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Once upon a Hallyu

Welcome, first time with Hallyu ?

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Hallyu Tales

Happy 1st anniversary to me.

Cipher: a secret or disguised way of writing; a code.

Final logo

That’s right. This month, I’m blowing my first candle as an ARMY.

Looking back on the past year has brought me nothing but absolute joy and serenity. With every passing day, I met the most incredible people and the number kept rising: While being born midst the most incredible squad that I consider my soulful family and that taught me how to be a decent ARMY, I also met more amazing fellow ARMYs: from the ones that couldn’t pick a bias and eventually ended up being wrecked by Jimin, to others that support my ultimate bias and earned my love and respect in the process; because through this very bias I happened to rest my head on the most supportive shoulder, for which I am eternally grateful.

Of course, as we flew with our beautiful wings in 2017 alongside BTS, our fandom still managed to receive horrendous comments, accusations, and rumors. When none of this satisfied their ugly hearts, free hate was always on the table. This being said, and although I tried to stay passive for as long as I could, this time I picked the other side of the coin: this time, I became passive agressive.

Without further ado, as words are many and time is money, this is my contribution for BTS’s 4th anniversary: this is A.R.M.Y Cypher.

[INTRO]

(Welcome, first time with ARMY ?)

You know, errthang starts with an A

And this one goes to all you haters , Aye

Whether you like it or not, Bangtan will always slay

Do you hear us?

We said: Our bulletproof boys are here to stay

[VERSE 1]

Now, wait a minute though, Whatcha looking at hoe?

Is you lost? Did you rail away from your fandom, foe ?

Quit taking care of BTS, they have us for that

Promote your faves instead, redirect your attention lads

Rookie, MAMA, Shorty : now we snatched a Billboard too

Thanks but no thanks, we’re international, boo

(So long, fools)

[PREHOOK]

Chong jojun balsa, bitch

Crawl back to your den, snitch

2!3! Breathe, choke

Sorry bae for your emotional stroke

[HOOK]

Apologetic turned Problematic, sass

Righteous ignoring your helpless cries, pass

Mature for not calling out your faves, class

Young forever, used to be a few, now a mass

 [VERSE 2]

A R M Y, this cypher goes to all prying eyes

We learned from the best,

when you won’t give it a rest

We’ll use it in our favor and bless you with a diss

Wait what, no dissing allowed ?

 We missed the memo when our boys were being disavowed

You wronged us and assumed we’ll take a bow

Well get this antis, it’s payback now

(It’s a vow)

[PREHOOK]

Chong jojun balsa, bitch

Crawl back to your den, snitch

2!3! Breathe, choke

Sorry bae for your emotional stroke

[HOOK]

Apologetic turned Problematic, sass

Righteous ignoring your helpless cries, pass

Mature for not calling out your faves, class

Young forever: used to be a few, now a mass

 [VERSE 3]

Plagiarize this, plagiarize that

Riddle me this, have you ever heard of facts?

When shit happens, we humbly apologize

Great minds think alike but small minds tend to criticize

And creativity, like idiocy, is infinite

Miss me with your bullshit, our success is imminent

We’re not here to dethrone, stealing crowns is primitive

Bighit is our label, spare us your initiative

[OUTRO]

No more laying low, we’re here to let you know

We’ll slay your existence, once twice thrice in a row

Sit your asses down, enjoy the Hitman show

Ayo ladies and gents, y’all nothing but John and Jane Does

P.S: this piece is humbly dedicated to all the individuals that ever wished BTS harm with a thought, a comment or an action. Thank you for allowing me to write this cypher.

Notice me, Oppa.

Oppa: not necessarily your brother, but could sadly be your brother from another mother.

Just in case you failed to guess, this is fangirling 101.

When I first joined Hallyu, Oppa was probably the first word I learned thanks to Ji Sung’s brilliant act in “Kill me, heal me”. At first, and like everybody else I guess, when I first learned what Oppa meant my reaction was as follows: 

  • Oh, it’s cute to call your brother Oppa !
  • But if he isn’t your real brother, why are you still calling him Oppa?
  • Oh you can also call your guy bestfriend Oppa, I guess that’s cool since he’s basically like a brother to you.
  • WHAT DO YOU MEAN EVEN BOYFRIENDS ARE CALLED OPPA ?!!

That “kinda fauxcest” notion right there triggered every single international fangirl … For a while. Later on, you simply find yourself immersed in the whole culture, and your main concern switches from having to call your crush/boyfriend Oppa to finding an ACTUAL oppa.

When it comes to fangirling, having an Oppa is the easiest task. You basically choose a fave and claim him as your own. Of course, there are many degrees of Oppa claiming: there is the Oppa that everyone likes, the Oppa that steals the hearts of the youngsters, the Oppa that makes Noonas wish they were younger, and then there is THE Oppa.

The Oppa, the bias, the fave, the DO NOT TOUCH if you want to stay alive. Of course, you and I both know that all of the above does not matter because to your Oppa, you do not exist (I bruise easily so please don’t throw anything harder than Tteokbokki).

I know how this feels, because as a fangirl I’ve been there TWICE, and while I gave up on my first try, I vowed for my second to last as long as I did. Since I started with BIGBANG, Taeyang was my first bias (Ji Sung was a close second but he’s 40, married and has a child and I have a dignity to maintain, so he remains my first and ultimate fave among actors but I cannot allow myself to call him Oppa). I was so charmed by Taeyang’s beauty, music and persona, I was also surprised at myself because I usually prefer rappers, and knowing that he originally signed up to be a rapper comforted me for a while as I kept telling myself “I chose well” and I stand by my words: I chose a pure-hearted angel to stan and I take pride in it.

Now, everything was well … that is until I found out that Youngbae had a girlfriend. I don’t know what I was thinking back then because I wasn’t technically free either and even if I was I would be the last person on earth to be involved with him because of obvious reasons (a girl has got to save face, I may be a fangirl but I am not going to slander myself by openly admitting why I won’t be a fit candidate). Anyways, these news made me feel sad, hurt, and betrayed which was kind of ironic because my fangirling was hurting somebody else in the process yet I wasn’t considerate of that significant other. That’s when I decided to retreat as a crazed fangirl and just be a fan, for my own sake and that of those around me.

Little did I know, that it would take me two months to fall head over heels all over again and way harder than I did the first time for completely different reasons. Although I enjoyed Kpop very much, I was specifically captivated by the Rap genre, so I focused on discovering as many rappers as possible and enjoying their music without being caught in the fangirl trap again. Tablo was, is, and will always be the Godfather of Rap for me because he fits all of my standards. I also cannot call him Oppa because he shares the same profile as Ji Sung, and again I have pride. While doing my “homework”, I came across a lot of idol rappers like Zico and Mino and I was really into their style but it was just that, a pure admiration. It wasn’t until I came across Rap Monster that I realized that I was once again caught in the trap; and this time there was no way out for me. I saw my own principles fall apart one after one, and it scared me so much to the point where I started questioning myself. 

Also, I seriously have no idea how Sasaengs’ brains function because the mere fact of writing about my fangirling experience made me cringe because feeling this and actually pinning it down are two different matters. Either way, whether we like it or not, we all went through the basic fangirl stages which can be short-listed as below:

  • I like you, Oppa.
  • I wish I can meet you, Oppa.
  • I wish I can be your ideal type, Oppa.
  • I love you, Oppa.
  • Marry me, Oppa.
  • Notice me, Oppa.
  • I’m unstanning you, Oppa.
  • Take my love back, Oppa ?
  • Be my bestfriend, Oppa !

I don’t know if I should be proud or embarrassed, but I went through all of the previous stages and I am currently at the “bestfriend” phase. Not that I’m actually expecting it to happen (I’m still praying though … Just kidding, or maybe not) but after everything I have learned, read or witnessed, I feel that I finally found someone that can truly understand me. After all, it’s in one’s human nature to crave attention, emotion, or delicacy. That intellectual tact is what I’ve been lacking my whole life, and it’s a bittersweet feeling to have found such comfort in something/someone that will never be within your reach.

Overall, and not just because I have a crazy fangirl side, I believe that there is no harm in loving your fave a little bit too much, as long as you respect their person, privacy and safety. Regardless of who your faves are, cheer for them for the right reasons, don’t bash them for their life choices, don’t hate against their beliefs, and never let your sasaeng awaken. Simply keep in mind that they’re idols that please you and you’re a fan that supports them.

Now, has anyone seen my Oppa ?!

To BANGTAN, with love.

BANGTAN: the only bulletproof item you need in your daily life.

Have you ever tried to escape fate but it kept haunting you instead? That was BTS for me.

The first time I came across these seven boys, I was attending my very first KPOP event and I was shook as I witnessed the crowd’s reaction once a BTS song started playing. Although they are incredibly rising by the minute, KPOP fans are still a minority in my country so I wasn’t expecting such a dedicated and organized fandom. I was envious and jealous.

After the event, I came back home and I couldn’t help but get that song stuck in my head. I remembered every other group and song despite hearing them for the first time since I was only into BIGBANG and 2NE1 back then: Seventeen’s mansae, Exo’s call me baby, 2pm’s go crazy … I remembered BTS, but I just couldn’t pinpoint the song.

It took me about a week or so humming the song inside my head and watching myself go mental. I finally decided to shut my ego down and look up their MVs since the song was projected in the event. Talk about irony at its best, I went through every single MV of theirs, but once I got to the actual song I turned it off and went to sleep. The next morning, I begged my sister to look up the song for me since she was more familiar with KPOP; for that matter I only gave her one hint: Neoppuniya, Neoppuniya (which I shamelessly pronounced as Nappeuniya until I got corrected four months later by Twinsie in a very chaotic Karaoke session, 고마워 베이비).

The ARMY reading this will guess that it was indeed “War of Hormone”; I still can’t believe that this song gave me a headache for a whole week. When Sunnie found it, she played it for me and I literally asked her to shut it down because it’s noisy and went back to doing my business … Luckily for me, she was patient enough and stood there with her phone blasting the song until the hook started playing. The moment I heard it, I immediately felt levitated and turned back to face her, only for her to turn the music off and confront me with the most devious smirk ever: “I thought you said this was noisy, never mind you don’t need it anyways”.

After several pleas and bribes, my sister finally agreed to give me the song’s title. As I went to check it on Youtube, I admit that I was a bit shocked at how strong the lyrics were … but I was quickly tamed when I read “Girls are the best gift”: Way to redeem yourselves, boys. 

Nevertheless, my love story with BTS didn’t start until I found out that they were BIGBANG’s biggest fanboys. I was suddenly interested in them because whoever loves my faves the way these boys did deserves admiration or, at the very least, respect. It was thanks to Mey that I actually discovered this information who, by the way, also showed me how to properly stan BIGBANG. She then advised me to contact Fey who is basically our ARMY squad’s MVP: the girl literally breathes, feels and projects BTS.

Following her instructions, and after taking up a whole month to perfectly identify the members (in my defense, I already knew Rap Monster, J-Hope and Jimin), I could finally allow myself to be called an ARMY. Soon enough, the boys became my everyday salvation, their music was my healing process, and their stories gave me strength.

Although I still haven’t watched all of their variety nor do I recognize some of their side tracks from the first go, I feel spiritually connected to OT7: not as a fan but as an individual, their aura gives me serenity and I know that every ARMY relates to this. One thing that I have learned from these precious boys is that I can be me and still do things right. Therefore, for all of you reading this I want you to stay true to yourselves: it’s not a piece of advice, it’s a life lesson.

My name is Esmee and I am an Adorable Representative MC for Youth.

 

My fave is better than yours

Biased: the act of showing partiality, prejudice, predilection.

I am biased. You are biased. It’s useless to deny it.

I have always wanted to address this issue that controls Kpop: favoritism. Because you’re part of a fandom, you think that you’re part of THE fandom and every other fandom is irrelevant. I am not throwing shade, I am acknowledging it: I’ve been there.

However, all of these fanwars piling up, the antis’ active viciousness and the conflicts regarding every record, award or achievement got me thinking, for quite a while. Yet, I didn’t want to address it until I really felt that I can be objective about it.

Which brings me to this article that was supposedly planned to be written after I introduce my current faves on my blog, but sometimes you simply have to seize the moment. I can’t speak freely without actually mentioning group names, therefore I apologize in advance for every misunderstood wording that may come out in the future statement.

YG. JYP. SM. BIGHIT. Three big companies and a rising fourth.

BIGBANG. TWICE. EXO. BTS. The groups are exquisite.

VIP. ONCE. EXOL. ARMY. The fandoms are … something else.

Everybody knows how the industry works, how the three big companies came to be and how a fourth one is in the making. Don’t be salty, it’s a company, it feeds and grows.

I started as a VIP, therefore BIGBANG meant everything to me. They invented the Kpop scene with their implication in making their own music. When I first heard about BTS, I was envious of their perfect choreographies while singing live (another trait that BIGBANG is known for, live performances of a lifetime I tell you), and I couldn’t accept another group going in the footsteps of my faves, I almost became an anti.

That’s when I was provided with a series of videos showing that BTS are BIGBANG’s biggest fanboys. For them, OT5 were their mentors and role models and they looked up to them from their youngest age. BIGBANG made me fall for BTS.

Rap being my favorite genre and knowing Rap Monster way before I knew BTS, I gave the group a chance. I got in and vowed to stay. Since I was a latecomer as a VIP, I never felt like I really fit in no matter how many variety I watched or how many facts I read … their music was my sole source of comfort and the thread that’s keeping me true to my VIP feels. Then again, BTS were fresh out of the oven and although I was surprised by the amount of music and mindblowing concepts they released in less than four years, I felt that I could finally redeem myself as a fangirl and feel worthy of being part of a fandom, that is ARMY.

And that’s where it all started. Being an ARMY, I found myself in many controversial situations: as BTS started growing and achieving numerous accomplishments, other fandoms made sure to respond with hate, accusations, insults and even demeaning projects. ARMY was known for the longest time as the apologetic fandom, until they were no more. That’s when immature fans from both sides started stooping to the lowest levels, which only fueled the fanwars.

The first fanwar happened to be with EXOLs. It was mainly about sales records, year-end ceremonies and award wins, and it was really disturbing. At some point, I found myself disliking Exo because of their fandom. One person, one fan made me reconsider my choices, my thoughts, my opinions. One mature EXOL beat all of the nasty immature ones that made me belittle the group. I am not proud of being a hater at some point, but I am not going to deny it to favor my statement, because acknowledging my situation was what got me writing all of this in the first place. Despite everything, I know and like a lot of their hit songs and my fave is Kai.

The second fanwar initiated with ONCEs. Well you can’t beat a cute concept and a catchy chorus, can you now ? Therefore, TWICE won many music show awards that could’ve been BTS’s but it didn’t happen. I was bitter about it and couldn’t get my head around the fact that when comparing both music styles, they are not on the same level; and that was the first problem that caused fanwars. In general, the common public does not care about how the music was made but rather how it was delivered: I’m talking about the final product. As an ARMY I always felt triggered with this kind of songs because I couldn’t accept that people would choose a manufactured concept over a self-built one. Again, I was wrong. I have nothing to say in TWICE’s favor because I simply don’t like cute concepts. Still, Jeongyeon appeals to me for some reason and I do sing some of their tunes from time to time, you do too.

Nevertheless, because all of this wasn’t enough, I recently came across what I describe as the most heinous content I have ever laid eyes upon: a BIGBANG fan account bashing BTS for no absolute reason other than pure hate and vendetta towards some immature ARMY, but no wait, they dragged EXO and TWICE to validate their points. That’s when I decided that I am not going to put up with this anymore.

My little knowledge as a VIP tells me that VIP and EXOLs were in endless fanwars, but when BTS rose to fame, all fingers pointed back at them and ARMY being their delulu fandom. TWICE’s involvement was mostly a Cherry on top of the hate cake because they are aware of their domination of music show wins with their songs. Butthurt, much ? And because BTS and ARMY cannot have one peaceful day, yesterday BIGHIT’s official website was hacked and Twice’s recent MV was uploaded there, ARMY laughed it off. Today, BTS were falsely accused of plagiarizing BIGBANG’s Top’s special concert stage for “Act like nothing’s wrong”, and they were asked to apologize for the offense. While I stay conflicted between my two faves, I still cannot accept the plagiarism accusation simply because the static was present in BTS’ MVs since 2013, and that’s all I’m going to say about it.

I don’t know how to end this post because I feel that I haven’t completely conveyed the message I originally had in mind. In brief, no matter what fandom you’re from, stick to it, don’t mind the immature fans and antis and don’t attack other fandoms for the sake of your faves. Personally, I am quitting this whole drama and concentrating solely on the music. Congratulations to whomever wins, sorry about whomever plagiarizes, and thank you for whomever hates, because if it doesn’t start fueds, it creates Cyphers.

And yes, I am an ARMY at heart.

 

Nolza, always.

2NE1: a 4-leaved clover standing for 21st century’s new evolution.

And so it happened.

Knowing BIGBANG, it was only a matter of time until I started discovering other YG groups, making me a potential YG stan.

Lee Chaelin (CL) was actually the first YG artist that I came across through her song “Hello bitches”. While listening to the song and reading the lyrics, I told myself: well, if this ain’t Korean Nicki Minaj !

To my disappointment (and delight?), I found out that she had no more than five songs; that’s where I knew that I needed more. My delight was due to the fact that I actually witnessed her US debut which was gratifying, because in the KPOP industry, if you’re not there from the beginning, you always feel that you’re not good “enough” of a fan.

When I first got into Kpop, I chose to stay away from girl groups because it was just not my thing. Because of this decision, I ended up depriving myself from 2NE1 for a while until I realized that if I wanted to hear more of CL, then I had to embrace 2NE1’s music as well.

Let me tell you that boycotting 2NE1’s music was the most stupid decision I have ever made as a fangirl since the day I got into Kpop. First, I denied myself the most outstanding girl group that not only broke other girl groups’ dollish attire with their fierce attitude but also granted me the most genuine feelings while listening to every song of theirs: feminism at its best. 

Despite being a latecomer, and as saddened as I was because of their hiatus and the reasons behind it, I was glad that I could take part of their next comeback. However, as if BIGBANG’s military service was not tormentous enough; the group’s youngest, Minzy, left 2NE1. 

I was in utter shock. I barely got to know the girls and familiarize with them; Bom was the kindest soul and Dara was the clumsiest dork, but together with their leader and maknae they were Blackjacks’ precious and lucky clover. As I was new to the industry I didn’t understand much other than what I read on SNS; and truthfully, I was sad for Minzy and supportive of her choice because I truly believed that she knew better … But she didn’t.

Just as I started embracing my inner Blackjack, I got stabbed right in the back. Not the heart, because that would actually require affection towards the person in mind. No, I felt simply betrayed. This feeling didn’t start immediately as I was still trying to find an explanation just like any fanboy and fangirl out there; it actually started developping with the heinous comments and petty interview replies. I am being as vague as I can be because I don’t want to offend anyone reading this, but it doesn’t mean that I should keep my thoughts to myself. 

After the shocking news, CL, Bom and Dara still tried to make 2NE1 work as OT3 as they were back in the studio, and we even received accurate news of songs being recorded at the time. Blackjacks had faith and mended their wounds, only for the bandaid to be ripped off once again: 2NE1 were to disband with CL and Dara renewing their contracts and Bom leaving YG. I remember that day perfectly because I was holding my phone and I saw the news the minute it happened. I denied it at first, then I eventually kneeled and cried it off.

Being hit with a second bad memo, a little war within the fandom broke out for a while. Dara and Bom being exempted, the gun was aimed yet again on Minzy and with a flavorish twist, at CL herself. Blackjacks kept complaining that CL’s US debut was what broke 2NE1 apart, that she was selfish for choosing herself over her members and all the Yiddish they spoke fluently. On the other hand, the outrage for Minzy grew because she started it all. 

Between the leader and the maknae, and since I am CL biased therefore I cannot possibly be 100% objective, but let me humor you for a second: not omitting the fact that CL’s US debut was meant to bring her members along once she has earned herself a spot in the US market, but if Minzy left because she wanted to do her own thing or because she was wronged and kept in the dungeon for far too long, why didn’t the others complain?

Bom was out of the picture since her scandal, which to be honest is a very low move from Knetz, because they took their judgement way too far and for absolutely no valid reason. Dara has her acting career and variety skills; and again with CL, her US debut was in the works. That leaves Minzy with nothing but her dance academy and skills … Solution? let’s cancel the contract and leave the group. After being blinded for so long by my hatred, I still tried to cope and see what Minzy was going to do with her life now that she was “reborn”. Answer? let’s join a girl group project because my solo work is taking eight times its supposed deadline. Okay.

All of this aside, the main reason I wanted to write this piece in the first place was to find peace within me, if there was ever such a thing. 2NE1 represented my first girl group experience and although I was a fresh Blackjack, I loved them and still love them just as much as my seniors do, if not more. Ultimately, CL wrote a song which was supposed to be part of her US album but instead the song was released as a final single from 2NE1 as OT3, in which Dara and Bom wholeheartedly took part.

This song was my first and last comeback. This song was my pain and comfort. Thus, I am forever a wounded blackjack. Yet, it isn’t goodbye, it’s only farewell: 2NE1 NOLZA!

It was love at first BANG

Big Bang: not your common existential theory.

As many Hallyu enthusiasts told me throughout the past year, I started off my Kpop journey with the best of the best. It is not a praise, it’s a fact.

Korea’s #1 Idols, kings, best worldwide act, global music stars … They most commonly go by the name of BIGBANG. Overall, I have a thing for names. I just love it when something is properly named; it makes you appreciate the thing in question more. 

Although I love songwriting, I was not really into music. I could last up to a month without listening to a single tune and it wouldn’t affect me in any way. The previous statement instantly vanished once I was introduced to Kpop; and needless to say that I started with THE Kpop: this is my story with BIGBANG: how I got into Kpop, how I found my first bias and how I stanned my first boy band.

It all started with a tune. Taeyang’s Ringa Linga was the song that sold my soul to Hallyu. The rhythm, the swagger, the scenery and the choreography … I mean it’s YB we’re talking about, these four attributs crown his style. After I listened to his song, I just couldn’t have enough of it and knowing that he was a member of BIGBANG made me even more curious about their music as a group. Fantastic Baby was the first song I listened to, however the MV was a little bit too hardcore for me (and all of you at some point, don’t deny it).

I kept listening to some of their songs, old and new, until I came across BANG BANG BANG. I was musically shot and I would gladly live the experience again and again. That’s when I told myself: that’s it, I am watching all of their Music Videos and listening to all of their music. As a matter of fact, I played all of their albums on Spotify for a good month; I did my house chores, ran my errands and travaled long miles while gracing my existence with their soulful music. I couldn’t study while listening to them though because I found myself jamming to them way more than I did the studying part: perks and flaws, right ?

As any newbie fan did, I watched some of their live performances, and it’s safe to say that every performance – even if it lasted less than five minutes – was a BIGBANG mini concert. They owned the stage like it was their home, the audience cheered with their cute yellow-crowned lightsticks and the feelings were surreal. I found myself unable to go to sleep without watching at least one live performance of theirs every night. I was hooked.

Being the reason behind my addiction and my mentor, Sunnie was actually the one who suggested that I should watch the live performances. She also advised me to watch an episode of BIGBANG on a variety show called “Happy together”, and boy, that episode was the best thing I have ever watched of OT5 to this day. They were truly happy together.

After watching the variety show, I looked further into BIGBANG. I identified myself as a VIP; a rookie still even after one year of stanning them, but a proud one. There was something about these five beautiful souls that made me feel complete. They have been through so much since their trainee days and they were still thriving after ten years; five Kings crowning their fans and the world with a one of a kind music.

However, my timing was a bit inconvenient. By the time I got to know BIGBANG, Top was already going to enlist. As I write these lines, our Bingu is getting ready to start his military service any minute now.

When I first learned about this, my heart literally ached because I felt that I was robbed of my fangirling feelings, I ended up avoiding watching their shows as OT5 and just collected them instead because I wouldn’t be able to cope with their absence for five years. As much as I’m happy with the upcoming solos, I knew BIGBANG as five; therefore my VIP feelings will always lack that missing piece of the puzzle until they reunite again, as five.

I am however grateful that their album remained unfinished until last December because it allowed me to witness one last comeback. It made me embrace my feelings as I cried my eyes out while watching the MVs and woke up every sunday morning to watch their Inkigayo performances, still crying after every stage because I knew that it was a farewell.

Now that Tabi is getting ready to leave, I think it’s time for me to rewind and catch up with the old and new. I have bingewatched half of Top’s filmography and left the other half for solace. Also, being a Taeyang biased, I have watched almost all of his show appearances and know his albums by heart. I still need to catch up with Seungri’s filmography and listen more to Daesung’s musical releases while silently praying for a Korean album.

I am trying to go through a ten-year content in the shortest amount of time possible. G-Dragon’s activities alone will take me a while, but I will make it. While the leader said that VIP made BIGBANG, in my case BIGBANG made me a VIP, therefore I will try to live up to the name and I will remain one until whenever.

How I got into Hallyu

Hallyu : also known as the Korean wave, is a neologism literally meaning flow of KoreaIt represents the increase in global popularity of South Korean culture since the 1990s.

안녕하세요, 에스매입니다.

Today, I am going to share with you how I got into Hallyu. I am sure that every Hallyu fan out their has their own tale of how they joined the Korean wave: This is my story.

Sunnie, my sister, has been a Kdrama fan for five consecutive years now, and she discovered Kpop about a year ago. Granted, she has tried everything to lure me to her world for as long as I could remember, but I only managed to gratify her pleas by watching one single movie and two episodes of an ongoing drama at the time.

It all started on January 17th, 2016 on her birthday. I have initially planned the whole day to celebrate her birthday properly but the gloomy weather forced us to cancel our plans. In order to cheer her up, I granted her a birthday pass : I offered to agree to everything she asks for that day, even if it wasn’t to my liking. Needless to say that Sunnie knew exactly what she wanted; her verdict was to spend the whole day indoors tucked in and watch Kpop music videos on Youtube. Although I was deviously tricked, I still had to keep my word.

After exactly four hours of listening to Kpop, I found myself taking a liking to it, and even jamming to whatever rare english words my ears picked up: by the end of the afternoon, my mind was literally a standard Kpop radio station. But the promise did not end there; since she still had a few hours until midnight, she made me start an ongoing Kdrama at the time. After a couple of episodes, I found myself clicking link after link with every episode ending with a breathtaking cliffhanger. That’s when I knew that I was doomed.

Today marks a year since I got into Hallyu. What I thought of as a curse back then turned into an eternal bliss. Today also marks Sunnie’s 18th birthday; this is why I decided to start this blog on this specific date to dedicate it to my baby sister and to remind myself that a year ago I was lost and that it took me 366 days to completely find myself again.

With these writings I want to tell everyone who took the time to read this, whether they are Hallyu enthusiasts or inquisitive readers altogether, that you should always locate your happy place and allow yourself to reach for it, no matter how many obstacles you come across in life, after all you’re responsible for your own happiness. With that in mind, my last piece of advice is as follows: dream, persist, fulfill, repeat.

That’s all for today. Feel free to share your own story with Hallyu down below, and stay tuned for more Hallyu gems. Until I see you next time, thank you for reading me.

P.S: 생일 축하해 선니, 정말 고마워. 사랑해 ♡

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