hallyu

February 13, 2017

What happened to me in the first two weeks of 2017? I became a novice K-pop fan. But seriously, what’s so unusual about that? Are there not millions of K-pop fans too? Yes, that would be true, until I tell you my age. K-pop bands target teenagers, not grown-ups and certainly not people who are almost senior citizens like me. But wait, I also became a novice fan of Korean drama shows. 

Pop culture has worked a powerful magic in South Korea, turning it into one of the coolest places on the planet, which begs the question: How can Singapore get in on the act? The Hallyu fever, which started around 20 years ago, had overtaken Japanese pop that held sway from the 1980s to the early 1990s, and shows no sign of cooling.

The South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is teaming up with the Korea Foundation for International Culture Exchange (KOFICE) to provide Myanmar with free Korean television content. [...] they are meant to foster a positive view of South Korea–and maybe even spark demand for Korean products.

This article compares two middle powers, Canada and South Korea, to assess their changing role and relevance on the global stage. 

To many Americans, globalization may mean Americanization but, in China, globalization is Koreanization. This is the impact of Hallyu (the Korean word for “Korean wave”), which began in 1997. Hallyu began with Korean television dramas and today extends throughout Chinese life: k-drama, k-pop, movies, fashion, food, and beauty.  It is argued to be the only example of a cultural power “that threatens the dominance of American culture.”

The popularity of local culture, otherwise known as “hallyu,” has brought along new challenges in promoting Korea to the outside world. One of them is building online and offline database of hallyu, which the Korea Culture and Information Service (KOCIS), the state-run overseas PR agency, has started to embrace as key responsibilities.

South Korea has successfully individualized itself in Asia by forming a mainstream culture that has increasingly isomorphic qualities in the Eastern Hemisphere. This also coincides with the government’s public diplomacy strategy of successfully promoting Korea as a brand.

In a recent report, SERI analyzed how Korea’s hosting of international events such as the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and the 2011 Daegu IAAF World Championships alongside the Korean wave and an upswing in global activities by Korea’s multinational corporations have contributed to Korea’s move up in the rankings of the Nation Brands Index.

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