1. 0 Introduction The purpose of this paper is to study a sub-culture by conducting an oral interview with a group of people who belong to a particular cultural group. This interview is carried out to understand their perception of the sub-culture. The people chosen for this oral interview are Helen Xu who comes from China and Hana Yamata who comes from Japan, and both of them are big fans of Korean culture. In order to present their experiences of Korean Wave, this paper will be divided into four sections. The first section will describe demographic characteristics of the Korean Wave group in Asia.
The second section is a literature review refering to the cultural background of Korean Wave including Korean pop music, drama, food and so forth. This is followed by an interview conducted with Helen and Hana giving information about their experiences of Korean Wave. The final section will state some steretyping of Korean culture and how to guide the young gereration to look upon the positive impact of Korean Wave. 2. 0 Demographic characteristics of Korean wave group In the late 1990s, due to the explosive popularity of South Korean dance music among Chinese youth, Chinese mass media called this phenomenon “Korean Wave” (Hyun, 2003, p. 44). Since then, Korean wave has been spreading over Asia. It is not just popular in China, but also in Taiwan, Japan, HongKong, Singapore, Vietman, Indonesia, and Philippines (Hyun,2003; Winnie, 2005). In HongKong, more than three quarters of the population watch Korean drama (Winnie, 2005). In Japan, not only do adolescents admire Korean drama, mature aged woman are also fascinate by Korean drama, for example, Winter Sonata recorded a big hit in Japan (Hyun, 2003, 137). In addtion, the young generation in China is the main group of pursuing Hallyu, which is Korean Wave.
South Korean dramas are soon sold when they imported to China, and fans imitate Korean fashion style by wearing Korean clothing and hairstyles which they saw on the drama (Hyun, 2003, 139). Consequently, the proliferation of Korean Wave has become a unique cultural identity in Asian. 3. 0 Literature review of Korean wave 3. 1 Cultural identity Cultural identity refers to a group of people who hold the same value and emotional feelings. In addition, identity is often constructed by ‘cultural representation’, such as media stories, images, books, films and so on (Hibbins, 2011).
Cultural identity contains three types, actual identity, perceived identity and negotiated identity (Hibbins, 2011) . Korean Wave is a form of perceived identity that group members perceive to subjectively exist. Korean wave has become a unique cultural identity through its music, dance, television dramas, movies, hairstyles, clothes, foods, books, games, software and animation (Hyun, 2003, 145). These symbolic forms of Korean wave bring people together to communicate, understand each other and develop their perception of cultural identity, which has become the field of global communication (Ryoo, 2011, 145).
Moreover, Korean drama contains descriptions of family lives and social relationships based largely on Confucian values (Park as cited in Hyun, 2003; Ryoo, 2001). Yi (as cited in Hyun, 2003) noted that “Confucian tradions, including emphasis on the family, male-dominane, patriarchy, strong hierarchy, spirit of self-sacrifice among males and female obedience (p. 147). ” Therefore, Confucian values have an imprint on this cultural wave. 3. 2 Cultural difference There are cultural differences between South Korean, Chinese and Western societies.
Asians are more likely to watch South Korean films rather than American and European films because the culture of South Korea is close to its neighbouring countries. Westerners tend to believe both Chinese and Korean societies have a collectivistic culture, which means a culture is concerned about the group than the individual (Hofstede, 1980). Compare to the Chinese, Korean tend to be more group oriented, and group identity and intra-group soliderity play a pivitol role in South Korean society. The Chinese put more emphasis on person to person relations (Hyun, 2003, p. 38). This culture is often called individualism. Moreover, Hofstede (1980), noted that power distance in a culture, which means the difference between the lowest and highest member. Highest member refer to a person or a group always makes the decision; people who always have input is belong to lowest member. For example, Korean drama considers family-oriented stories in which father has the power in the family, and other members of family usually defer to him. However, in Western society, parents cultivate their child to e more creative, and give them more freedom to choose their future education and career. Therefore, In Western culture, a child can make such decisions himself, while, in Korean culture, children are more likely to defer to their father. Futhurmoer, Western modernity and Asian traditions has formed striking comparison. In 18 century, Western societies had rised the evolution of post-modernity that suggests the end of original culture, art, subject and history. The production of post-modernity includes the internet, cars, digital computers and so on (Venn & Featherstone, 2006, p. 462).
Modernity refers a new way of lifestyle and social system. Asian traditions advocate the beliefs, rituals, morals, values and customers in which human being have been passed down from their ancestors (O’Shannessy & Minett, 2008, p. 33). Especially, Taoism and Confucianism have had a profound impact on Asian socities, such as China, Japan, Korean and Vietnam. Both of them emphasis on everything need an harmonious balance (Fitzgerald, 2002, p. 16). 3. 3 Cultural diversity Korean culture is a creative mixture of Western and Asian culture (Beijing Qing nian bao as cited in Hyun, 2003).
Cultural diversity and creativity drives popurarity of Korean culture. Kim (2009) states that Korea is the only country in the world that has roughly equal number Christians and Buddihists in (p. 343). The religious pluralism ranges from Buddhism, confucianism and Christianity. Christianity has had significant profound impact on Western world (Fitzgerald, 2002). Buddhism origianted from India, and spread to other Asia countris, such as Japan, China, Korean and other parts of Asia, so it plays an important role in the spiritual, cultural and social life of the Eastern World (Kim, 2009, p. 2). In addtion, Kim also states that Confucianism derives from China, it emphasizes the harmony of society, and has hierarchical view of society, which means the younger defer to the older, and women to men. Korean drama, movie and pop music reflect their diverse culture. Korean drama is a fasion of modern Western lifestyles and Confucian values and suits Asian tastes. Korean pop music includes elements of Western pop music and caters for the young gereation. Futhermore, not surprisingly, unique Korean cultural products combine Asian and Western cultural elements.
Hyun (2003) gives an example of the Chinese visitor going to South Korea, and observing spectacular city buildings and buddhit monks, women wearing traditional costumes and driving cars on highway, Buddhist monks using computers and so on (p. 148). Therefore, the popularity of Korean culture derives from its cultural diversity. 4. 0 Interviewing Both of interviews are come from Asian country, so they have common cultural of Asian traditions. Helen Xu is Chinese, and she talked about: I like Korean drama and movie because the actors and actress are so charmingful and their hairstyle and fashion style always eye catching.
So, now I followe fasion trend of Korean by buying Korean cosmetics, Korean clothing and Korean accessories. In addtion, I appreciate the content of Korean drama since it based on the family background, which mixes Chinese traditional values and Western lifestyles. I am also a fan of SS501 ( a Korean popular boy band), Korean K-pop and its dynamic dancing is more attractive than Amerian Hip pop. It was interesting to know why Helen fasinate by Korean Wave, and now I will show some Chinese culture background to explain why Korean Wave can get popularity in China.
In Chinese culture, filial piety and ancestor worship are the two pillors of the Chinese kinship system that create a sense of unity and cohesion among family member (Chao & Maryland, 2006). This also reflectes Confucian cultural values which focus on the harmony of society. Since these cultural elements can be seen in Korean drama it is easy for Chinese to accept. Moreover, young generation experienced a hybrid education which is a combination of Asian and Western education. Therefore, they are willing to accept Korean music and fashion style which are the products of mixture culture.
Hana Yamata who comes from Japan, she stated that: Japan is very close to Korea,and it only takes one hour trip from Narita airport to Soul airport. Since the drama ‘winter sonota’ broadcast in Japan, thousands of Japanese fan travel to Korean to learn some Korean culture that they watched on the drama. I also has traveled to Korea several times; the clothes sold in Korean are more fashion and cheaper than Japan. Domestic designers are very creative and innovative, not only do they induce the elements of Western fashion style, but also create their own brand and ashion style to suit Asian. I want to learn Korean language because I am very interested in Korean culture and I speaking Korean may become competative edge for my future career. Beside, the grammer of Korean is very similar to Japanese, and korean also use honorific language that as same as Japanese. Having presented information from Hana, now I will presented information about Japanese culture background and explanation of popurity of Korean Wave in Japan. Japan society has a strong hierarchal system, the social status of male is higher than female.
Though young generation has put effort to change this social trend, as long as female get married,and they usually give up the job and take the responsibility of doing housework. Male go to work to earn money to support the family (Hur & Kim, 2006, p. 88). That is why many old generation woman admitted they have never had a steady romantic relationship with their husband, but they can imagine the feeling of romantic through the perfect dreamworld of Korean dramas (Hur & Kim, 2006, p. 89).
In addtion, honorific speech has a profound influence to japan business, when people work in the company, government, every business world, they must using the honorific language to deal with customers. If people can not speak honorific language that he or she is not well-educated, and usually will not find a job. Moreover, from mid-Meiji Period (1868-1912), this era was strongly influenced by Westen culture, and more precisely, the government attempt to make Japan ‘civilized and more western’ (Shida, 1999).
Therefore Japan is morderized city where combines part of Western culture, such as skycraper buidings, fantacy cars and so on, this mixture culture is common element with Korean culture, therefore, Japanses young generation are willing to accept Korean Wave. 5. 0 Steretyping Koean Wave enables many people to know the country and its culture, beore the Wave, many people believe many war occurs inside and outside Korean, and they think this is reason why every Korean men need to serve military for at least two years.
People are also think Korean people are poor due to the vicious cycle of poverty and political instability. In addtion, violent student demonstrations along with the longer term issues connected to the demilitarized zone and national division.. Westerns and Assians perceive Korean is a feudalistic, male-centered society (Ryoo, 2011). Japanese think Korean is less developed country because there are number of criminal and illegal immigration they found among Korean in Japan before (Hur & Kim, 2006).
Through the Korean wave, now people have a new perception of South Korean because Korean drama shows mordern lifestyle, harmony, open, and democratic society, which are totally different from what they believe. Furthermore, many people worried about adolescent tend to addict Korean Wave that will impact on their study. Therefore, it is important to guide young generation to look upon the phenomenon of Korean Wave. Firstly, neither Korean drama nor K-pop that contains dynamic and energetic lifestyle that encourage young generation to hold positive attitute to look forward life.
Secondly, Korean Weave including various of Korean culture that youngster can learn from it and expand cultural horizon. 6. 0 Conclusion Korean Wave is a manifestation of one sub culture, which combines Western modernity and Asian traditions. The differentiation of Western and Asian culture are studied in the section of literature review. The purpose of this paper is to conduct an oral interview with a group from Korean Wave sub culture in order to undestand the this group of experiences of Korean Wave and why Korean Wave can get such popurity in Asian regions.
Korean Wave has upgraded the nation’s image, it has not only changed people’s stereotyping of Korea, but also encourge young generation to have a posive attitude of lifestyle. References Chao, P. K. , & Maryland, L. (2006) Book reviews of Chinese Culture and Christianity. Mission Studies 25 (2), 115-152. Featherstone, M. , & Venn, C. (2006). Modernity. Theory, Culture & Society, 23 (2-3), 457-465. Fitzgerald, H. (2002). Important religions and philosophies. Cross-cultural Communication for the Tourism and Hospitality Industry (Chapter 1. , pp. 1-17). Sydney, Australia: Hospitality Press.
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