Korean Wave – Hallyu – getting popular in India

After reading the article today on Times of India – Korean Wave takes Indian Kids in its sway – suddenly reminded me of the day I was shooting for the Arirang Episode. I had asked my show director if she had visited India. And she told me that she had been to Nagaland to shoot a documentary as Korean Culture was very popular in that part of India. I had not paid much attention to her then, but then reading the article today kind of reinforced the fact that Korean Culture was definitely getting popular in India and it piqued my curiosity to find out more about this phenomenon.

The article above says that northeast states (bordering China, Bangladesh, Mynamar or Bhutan) was one of the first regions in India to take to the Korean Wave – Hallyu. In September 2000, the Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF) imposed a blanket ban on the screening of Hindi movies and Hindi satellite channels in Manipur. In order to fill up this vacuum, people took refuge in Southeast Asian cinema. Today, Korean channels like Arirang TV and KBS are aired by the cable operators in the northeast and each household has its own favorite.

Korean Drama and movies such as Full House, Boys over Flowers, My Girl, Green Rose, Stairway to Heaven and many others are popular in this region, with their favorite Korean actors being Rain, Lee Min-ho, Kim Beom, Song Hye-kyo, Lee Da-hae, Jang Nara, Koo Hye-seon and others.

The article also says that the Korean fixation is not just limited to music, movies and TV. It is also seeping into kids’ fashion in India. In the northeast, for instance, it’s not uncommon for a boy to have his favourite actor’s hairstyle, or for a girl to be seen dressed up as a popular Korean actress. The style is considered somewhat unique as it includes long straight hair and fuses it with masculine side burns.

Koreans ethos has taken over hearts and homes of many families in the northeast region but is slowly getting popularity in other parts of India as well, thanks to the Internet. Korean movies are regularly aired on UTV World Movies channel, making it easier for younger Indians to develop a taste for alternative cinema and Asian culture if they are bored of Indian television. But then they have a lot of catching up to do.

Chinese cuisines, cinema and culture is very popular in India. Almost everyone is aware about Feng Shui, Wind Chimes, Bamboo Trees and Laughing Buddha to bring good fortune and luck in your family. Chinese food is available is available in almost every nook and corner of major Indian cities. And Chinese movies subtitled in English plays in almost every English Movie channels in India. For that matter, even Japanese manga comics and cuisines, including Sushi, are a bit popular in India and Indians seem to be more aware about Japanese brands in India. A lot of Indians are also curious about learning Japanese Language. Coaching classes, which offer Japanese Language training are easily available in the major metro cities of India.

But the same cannot be said about Korea. Indians are not really aware of Korean Culture and not many know of Koreans brands beyond Samsung, LG and POSCO. Some think, North and South Korea to be one unified country. And in-spite of Korean Food being healthy it is not yet that popular in India. Everybody knows that Sushi is from Japan and Chow Mian is from China but a very few are aware about Kimchi and Kimbap from Korea. The Korean Food served at various Indian Restaurant is just a variation of some Chinese recipe served in the form of Korean Dish. And finding a good tutor to learn Korean Language is just impossible (atleast in Mumbai, based on my personal experience).

It might take some time for Indians to develop an interest in Korean Culture and demand Korean content so that it becomes almost mainstream and popular in India. May be it was a bit easier in the North East region because of the ban, that Korean Dramas became so popular. Circumstances made people in that region view and appreciate Korean content. But the same cannot be said about other states in India, where the youth has a choice about the content he or she can view on local channels and internet. So the popularity of the Korean Drama has to do more with the acceptance of Korean Culture and its appeal to the youth.


Re: Korean Wave – Hallyu – getting popular in India

I am from Hyderabad which is located in South India's State Andhra Pradesh. I am a big fan for Korean movies and serials because we have so many similarities in Cultures, I feel like i am seeing my own culture films. Can you please help me to learn korean?

Re: Korean Wave – Hallyu – getting popular in India

I live in Calcutta, located in the eastern state of West Bengal. I love Korean dramas, movies and music! I want to know more of the culture and language. I wish and sincerely hope that there will be enough cultural exchange between South Korea and India in future. Saranghae!

Re: Korean Wave – Hallyu – getting popular in India

I am surprised to know that Indians are impressed by the Hallyu wave prevailing. I work for an university in South Korea and wish many Indians could over to feel the rich cultural heritage with the right blend of technology and respect for fellow citizens! Please let me know if I may help you help you in this direction.  

Its my pleasure to have read this article, Thanks!



Re: Korean Wave – Hallyu – getting popular in India

Hi my Name is Shobitha. From India. I have completed my Masters in Engineering in Civil Engineering (Remote Sensing & GIS as Specialization). I have 15 months expierence inteaching engineering students. Do you think i can get a job in SouthKorea. Can you help me in this regard

Thanking You

Re: Korean Wave – Hallyu – getting popular in India

Hai., I'm a big fan of Korean dramas., u can say I'm addicted to it.., I live in southern India., I can say that Korean culture is not much famous in this part of India but Korean dramas are very famous here. By seeing Korean dramas I feel very close to south Korea.., bt I'm curious about one thing., how Koreans think about India and Indian culture

Re: Korean Wave – Hallyu – getting popular in India

I am from Kerala which is in southern part of India. I am also a great fan of Korean language and culture. I happen to watch a few episodes of the Korean drama 'faith' from by friends laptop and that got me hooked to it. To be honest my first thought was 'wow Korea has got some pretty women there.' (No disrespect meant in any way). But after my second and third dramas the Korean culture didn't actually seem that different from ours. Even the language is a tinsy-winsy bit simmiler to our language. Hence the language and their culture got my curiosity. Did some research here and there tried to learn Hangul. Couldn't find a tutor, tried to learn it myself. And after six or seven months of 'Google translating' and watching 55-60 dramas, I think I got a basic grasp of the Korean language.(Means I wont go hungry if I happen to go to Korea :-)). The language is pretty easy to read and write. Honestly I learned it within two to three weeks. The number system though is a bit tough. Especially the sino-korean number system. Anyways what i really wanted to say was that during my time of research I happen to meet a couple of people who like me were interested in Korean learning. The trend seems to have finally occupied the southernmost parts of India as well....

Re: Korean Wave – Hallyu – getting popular in India

I am from Karnataka..I have been watching a lot of korean dramas lately...the best thing about them are they are short and sweet with around 15-20 episodes and not like Indian TV serials which are dragged for couple of years, they dont have saas-bahu melodrama and most of the dramas are centered around youth..korean dramas and actors are really cute to watch..

Re: Korean Wave – Hallyu – getting popular in India

Hi,I am from Chennai,Tamilnadu,South India.The korean wave is starting to splash over the Indians.Kdramas are getting popular day by day(in chennai,especially) and kmusic has also started to penetrate towns.I love the korean music and dramas and find a lot of similarities between our culture.Their food makes my mouth to water(kimchi,especially) and I am looking forward to learn korean language.Thanks for making good dramas and hope they will continue to give more in future.Kudos!