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Korean Wave Korean culture is unique and has the features peculiar to its own. It contains the features peculiar to Korean nation through religion, customs, traditions, and art. Korean culture has such a great impact on cultures of other world nations, that the world community becomes aware of the phenomenon called Hallyu or Korean wave. The paper dwells on the Korean wave phenomenon and explores it within the frameworks of globalization. The Korean wave is often associated with the sign of some global shift or the integral part of globalization.
The term Korean wave was first formulated in the early nineties of the 20 th century. It takes its origin from China. This concept defines a rapid and widespread development and growth of Korean culture (firstly in Korea). Then, the influence of this process spread to Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Japan.
Nowadays, Korean wave reached Mongolia, Egypt, some countries of the Central Asia and Europe. It is important to admit that the beginning of the Korean wave is closely associated with Korean songs and films that became very popular in Asian countries. Korean wave is often referred to so-called products of globalization, as the peak of Korean wave is the part of emerging interest to music, dramaturgy, and other modern cultural concepts of Korean republic (Southern Korea). No wonder that Korean popular culture is interesting to the nations living in different parts of Asia. Korean wave is a cultural phenomenon that appeared due to globalization.
It is a kind of fashion for everything of Korean origin (ranging from traditional Korean cuisine and music to the modern Korean art and fashion). People from Taiwan, Japan, and Thailand come to Seoul for shopping. Japanese teenagers virtually seize Korean shops in search for fashionable Korean clothes and shoes. The neighboring China calls Korean wave a Korean fever. Virtually any Peeking fast food restaurant plays popular Korean CD music.
Several years ago one of state Vietnamese newspapers included the fact of popularity of Korean TV and popular culture products in the rating of the ten most amazing cultural events of the year. It may sound really amazing, but the success of Korean TV films and series is conductive to the development of tourism in Korea. It is possible to speak about the phenomenon of Korean Wave by the example of Japan. For example, Korean boom in Japan was primarily caused by one of the most popular South Korean TV series Winter Sonata starring Choi Ji Woo and Bae Yong Joon. The events that take place in the film are exciting and breathtaking, as the narration dwells on tender and innocent love (the concept often being neglected in the vast majority of Japanese films). No wonder that Japanese were captivated by Korean series (it especially relates to adults and elderly people).
The state TV channel NHK started satellite broadcast in April 2003, and soon repeated Winter Sonata approximately one year later. Winter Sonata immediately became the hit of the season, and TV-rating was exceptionally high (20. 6 % in Tokyo and 23. 8 % in Osaka). Logically, the recreation and tourism industry came into action. TV-boom resulted in numerous tours to the places, where the TV series were created. Chounchon, the town where the drama came from, became the witness of rapid growth of Japanese tourists (about 40, 000 - 140, 000 per year) (Dongasia-ui, 2005). DVD versions of TV series and thematic CD music entered the priority list and became incredibly popular.
The culture boom fell outside the scope of TV drama and became the reality. The company Rakuen Korea Inc helps Japanese women and Korean men meet each other with the perspective of possible marriage. When the company started to invite people in October 2003, there were not so many women, who wanted to try the fortune. However, after the TV star Bae Yong Joon visited Japan in April 2004, more than 1. 700 women expressed desire to find a Korean man (Dongasia-ui, 2005).
Every April NHK channel starts the TV series for the students learning Korean language. You Help, the journalist from Chosen Ilbo, speaks about the phenomenon of Korean wave. According to him, during the last centuries the relations between the two countries (Japan and Korea) were far from positive and fruitful. Yet, the things started to change, when Japan and Korea became co-organizers of World Cup of 2002. Then, when Japanese became to think about Koreans more positively, the Winter Sonata appeared, thus raising the wave of popularity of Korean culture significantly higher. Really, the Korean TV series Winter Sonata cannot be called a real masterpiece.
There is another explanation to the fact, why Korean wave in the other countries became almost a sensation. The Korean wave is a natural fruit of globalization, and due to complex processes it evidently improved the relations between the nations. Secondly, the integral part of Hallyu (Korean wave) is taekwondo. Many Asian (and even European) countries are fond of taekwondo. Minor is another part of Korean wave phenomenon (minor is a temporary residence arranged for foreign tourists in Korean families, or even in Korean sanctuaries or Buddhist temples).
This service was first offered to foreign visitors during the World Cup 2002. More than 25 temples from different parts of Korea took part in the project (Dongasia-ui, 2005). Nowadays 14 Buddhist temples offer the tourists several kinds of immersion into Buddhist and Korean culture. For example, the tourists, who visit Books monastery, enjoy the opportunity to learn the details of the monks etiquette, meditation, monastery wrestling bulmudo, tea ceremony, the art of beads-making and lanterns made of Lotus. All these innovations witness of the increasing interest to Korean popular culture. China also falls under the influence of Korean wave.
Several years ago, the Korean Minister of Culture and Tourism has announced October as the Month of Korean Culture. Korean popular culture products almost flooded China with its telecasts of TV drama Mister Q, Korean ballads and songs. Korean wave was soon called Korea mania (Hae-Joang 3). Music and drama that were very popular in Korea, found its place in Asian culture. Some reporters even claim that the pop music and dramas that comprised the main elements of the Korean Wave had spin-off effects in terms of promoting Korean food, language study, cultural products, and tourism in Korea (Hae-Joang 173). Taking into account all the facts, this opinion is true.
Korean wave is an excellent opportunity for Korea to occupy its place in the global market. Globalization does influence the process of fostering Korean culture. Globalization for Korea is the way to success and blossom. It seems that Korean influence on the world countries becomes significantly stronger compared with the previous years. Korean became a relatively rich country due to its economic strategy and Korean wave.
For example, the popularity of Korean culture in Asian countries helped the countrys economy to earn additional $ 1. 42 billion dollars as value-added tax in 2004 (Dongasia-ui, 2005). This fact was announced by KITA (Korean International Trade Association). According to KITAs report, economic effect of so-called Korean wave made up approximately 0. 18 % of Gross National Product (GNP). Correspondingly, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) also increased by 4. 6 % compared to the previous year (Dongasia-ui, 2005). Total approximate income of South Korea earned due to sale of products and services (popular culture and tourism industry) related to Korean wave phenomenon in China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Thailand made up about 2. 14 billion won (Dongasia-ui, 2005). What concerns export, South Korea also earned about $ 918 million due to export of products related to Hallyu or so-called Korean wave.
It made up about 7. 2 % from the countrys export in general. The income earned by tourist industry reached $ 825 million, because many foreigners decided to visit Seoul after one of the popular Korean TV series. According to the statistics, the tourists spent in Korea about 944. 8 billion won and contributed to the countrys income as value-added tax (727. 7 billion won) and increased Koreas Gross Domestic Product by 0. 09 % (Dongasia-ui, 2005). Total amount of films exported from Korea made up $ 58. 3 billion (88. 1 % more compared to the previous year). The volume of TV series sale also increased by 69. 9 % and made up $ 71. 5 million dollars. Naturally, due to the export Koreas Gross Domestic Product increased by 0. 02 %, and state treasury received additional 133. 5 billion won of value-added tax (Dongasia-ui, 2005).
From this it is follows that the phenomenon of Korean wave contributes not only to popularization of Korean culture all over the world (and especially in Asian countries), but is also a valuable source of income for the country. Conclusion In conclusion it can be said that the phenomenon of Korean Wave has both negative and positive effects. As it is claimed by Kim Hyun Mee, the Korean Wave is a product of the consumer desires of Asia's rapidly emerging middle-class that is ready to transform their economic capital into cultural capital using notions of individuality and distinction in order to construct their identities (Hae-Joang 176). Korean Wave is a cultural exchange that is so inevitable in the course of globalization. Works Cited "Dongasia-ui munda seontaek hallyu (The Korean Wave: A Cultural Choice of East Asia). " Seoul: Pantagram Publisher, 2005. Hae-Joang, Cho. "Reading the Korean Wave as a Sign of Global Shift. " Korea Journal (2005): 148 - 182.
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