, the Northeastern region became the heart of K-pop festivals in India giving us the first K-pop artist Priyanka Mazumdar who joined the group Z-Girls.
With every bit of Hallyu, we cannot miss talking about Korean food introduced to us. Food critics and fans are gaga for its food. From Japchae to Bibimbap to kimbap or Mandu people are fans of all. New Korean restaurants are being opened giving us the taste of it.
Last but not the least, the Korean wave has brought together countries spreading their culture, food, music. Consoling souls during its vulnerable times and giving us hope “that all will be well”.
Inputs from kdramapal.com