The Korean wave refers to the current trend in popularity of Korean culture around the world. A wave of Korean obsessed fans has been evident throughout East and South East Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Australia and South America. The wave is now gaining momentum in the likes of the United States, the UK, Scandinavia and North Africa.
It is sometimes called Hallyu which comes from the Korean pronunciation. This trend stemmed from the rise in export of Korean dramas, but has now spread to include pop music, film, clothing, food and the language itself. Today, South Korea is among the world's top ten cultural exporters. The Korean wave is currently receiving another boost with platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube allowing it to spread even further.
Highlights: The likes of Girl’s Generation (SNSD) have begun to tour outside of Korea, while Korean fashion was seen on the runaway at this year’s New York fashion week. A K-pop competition was recently held in Argentina, and Australia itself witnessed the phenomenon earlier this year with the Sydney Super K-Pop Concert which saw thousands of screaming fans thrilled by their idols. The Korean Cultural Office in Australia hopes to further enhance the power of this wave downunder.
Korean Cultural Centres have introduced Korea to the world and developed the importance of its role as a means of consolidating ties with neighboring countries. By using cultural exchange as an intermediary, the image of Korea has grown since the inauguration of the Korean Culture and Information Service (KOCIS) in 1971. Korean culture is now experienced in many countries worldwide, each embracing various aspects of it. In 2011, 41 resident officers working at 34 locations (including cultural centres) in 29 countries are working to build a kind of "Korea premium" brand.
To find out more, click here
The Korean Wave
The Korean Wave Downunder
Sydney Super K-Pop Concert