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Current Status of Korean Pop Culture

2012/04/20 | 522 views | Permalink | Source

In today's "In the Spotlight" segment, we take a closer look at the phenomenon of Hallyu , or the Korean Wave.
Now garnering attention globally, the Hallyu really got its start in the mid-1990s, When Korean dramas like "Winter Sonata", and "Dae Jang-geum" caught on first in Korea, then throughout Asia.

Now, of course, when we talk about Hallyu the dramas are only part of the story. K-pop, Korean food and Korean movies are all part of the growing Korean Wave.
Arirang News correspondent Park Ji-won joins us live from our newsroom to give the latest on this key Korean export.

Good evening to you, Ji-won. Let's talk about Hallyu.

[Reporter : Park Ji-won jiwonpark@arirang.co.kr] Hello, Conn-young, Daniel.
Conn-young, hold that thought for one sec. - before we get into our in-depth talk about the Korean wave, why don't we try to get a broad sense of what it is, first K-pop's flashy dance moves, and catchy tunes.
Korean films portraying unique and sympathetic characters with intense imageries.
And Korean dramas, boasting intriguing plots.
These are some of the distinctive characteristics of Korean pop culture, or the Korean Wave.
The popularity of these cultural products is rising globally,
In a recent poll done by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, 55 percent of the respondents said they have been exposed to some type of Korean culture,either films, dramas, or music, during the past year.
While Korea's pop idols may enjoy massive popularity among teens, apparently Korean films have an wider reach.
Nearly 40 percent of the 15-thousand respondents - in 28 countries - said, they have seen at least one Korean film during the past year.
Exposure to Korean dramas apparently lags a little behind exposure to the films, followed by traditional Korean culture,.. and K-pop.
And by region, Hallyu has made the greatest in roads in other Asian countries; over 40 percent of respondents in Asia had been exposed to elements of the Korean Wave.
In countries like China and Thailand, more than 70 percent of the respondents say have experienced some type of Korean pop culture at least once during the last year.
And in North and South American countries, and in some European countries, the awareness of Korean pop culture has been steadily growing.
Against this backdrop, distinguished scholars and cultural leaders in Korea, gathered on Friday, to discuss the Korean Wave from different perspectives,. such as economics, and technology.

[Interview : Sagong Il, Chairman Institute for Global Economics] "As a country matures,.. the demand for cultural products grows, and cultural industries become a bigger part of the economy. In Korea, however, the share of the cultural industries is still pretty small. And we also need to ask ourselves what we should do to maintain this current popularity of Hallyu".

[Interview : Lee O-young, Former Minister of Culture] "The progress in the spread of Korean culture is noteworthy. Hallyu has depended much on the IT revolutionsince it is being spread through CDs, DVDs, user generated content, and social media networks. This is a new way of spreading culture".

French columnist Guy Sorman, is fascinated by the level of interest overseas.

[Interview : Guy Sorman, French Columnist ]

To keep the momentum going, Earlier this week, Korea's culture ministry announced plans to further promote soft exports - specifically contemporary Korean culture - , by encouraging creative works by Korean artists, and by strengthening art education.
The location of the press briefing.
A club in Seoul's trendy Hongdae area, a symbol of Korea's youth culture.

So, from the poll results we can say, that about one-half of the population of the world's major countries, have been exposed to the Korean culture. Amazing.

Yes, and I didn't realize that Korean movies are more well known overseas than K-pop since we see more about K-pop in the global pressand fan pages.
So, wrapping up, what happens now

[Reporter : Park Ji-won jiwonpark@arirang.co.kr] Experts I met during my reporting talked about the value of combing Hallyu's roots in traditional Korean culture and universal values, with the need to bring fresh ideas.
Experts say as long as the artists draw on what is fresh in Korean culture, the power - and business - of Hallyu will keep growing.

Well, let's keep our fingers crossed. Arirang News Park Ji-won on the evergrowing popularity of the Korean Wave, or Hallyu and what lies ahead for this trend to continue.
Thanks, Ji-won, for your reporting.

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