Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Korean Wave -- More Then Just Korea

One of the major points of POP GOES KOREA is that the Korean Wave was not really about Korea. It is about globalization, and how the forces the created the Korean Wave will be creating other regional cultural powers in the future.

I recently stumbled across a great case in point, the Turkish drama GUMUS ("Silver," but better known as Noor in the Arab world). Noor has become very popular in many Arab countries (the series finale apparently had 85 million viewers around the region on the Middle East Broadcasting Corporation), and that popularity has spurred interest in Turkey in those countries.

Take a look at this report from Monocle magazine about Noor. Change the soap opera to Winter Sonata and the location to Korea, and the story would be virtually indistinguishable from the many articles about the Korean Wave that appeared over the years.

(Well, indistinguishable except for one notable difference. At one point, the reporter comments: "While Turks are proud of their past, they don't look back." Hard to imagine anyone using that sentiment to describe Korea.)

Similarly, here is a Monocle story about the music scene in Taiwan, and the influence it is having on mainland China.

The point being, people all over the world are looking for good stories, music, and culture, and that Hollywood cannot begin to do it all. Sure, American pop culture is the biggest force around, but it is not the only force. And as time goes by, we are going to see more and more local forces -- like Noor, like Korea -- rising up and capturing the imaginations of people from around their regions and beyond.

1 comment:

박가은 said...

Well you wrote this post 2 years ago, but you made a point exactly as seeing theses days phenomenon of Korean wave.

I agree your opinion that Korean cultural power is getting higher and it represents people's hunger for good stories, music, film..

We can prove it so simply through the recent shiny results from the korean film news of popular international film festival such as 4 films in competition part and one film as invitation Canne film festival 2012.

As seeing the current trend of korean cultural power, I think and hope korean wave will be stll going on powefully in the future.