Korean waves such as K-pop, K-food, and K-beauty, have increased the popularity of Korea all over the world. Just by looking at the Billboard chart, people can see that South Korea’s music bands BTS and BLACKPINK hold high ranking spots for their songs, an indicator of how popular Korean culture is. In addition, there are many YouTube channels for foreigners which promote Korean culture by videos related to various Korean entertainment such as K-pop music videos, reactions, and introductions of K-food, and so-called ‘Mukbang’ channels. Thus many people around the world watch, love, and spread Korean culture.
There are two main views of these people, people who latch onto the Korean wave. While some Korean’s feel proud of the growing interest in Korea, others see it negatively because they regard Korean wave followers as blind lovers for Korea. In particular, in the latter case, people call those who like Korea as ‘Koreaboo’.
Koreaboo is a term derived from the West. It refers to those who blindly worship and imitate Korean behavior and custom. This includes people who like Korea for clear purposes or needs and those who love Korean culture for their own reasons.
Although this new word Koreaboo is perceived negatively in the west countries, it is regarded with positive meaning among Koreans. The Seowon News conducted interviews with some students to find out their opinions of this cultural word. In fact, you could find that most of our university students are in positive positions.
Kim Yeon-su who is studying an English Education replied, “I am proud to accept that Korea is well known”. She said, “When I’m out of a foreign country, I think I can get close to foreigners quickly because they are friendly when I say that I’m from Korea. Also, I think they know a lot about Korea and Korean culture, so we’ll get along easily,” she added.
Yang Won-hyeok, a student in the department of Finance and Insurance, also responded positively, “I think we can take this Korean wave as an opportunity to change the negative perception of Korea.” He thought of Koreaboo as an opportunity to promote Korea more. “I think it is necessary to let people know some good information about Korea, such as K-pop, which lots of foreigners like and is trending worldwide.”
As such, the current generation of students no longer consumes Korean culture passively. It is time to enjoy and spread it actively. Furthermore, they have to serve as not just consumers but also creative producers of Korean culture. Aren’t you looking forward to seeing how today’s youth will influence the high-quality Korean culture in the future?