Thursday, September 27, 2012

How Gangnam Style Affected Korea

Gathering over 300 million views on Youtube, Gangnam style by Psy is slowly taking over the world. Dubbed "the new macarina", this video spread like fire, and now there are parodies in every country possible and range from London Style to Indian Style.

Its obvious how it has affected outside countries, but how has this affected the country in which it started?

First, what is Gangnam? Gangnam is an affluent neighborhood here in Korea.  People drive fancy cars and is home to many VIPs. The lyrics themselves play with that motion of what people thing of Gangnam. 

Before Gangnam Style caught on to the world, it was an immediate success here in Korea.  I remember the day it came out, I watched it several times thinking how catchy it was.  It soon though became viral in Korea and it was blasted on every street corner. Before I knew it I had accidentally learned the dance, simply by seeing it everywhere in Korea. Any event I would go to would play the song, and people would all dance to it. Everyone. Kids and grandmothers included. In fact, there are classes where older ladies learn the dance to get into shape.

Now that Gangnam Style has gone worldwide, Korea is using this opportunity to hopefully spread it's influence. How many people even knew about South Korea before Gangnam Style? Chances are most American didn't know a thing. I'd even bet many of them thought Korea was still a third world country, or that South Korea was communist.

As for the citizens themselves, I doubt there is a Korean that doesn't know about it. Psy is literally in the news every single day, for breaking various records here or in foreign countries. South Koreans are very proud of Gangnam Style's success.  Not only does is spread Korean influence, but it shows a fun side of Korea too.  Now you can walk the streets of Myeongdong and even buy socks with Psy's character on it.
I believe that this video has opened up a lot of opportunities for South Korea, especially in the music industry. People were afraid the Korean music industry had already hit its peak -- but this video shows that it still has some more strength left in it.


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