pop culture

Katie Couric's recent comments recommending a Muslim Cosby show to combat anti-Muslim bigotry has been decried by some as a naïve, simplistic remedy for the festering sore of Islamophobia in America. However...authentic and accessible American Muslim narratives can emerge as popular, effective tools of cultural diplomacy in helping bridge the divides between Muslim Communities and the U.S.

Since Korea’s success began as an entertainment exporter in the late 1990s, its music, television dramas, movies and video games have become popular among young people across Asia, a phenomenon often known as “Hallyu” or the Korean Wave.

At the end of May, it was announced that a South Korean band called Super Junior would perform at the Shanghai World Expo. Free tickets would be released for those who arrived early on the day of the performance, which was scheduled for the evening of May 30.

For the first time in years, filmmakers in America and around the world are daring to make films criticizing communism. This heartening trend began with 2008’s blockbuster hit “Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull,” produced by George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg, in which Indiana Jones fights Soviet communist agents who are trying to capture an alien crystal skull in order to brainwash the West.

Is it a commentary on China’s influence in the Middle East? Is it a critique of Hosni Mubarak’s rule in Egypt? Is it another example of the banality of violence in popular culture? Or is it perhaps a commentary on the bullying associated with “democratic” elections in authoritarian states? Choose for yourself.

In the mascaraed eyes of Thai teenyboppers, South Korea is ground zero of hip. More than Lady Gaga, more than any local act, Bangkok kids aspire to the saccharine perfection of Korean pop. Thai authorities, however, have proven less welcoming of the “K-Pop” phenomenon. With each new Korean fashion craze comes official warnings that the new fad may blind, disfigure or even kill.

Video that is part of the series CPD Video Conversations: National Branding at Expo 2010 Shanghai.

The bento-bako, or Japanese lunch box, is enjoying great popularity overseas, with many retailers abroad even marketing the product under its Japanese name.