Korean Wave (Hallyu) in China

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“Korean wave (Hallyu) was coined in China in mid-1999 by Beijing journalists surprised by the fast growing popularity of South Koreans and South Korean goods in China.” However, the phenomenon of Korean wave flows into East Asia especially China during the early twenty-first century. Korean wave covers the craze for South Korean music, TV dramas, pop stars, but also for fashion styles, cosmetics and electronics. There are many reasons causing Korean wave being a popular mass culture in China. Korean wave spread so successful because of the Confucian themes that East Asian cultures are more familiar with, typically dealing with traditional issues such as family, love, and filial piety. China in particular share a similar history with Korea. Furthermore, Korean government propagates their modernization Korean wave through media power. Extensively promoting Korean culture transnational makes it another reason Chinese suddenly start engaging in Korean cultures. As two countries both strongly pay attention to the international culture exchange, people are more likely try to understand and accept it. The effect Korean wave has made on Chinese people is enormous. Daily life like watching dramas becomes popular and the story lines are discussed among youths and housewives. Due to the drama contains everything like music, fashion styles, pop stars and foods. Chinese people start imitating both the way of dressing, make-up putting. Korean restaurants also sprang up quickly like mushrooms. Korean language is also being chosen as students’ third language in order to understand more about the culture. Chinese start travelling to the filming location in Korea so as to enjoy Korean wave natively and it also helps Korean to obtaining another way of economy profit making. Korean traditional ethnics and education view also influenced Chinese people’s life in many ways. Despite those advantages, Korean wave does challenge the Chinese its own culture. Less attention is paid on Chinese its own entertainment industry. As teenagers are the main target audiences under the Korean wave, their world outlook and life values are influenced by it. Korean wave might limits their minds and stop themselves up on the surface.

There are two reasons which cause the emergence of Korean wave being widely accepted in China. Firstly and the most important reason is that both Korea and China share a similar history background. Those two countries have had a long historical relationship and both of them are influenced by the spirit of Confucianism. The similar social structure, etiquette and philosophy make Korean wave more acceptable in East Asian countries especially China rather than western countries. Due to globalizations’ rapidly expanding, Chinese people are no longer being confined to American pop culture. However choosing the one which they think is more understandable. Furthermore, the ideology of Confucianism plays an important role in both old days China until now. However, the Chinese Culture Revolution in 1966 has extensively and perniciously damaged the culture understanding which cause the lacking of Confucius value nowadays. Lots of Chinese people can easily trace their traditional values like loyalty, filial piety, benevolence by looking at the Korean drama as those dramas always emphasis on the family relationship and ethnics. Korean dramas are favored because of their richness traditional values which gives a good example showing China how to manage the Confucius value in modern society. It offers both a nostalgic reminder of what has been lost during modernization and an example of an Asian country that has modernized and has retained its traditions.

Secondly, since media becomes the global popular culture communicating tool, Chinese people observed that Korean wave is actually a new inspirable culture that they had never experienced before. Depending on the age, interests and values of the spectators, different types of Hallyu have...
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