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Inspired by KOREA Series – 15. Haris

How I found K-Culture
Possibly the least exciting story in the world, I first came across the phenomenon when Gangnam Style broke in 2012 and, with the rest of the world I was thrust into the weird and wonderful world of K-Pop. But back then I wasn’t really all that sold, I didn’t really look into it that much, I didn’t even listen to Gentleman, such was my disinterest. Then, just last summer I went on a summer school and met many wonderful people, and I grew quite close to one such individual. It was her who showed my Call Me Baby by EXO. Now I’m not going to lie to you and say I was sold immediately, I wasn’t, but it did pique my curiosity. This especially since this came at a time when, for me English/American music just wasn’t cutting it. I grew tired of the same themes, the same rhythms, the same rhymes. It just all got a bit boring, stale even. Then I just did some basic scrolling, looking through all the suggestions and such songs like Growl, Overdose, and Wolf, but somewhat surprisingly, it wasn’t EXO that sold me. It was K-Pop super group, Super Junior and their stunning visuals and electric beats in Sorry, Sorry and Mr. Simple which really sold me, and from there groups like BigBang, iKON, 4Minute, and GOT7 just took me away.

What do I like about the culture?
There are so many different things that I’m now finding it incredibly difficult to pick, but if I had to pick just the one, it would have to be the amount of respect people show one another, especially the elderly. I mean, it’s quite something to me, someone living in the western world where we almost discard our elderly to retirement homes and such, to see people actually respecting their elders in such a fantastic way. And it’s not just to their parents either, even on television shows, we have celebrities treating completely random people with such respect, just because they are older. In a society where celebrities actively snub their own fans (Justin Bieber spitgate), and fire their own parents (Bow Wow), I value this trait very highly.

My favourite thing about idol culture?
Similarly to the previous question there’s a lot to like about idol culture. Perhaps the most notable facet however is how hardworking they are. Stories about BigBang and Rain striving for greatness through adversity from such a young age. I personally think it’s an amazing thing to see people working hard towards a goal with such drive and determination, and that they don’t only work hard towards just one facet of the entertainment industry. Rain for example is an accomplished actor, dancer, singer, businessman and humanitarian, and this versatility is an amazing feature of the idol world.

Haris Saeed

An eclectic mix of everything and nothing. A walking contradiction who just happens to really like to write.

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