The South Korean cultural economy is popularly known across the world for exporting pop culture, entertainment, music, TV dramas, and movies to other countries such as China, Japan, and England, among others. The practice of South Korean Culture exporting pop culture, movies, and other things across the world has been termed as Korean wave, and it is also commonly known as Hallyu. South Korea is well-known for its dedication to become the world’s leading exporter of popular culture. The Korean wave (Hallyu) is argued to have first spread to Japan and then to China. Hallyu then spread to other countries in South East Asia, then to other countries across the world. The origin of the Korean wave is attributed to a couple of movies and TV soaps that were released between 1972-2004 including Cosmopolitan Kung Fu Master, Swiri, Autumn in my heart, My Sassy Girl, and Winter Sonata. Swiri was released in 1999, and it was an inspiring movie that focused on North Korea and South Korea espionage. Autumn in my heart was released in 2000, My Sassy Girl was released in 2001, and Winter Sonata was released in 2004. The movies were not only popular in Korea, but also in other East Asia countries. Japan, China, Vietnam, and other Asian countries became interested in watching the movies that critiqued more about Korean Culture. The spread of Korean culture through movies and K-pop have been of significant importance to Korea and the world at large. Korean culture has been of significant influence in Korea, East Asia, and the world at large.
Movies and K-pop have improved the Korean image, and image of East Asia as well. Korean culture and that of East Asia are associated with particular aspects such as Kung Fu and Karate. Before the emergence of the Korean wave, various regions across the world were not aware of the Kung Fu and Karate. However, with the release of various movies such as Cosmopolitan Kung Fu Master that focus on the Korean culture and the East Asian culture as well, people across the world have become aware of various cultural aspects such as Kung Fu and Karate. The mentioned cultural aspects have over the years been integrated into various movies in the Western countries, and that has improved the image of the Korean culture. Besides, the Korean culture through K-pop has had a significant impact on the global fashion industry. An increasing number of Korean celebrities have been since included in the social fiber of fashion. For instance, appearances of some of the girl groups in Korea such as the Girls’ Generation, and Hyuna from 4Minute have been include in New York’s fashion industry (“Korean Wave (Hallyu) – Rise of Korea’s Cultural Economy & Pop Culture”). Another Korean celebrity that has improved the image of Korean is the G-Dragon. G-Dragon is one of the influential celebrities across the world, and through the way he dresses, he has managed to spread the Korean culture, and that of East Asian as well. The image of Korean culture has also been improved by various cultural products including boy bands like EXO, TV series such as Swiri, and music from PSY.
Korean movies and K-pop have also helped to increase tourism in Korea and East Asia. Through movies and songs, people have been able to learn the Korean culture and that of East Asia. In movies, Korean depict certain cultural aspects in daily lives such as bowing down when greeting one another. Another cultural aspect that Koreans have depicted in their movies standing at least one-meter distance when conversing with each other. Those aspects are also common amongst other East Asian countries including China and Japan. Many people across the world have found such cultural aspects interesting, and have desired to go and visit countries in East Asia to learn more about their culture. Not only does their cultural aspects attract people from all over the world, but their nature has also attracted many to the region. In 2015, Korea had attracted a total of 13.2 million tourists. In that year, Korea earned a total of $15.2 billion from tourism (“Korean Wave (Hallyu) – Rise of Korea’s Cultural Economy & Pop Culture”). With tourism being one of the major sources of revenue, Korea has invested heavily in movies and K-pop production. Through the release of movies and K-pop, Korea and other countries in East Asia such as China aim to inform the global society of more specific details of their culture that people may not already know about. The objective of that measure is to increase the number of tourists visiting the region who might be interested in learning more about the region’s various cultural aspects.
Cultural exchange between East Asia and other regions across the world has also contributed to the rise of East Asian superstars such as the well-known Jacki Chan, Bruce Lee, G-Dragon, amongst other superstars. The main components of the Korean wave including movies, K-pop, and soap operas have contributed to the rise of various East Asian superstars. The East Asian movies such as Cosmopolitan Kung Fu Master having become popularly known across the world, and that has led to the actors and actresses becoming known around the world. The East Celebrities have been of great importance as they influence and inspire many people around the world particularly the youth (“Korean Wave (Hallyu) – Rise of Korea’s Cultural Economy & Pop Culture”). Considering that, the confidence of the celebrities has increased and they have engaged in the production of more respectful content to the global society. The contents including movies and K-pop that East Asians release usually instill morals into the global society.
The emergence of the Korean wave has been of significant importance to Korea, East Asia, and the world at large. The Korean wave includes various contents such as movies, K-pop, and soap operas. The Korean wave has helped to improve the image of Korea and that of East Asia as well. Some cultural aspects of East Asia such as Karate and Kung Fu have been learned throughout the world. Many people across the world learned those aspects by watching Korean movies such as Cosmopolitan Kung Fu Master. Other content that has improved the image of Korea and that of East Asia is K-pop. K-pop stars such as G-Dragon through the way he dresses has been able to influence many people across the world to adopt the Korean dress code. Besides, movies and K-pop have also improved tourism in Korea and East Asia. Through movies and K-pop, the global society has been able to learn various cultural aspects of the East Asian communities. Considering that, many people across the world have been attracted to learn the culture of East Asian, therefore they have often decided to tour such a region to learn more. Korean and East Asian movies and K-pop have contributed to the rise of various celebrities such as Bruce Lee and girl bands like Girl’s day. East Asian celebrities today influence many people across the world especially the youth.
“Korean Wave (Hallyu) – Rise of Korea’s Cultural Economy & Pop Culture.” Martin Roll, Jan. 2018, martinroll.com/resources/articles/asia/korean-wave-hallyu-the-rise-of-koreas-cultural-economy-pop-culture/.