Korean Hallyu Wave

Hallyu Wave, which refers to a cultural trend describing the pop culture and entertainment: movies, television drama, music, games emerged in the middle of 1990 when South Korea have established partnership with China. Back then the Korean TV shows and drama movies have become very popular among Chinese communities. One of the most successful TV shows of that time was called What is love? that had been shown on national channels, and had an audience of almost 150 million. 

Sarangi Mwogillae (What Is Love, 1997)

In 1997 a radio-broadcasting program called Seoul Musical Agency was introduced in China that had a phenomenal success among the younger generation. The key role in igniting the Korean pop fever was a band named H.O.T that had a huge concert in Beijing National Stadium in February 2000. The event was featured by the media in South Korea mentioning the term Hallyu, and that exactly when Koreans themselves started recognizing and understanding the meaning of the word.

The Korean Wave reached Japan in 2003 when the Korean Drama Winter Sonata was released. The Drama gathered huge amount of fans who started flying to Korea to visit the places where the film shot.

Fans of Korean Drama Winter Sonata (Japan 2004)

Through Hallyu South Korea created for itself a great opportunity to introduce its culture, literature, food to the world. According to the statistics presented by the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the total number of Hallyu related organizations in 2011 estimated at 3.3 million, gathering up to 9 million members. Most of these organizations are K-Pop fan clubs.

 One area that has grown the biggest in contemporary world is K-Pop (Korean pop music) which includes rock, hip-hop,  R&B, pop ballads etc. There are many popular idol groups such as TVXQ, Super Junior, Big Bang, 2NE1, Beast, Girls’ Generation, 2PM and Wonder Girls, who dominated pop music markets across Asia. They are popular across continents including Latin America, Northeast India, North Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and immigrant enclaves of the Western world.  

BIGBANG concert (Singapore 2015)

Today, Hallyu seems to be expanding itself through Korean food and culinary traditions. Until recently, when it came to the appreciation of Asian cuisine, people would mention about Japanese, Chinese, Thai food.

Photo of Quarters Korean BBQ – Los Angeles, CA, United States

However, with the support of Korean Government, the popularity of the Korean food is rapidly increasing pushing forward the farming industry in the country. Kimchi, Bulgogi, Bibimbap and other dishes enjoyed by Korean people themselves for many generations are now starting to to appear in homes around the world.

“Korean restaurants springing up in the New York, London and Tokyo and some being awarded Michelin stars”- shares BBC. 



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