K-POP FEVER GRIPS INDIAN AUDIENCES

Prembabu Sharma


Happening for the second time in India, K-Pop Festivals have been quiet a rage in many countries and receive tremendous response from its fans and followers world-wide, especially in Korea. Korean Cultural Centre organized the semi-finals of the 2nd K-Pop Festival Contest India 2013 at FICCI auditorium. 12 semi-finalists performed on the eve of 17th August enthralling an audience of over 700.

Kim Kum-pyoung, the Director of Korean Cultural Centre addressed the audience saying he was thrilled at the response received this year for the contest and will try to make it even bigger next year by inviting K-pop stars from Korea. Mr Sanjeev Bhargava, Founder of Sheher; an NGO, Ms. Aleksandra Michelska Singh, Dancer; Natya Nectar Dance Academy and Mr Sangwon Donald Kwag, Marketing Head, Star CJ, were the other jury members of the evening. Crazy Freaks Dance Crew (Dance Cover), were declared the winners of the contest in India will get to travel to Korea for Gangwon World K-Pop Festival 2013. Edwin Jamir was declared as the winner in the song cover and is recommended as candidates for the Changwon K-POP World Festival. “We had worked really hard for this. We deserved to win and so did we. Now we will burn the floor in Korea too as we did here tonight” said the Crazy Freaks team basking in the glory of their victory”.
The preliminary round of the competition received a record response of 80 entries, which is   emarkable jump from last year’s 30 entries. The entries are expected to gain a steep rise again in the following years to come, especially, when K-Pop is gaining fast popularity among Indian audiences. With Psy’s Gangnam Style going viral last year, the Korean Pop Music and Dance moves have gained international recognition and has given many their favorite dance moves of the year. Joon-gyu Lee, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea said “As you all are sitting here enjoying the Korean songs and dance moves, people in Korea are probably watching the latest Bollywood release -Chennai Express. Hence, it is only through cultural activities that we can communicate with each other better and try to understand both the cultures and K-Pop contest is just another way of communicating between two different cultures.”

K-Pop Festival is an initiative of South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to popularize the Korean Pop Culture in various countries. The festival sees its participation majorly from the youth and teens. Semi-finalists from 13 different countries are invited by the Government of South Korea to perform in Korea with the Korean artists being imitated, live on the stage. Each year it happens in the city of Gangwon in South Korea in the month of September. In India, the K-Pop festival is happening for the second time now. The winners of the last year’s contest, Paul 5, a seven member team from Timarpur slums got the chance to visit Korea to perform at the K-Pop Contest 2012. They had danced to Big Bang’s well-known number, ‘Gara Gara Go’.

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