K-pop is taking India by storm.
The K-pop wave hit the country in 2012 with Psy's mega-hit "Gangnam Style".
But since the start of the pandemic, K-pop culture has really started to boom.
Some observers attribute the rise in K-pop's popularity to the pandemic,… as people had the chance to explore new content at home.
"Right now, it's one of the highest peaks that India has been in terms of consuming K-content, and especially K-pop. Even if you're not a fan of K-pop, even if you don't listen to K-pop, at least you know what K-pop is."
The new status of K-pop can be seen by the increasing participation in K-pop contests.
The founder of The K-Wave India, a fan community based in Chennai,… says that the number of entries for K-pop competitions has increased from around fifty to more than 4-hundred over the past couple of years.
It also witnessed its fan community, which started with only five to ten members gradually growing to around 17-hundred.
Recently, the Korea Tourism Organization even organized a virtual event to allow Indian fans enjoy K-pop with a pinch of Bollywood.
"South Korea's K-pop is famous for its synchronized choreography. India is famous for its group dances in Bollywood movies. We thought about how we could merge the similarities, and thus organized a collaboration with K-pop artist AleXa and a famous Bollywood dance team to give the song a Bollywood twist."
It is also getting fans interested in learning the Korean language.
"It got me into the language. I can speak Korean now all thanks to K-pop because I was addicted to K-pop and I was 'OK. I have to learn this language'".
The Indian government last year even appointed Korean as one of the foreign languages taught at schools.
In a 2020 report by language app Duolingo,… India was one of the top-five countries with the most Korean learners.
Choi Min-jung, Arirang News.