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The Korean wave

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The Korean Wave is the name given to a Korean cultural boom, which began in the latter part of the 1990s and has been steadily gathering strength, spreading to Japan, China, and Southest Asia around the time of 2002 World cup. The Korean wave is also rapidly expanding beyond Asia and has a substantial presence in North, Central and South America, particularly in Mexico and Argentina, and is increasingly becoming popular in the United States.

The Korean wave

Korean Wave

The Korean wave

The Korean wave is also referred to as Hallyu (Hangul-한류/Hanja-韓流), from the Korean pronunciation. This term was coined in China in mid-1999 by Beijing journalists surprised by the fast growing popularity of South Koreans and South Korean goods in China. Since the late 1990s, people throughout Asia have become interested in Korean culture and history through the growing popularity of Korean movies and TV series and singers. The Korean Wave’s sources of influence are not limited to mass media, mobile phones and other electronics, fashion, but also Korean cuisine (bean paste and Kimchi). Korean cuisine have become quite popular in recent years.

The Korean wave has bolstered Korean people’s pride and interest in their own culture as well. Korean movies used to capture only 50% of the domestic market, but now these films are starting to garner recognition from the overseas market and Korea is one of few countries which is capable of both movie production and distribution. Films like Old Boy have been very widely viewed internationally and My Sassy Girl as well as Marryong the Mafia are being re-made by Hollywood studios. The Korean wave presents wonderful opportunities for those learning Korean. It used to be hard to get a hold of Korean language materials – particularly pop culture – in other countries. Now, even if you live outside of Korea, the proliferation of Korean movies and TV series ( and the internet ) allow you to have access to the most current Korean, so you can hear contemporary spoken Korean language and also get an idea of how Koreans think and life.

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