K through regional trends to semi global phenomena.

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Last updated: March 25, 2019

 KPop a Korean music genre which is popular worldwide due to its audio visualelements is slowly pumping into the heart of Nepali youth too. It has made aquantum leap from a national sensation through regional trends to semi globalphenomena.

Arapid growth of Korean popular cultures has rapidly expanded across many partsof the world since the late 1990s. K-pop has recently entered the dictionary ofglobal popular cultures. Due to its exclusive a new standard of popular musicthat is characterized by, among other things, the visuals appeals of its idolsand performance, as well as by significant degree of musical conservatism, ithas captivated millions of fans across the world and drawn the attention of theinternational media.Inthe case of Nepal, audiences have long lost patience with Western and Indianproducts that are saturated with violence, drugs, patriarchy and obscenity. Themounting discontent with the Western and Indian media content – televisiondramas, rap music, war- mongering video games, etc has initiated a quest for”clean” alternatives.

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The vacuum was an enormous boon to Korean cultural industry.Nepalese youth in shortage of locally produced programmes of decent qualitybegan to turning to Korean option, known for ideological and ethical soundnesson top of agility in whipping up a cocktail for the best ingredients fromWestern and Indian ProgramsKathmandu,which is also known as k town in fashion and among new generation youth ofNepal. Korean brands clothes and cosmetics products are visible everywhere inKathmandu’s shopping stores. Now Korean products are high demands among highschool and college teenagers of Kathmandu.

Highschool and college teenagers of Kathmandu believe, K-pop performers deliver a senseof modesty and restraint, and insist on working hard and learning more duringpublic appearances, something Western pop artists do not do. K pop musicrepresents a new, colorful and cheerful start, and not an old order, somethingthat will easily appeal to large numbers of youths, living where economicchallenges are rife and political instability common. InNepal, though, decades of political conflict, that people have had their fillof edginess, authenticity and anguish. Youth don’t have anything like K-pop.  The Korean songs make them dance and smile.

Now in Ktown’s main places like New Road, Durbar Square andSundhara, “BTS has released new song it was out of this world”. “yeahI watched it was fabulous”, areregular conversation among group of young school and college students, all ofwhom follow Korean bands fervently and for whom names of  South Korea’s superstar actors, singers andbands roll easily off the tongue.  The KoreanWave, a term that was coined in mid-1999 andrefers to spread of popular Korean culturecomprising music,movies and drama, is slowly making its presence felt in all over the Nepal. Today, Korean channels like Arirang TV and KBS are aired bythe cable operators in Nepal. Recently Korean embassy in Nepal has arranged one;fans meeting with Kpop stars and saw a huge turnout with new generation youthflocking up to meet popular Korean band EXCO.

There are lots of reasons why the ‘K-word’ is becomingpopular among the Nepalese youth, despite the fact that most of the shows andsongs are in Korean. Due to long term dull taste of Indian music, movies andrecently developing anti Indian sentiments among youth of Nepal afterundeclared blocked and interference on internal political matters develop thehatred towards Indian movies, songs etc and lead them to follow KPop.Another significant thing contributing to popularity ofKorean culture in Nepal is EPS Korean program. Every year thousands of youthtake classes of Korean language and go Korea for employment which makes thenumber of people know Korean language are increasing year by year. According todata revealed by Nepal Embassy in Korea as of March end 2016, there are 28,010Nepalese nationals living in the Republic of Korea. Similarly, Mongolian youthof Nepal feel physical and cultural affinity with Korea. Due to refreshingly differentcontents Nepalese youth buy CD and DVD of Korean dramas, movies and songs andmovie shopkeepers, every corner in the city give special slot for display of Koreanmovies, dramas and songs.

Unlike Indian dramas, Korean TV dramas are not aboutscheming mother-in-laws and traditional Indian family system. Instead, many ofthem feature young boys and girls struggles and success to find their place inthe world. The easy availability of shows on the internet, which help  Nepalese K pop lovers for downloading KoreanTV series, songs and movies. The Korean complexis not just limited to music, movies and TV. It is also bleeding into youth’sfashion in Nepal. It’s common for high school and college teenagers to have his/her favorites K pop star’s hairstyle and dress. Even hair saloons of Kathmanduhave been sporting Korean style for a long time now.

World K pop festival is another program which is getting popular year by year among teenagers of Kathmandu. Different participants compete in singing and dancing.  Winner of this festival represents Nepal in final world K pop festival in South Korea. It is one of the programs organized by South Korea’s ministry of foreign affairs with the support of numerous government agencies for promoting Korean culture worldwide.  This also attracts the new generations of Nepal towards the Korean culture. Now in school of Kathmandu unlike past teenagers used to talk about Indian movies, songs and stars now talk about the new Korean songs, movies and stars.

If the pace of K pop’s popularity continue then surely very soon the entire country’s youth will fly with Korean cultures. STRUKPOP, Mongolian Namja etc are dance group continuously uploading cover dance of K pop on YouTube and promoting K pop among K pop lovers after representing Nepal in final of global K pop festival.Now due to rapid development of information technology and youth’s easy access to internet Korean culture is growing rapidly particularly in urban areas of Nepal. It will certainly give huge challenge to Nepalese culture and reigning dominators Indian and Western culture.  

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