Korean Fever Gripping the World
Korean Fever Gripping the World
  • Reporter Chae Seung-hyun
  • 승인 2019.03.29 15:34
  • 댓글 1
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Hallyu, the Korean Wave
▲Hallyu, the Korean Wave 

Deep-fried laver, dried laver coated in a batter of glutinous rice starch, dried, and deep-fried, is a Korean snack, is just one product of Korean culture that has gained fame. How did this seemingly ordinary snack catch the eyes of million? The answer, ‘Korean Fever’, also known as the ‘Korean Wave’. With people, being captivated with Korean culture, it holds a powerful influence power over them. A TV show scene showing a celebrity eating deep-fried laver was all that was needed to propel the dish into the international spotlight. 
There are various elements to ‘Korean Fever’. Those elements include media, food, and beauty related products. Of course, out of all of them, media is the frontrunner. Especially K-pop, short for Korean pop, can be said, to have been the start of all this ‘Korean Fever’. With K-pop paving the way, many other cultural aspects of Korea followed, leaving Korea as a pioneer in the culture department.
Korean media encompasses K-POP as well as Korean dramas and TV shows.  First K-pop has not only gained global recognition and amassed a huge fan base, but has also made a social impact throughout the world. One prime example is the idol group, BTS. Just last year, they made headlines, placing first on the TIME’s most influential people poll, in front of social titans like Kim Jung-un, Moon Jae-in, and Donald Trump. They even made it into the ‘25 most influential people on the internet’ list made by TIME, alongside super celebrities like Kanye West.
However, Korean dramas and TV shows are also leaving an impact to nearly the same degree as K-pop. Even in countries where they are not exported, with the internet being utilized more and more, whole TV series’ and episodes can be found for free. The complicated love stories and charming plots are some of the reasons they are attracting avid fans all around the world. Also, the filming locations, clothing, accessories, and food of Korea in the scenes have been making a deep impression. One big beneficiary of this is Jeju Island. The island, the location for filming many famous dramas has become a world-class tourist destination with millions of foreign tourists spending millions of dollars every year.
In addition to media related culture, beauty related products, K-Beauty are also all the rage in other countries. As K-pop and dramas spread, the world’s interest in styling and makeup of Korean stars has increased. Due to that, Korea’s cosmetics industry, which has only been around for 70 years since mass production began, has become the world’s ninth-largest cosmetics producer and the sixth-largest exporter.
Not to be dismissed, Korean food (K-food) is also expanding to overseas markets. One example is the Korean dessert café, Sulbing. With signature dishes such as Injeolmisulbing, they are gaining popularity in China, Thailand, and even in the dessert powerhouse Japan. Processed foods and snacks like Choco pie, Banana Flavored Milk, and cup ramens are showing off the ‘Korean taste’. 
All these waves of Korean culture spreading overseas and captivating the people there, are spearheading a global awareness of Korean culture. We can only hope that this trend continues, propelling Korea to the forefront of culture pioneering.