‘K’ wave sweeps India with drama, music and more

‘K’ wave sweeps India with drama, music and more


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New Delhi, Oct 7 (PTI) We love their soap operas and their sweet romances, their thrillers and their intense cinema, their music and increasingly even their food. The ‘K’ way of life has the middle and upper class in the grip of India, a ‘we love everything about South Korea’ movement led mainly by its small screen entertainment industry which has found the faithful here. the most unlikely.

There is even a word for this South Korean cultural phenomenon: hallyu.

In February 2020, “Parasite” director Bong Joon-ho urged viewers to overcome “the one-inch-high subtitle barrier” in his Oscar acceptance speech. Less than two years later, almost as if India were listening to it, the hallyu wave swept over the country with shows such as “Crash Landing on You” and “Vincenzo”, the music of the boy band BTS but also movies.

The OTT boom caused by the pandemic brought with it hallyu 2.0 when many Indian watchers went beyond their basic regimen of American, Nordic and Indian broadcasts to discover K-dramas, a world far removed from the Hindi ‘K’ dramas of not so long ago.

Viewing of K-dramas on Netflix in India increased by more than 370% in 2020 compared to 2019, a spokesperson for the OTT platform said.

From the cerebral advocate in search of quality entertainment to the elderly participant of soap operas, the shows have found plenty of fans.

A look at Netflix’s Top 10 category shows the forays Korean shows have made in India with Lee Jung-jae and Park Hae-soo’s “Squid Game” and Kim Seon-ho and Shin Min- starring romantic drama “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha” is regularly on the list.

“Squid Game,” a “Hunger Games” style survival show inspired by Korean children’s games, is on its way to becoming the greatest show in Netflix history, said Ted Sarandos, co-CEO of Netflix this week. .

Since starting working with Korean filmmakers and talent in 2016, the streamer has presented more than 80 original Korean shows and movies to its members around the world and has subscribed to K content in 30 languages, the gate said. -speak.

“Kingdom Season 2”, “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay” and “Crash Landing …” are among the series to have regularly appeared in the Top 10 on Netflix in India. And over 22 million households have listened to the “Sweet Home” horror television series.

That’s why Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin from the hugely popular “Crash Landing on You”, a smooth, smooth romance between a North Korean officer and a South Korean heiress, and actors Song Joong-ki, Park Bo -gum have become big stars in India alongside others like Song Hye-kyo and Bae Suzy.

K-drama fans are also addicted to Rakuten Viki, a streaming service that has over 15 million users worldwide and features popular shows such as “True Beauty” and “Yumi’s Cells” on its platform. .

“It’s been an exciting time for us, especially as Rakuten Viki is home to the largest collection of K-drama on any streaming platform,” said Sarah Kim, Senior Vice President of Content Business & Regional GM (Asia ), to PTI in a press release.

“We find that people are hungry for Asian content, especially K-dramas, for its unique storytelling and twists, and because it offers a different production quality than American and Western content …”, she declared.

The love for all things South Korean is such that many fans overcame the “subtitle barrier” and included Korean words such as “noona and oppa” (older sister and brother), “namja- chingoo “(boyfriend),” yoja-chingoo “(girlfriend) and” sarang-hae “(I love you) and many other words and expressions from their daily vocabulary.

Globally, too, the language is making waves with the Oxford English Dictionary which recently added 26 Korean words including K-drama, hallyu and kimbap to the dictionary.

“We are all riding the crest of the Korean wave,” the BBC said quoting OED in a statement.

Closer to home, the Korean Cultural Center India has started three-month online Korean courses and the 1,200 places fill up within two to three minutes of opening for registration, said KCCI Director Hwang Il -yong.

“Creating unique stories out of normal, familiar life stories can be the power of K-dramas, and it can be one of the main reasons K content is gaining in popularity worldwide. The stories of normal and ordinary people can be universally accepted. without resistance or barriers, ”Hwang said.

To introduce Indians to the world of K-pop, KCCI is also organizing a K-pop competition in India as well as a K-pop academy.

To meet the growing demand, Jawaharlal Nehru University is also organizing a Korean teacher training course as well as a regular subject in collaboration with KCCI.

According to Young-Geul Choi, director of the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) in New Delhi, the popularity of K content exploded during the pandemic, but the first K wave emerged in the northeast in 2000 when teens became fascinated. by Korean. way of life.

“India is now one of the top countries in terms of the number of streaming and viewing of K-Pop or K-drama content. We often receive inquiries from consumers on our social media sites asking how to visit the sites. filming K-drama or K-pop exhibition spaces or where to buy official merchandise, ”he said.

Along with entertainment comes culture, lifestyle and fashion influence, which hallyu fans now want to embrace in their lives, Choi said.

“The Family Man” star Priyamani remembers how she went from English, Turkish and Belgian series to Korean series.

She stumbled across “The Bride of Habaek” late last year. She found the mystery and fantasy element “cute”, but it was the hit series “Descendants of the Sun”, starring Song Joong-ki and Song Hye-kyo, that sparked her “love story. “with K-dramas.

“I’m a huge fan of Song Joong-ki. I don’t have his posters and things like that on my wall but I just admire him. I immediately fell in love with him and the character he played. After “Descendants of the Sun” I continued to watch and watch a lot of shows. Touchwood, my love is still going strong. “

“What I have found is that these shows are very relevant. You can relate to the culture and tradition because they are also very family oriented like us (Indians). You can connect with these. stories even if it’s a fantasy or a romance. Acting is also extremely real, ”the actor said.

Priyamani believes K-drama fans already have cities like Seoul, Busan or Daegu on their travel list.

Many people were already watching these dramas even before the pandemic, added Divya Jaladi, training manager at Guntur.

“The craze has been around for a long time now but the pandemic has definitely given it a boost. People were bored, there wasn’t a lot of content on the TV channels. K-Dramas are a bit different. … There is a kind of guilty pleasure for them “, Jaladi, 37 years old.

Ambitious storylines like a rich man meets a poor woman or storylines set in a fantasy world also help.

“You sometimes wish for yourself that something like this would happen to me. It’s very fantastic and usually doesn’t happen (in real life). Also, you don’t see very beautiful people on the screen. that often. ” PTI RDS / BK MIN



Disclaimer: – This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI

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