[문화][정면승부] “In the concert hall in the Middle East, there was an uproar over ‘hugging with fans’… I almost got kicked out of K-pop”

[YTN 라디오 뉴스 정면승부]

■ Broadcast : FM 94.5 (17:00 ~ 19:00)
■ Air Date: November 24, 2022 (Thursday)
■ Talk: Kim Heon-shik, cultural critic

* The text below may differ from the actual content of the broadcast, so please check the broadcast for more accurate information.

[정면승부] “In the concert hall in the Middle East, there was an uproar over ‘hugging with fans’… I almost got kicked out of K-pop.”

– Jungkook’s opening ceremony stage response was enthusiastic, an opportunity to expand K-pop
– It is more hopeful and brighter than English-language music, and has a high response in the conservative Middle East
-A static Qatari singer wearing a turban, the dynamic part of Jungkook’s stage fills it

◇ Lee Jae-yoon Anchor (Lee Jae-yoon from now on) > Part 4 of YTN Radio ‘Lee Jae-yoon’s News head-to-head’ is with ‘Reading K through Culture’. Kim Heon-shik, a cultural critic, has appeared. Hello?

◆ Cultural Critic Kim Heon-shik (hereafter Kim Heon-sik) > Yes, hello.

◇ Lee Jae-yoon> The Korean singer stood on the stage of the opening ceremony of the World Cup. Jungkook from BTS was on stage at the opening ceremony of the World Cup with the song ‘Dreamers’. BTS, who are loved all over the world, as you all know, wouldn’t it be great to be on the opening stage of the World Cup?

◆ Heonshik Kim > Yes. There is no precedent for a Korean singer. Above all, it is very significant that an Arab country chose a Korean singer. So in 2002, I said ‘dreams do come true’. The theme song of the World Cup this time is ‘Dreamers’, and dreamers they are. So it contains the message that dreams do come true, and after the performance, it’s great now. It also recorded 23.5 million views in less than two days. It topped the iTunes charts in 102 countries within 12 hours. So, from FIFA’s point of view, we need to expand the football population a little further. In that regard, I put a spoon on K-POP. This can be seen as a situation that I think and try to secure some female fans, and it can also be seen as a very important opportunity for K-POP to expand its reach and win-win together.

◇ Lee Jae-yoon > BTS has many fans in Korea, but I think it’s very strange that there are many fans in the Middle East. It is said that K-POP fever is already hot in the Middle East, centered on Saudi Arabia, but why are people in the Middle East so passionate about K-POP?

◆ Kim Hun-sik> First of all, Saudi Arabia is the center, and currently K-POP is very friendly. Therefore, in the case of Saudi Arabia, which is pursuing a new change, it considers our popular culture K-POP as a new partner, and recently it has performed three related performances. So basically, we can talk about ‘responsibility’. Even in the case of this World Cup, we put up banners like ‘diversity’, ‘multiculturalism’, and ‘peace’. But our K-POP, especially BTS, and Blackpink, too, continue to talk about racial issues, environmental issues, and generational integration issues, so we are in line with this point. Also, it’s healthier, more hopeful, and brighter than those songs from English-speaking countries. In particular, it is very important to be optimistic and bright, so in the Arab world, the drama ‘Dae Jang Geum’ showed a viewer rating of 95%, and the drama ‘Jumong’ also recorded a viewer rating of over 90%, so they agree a lot with the values ​​and worldview of our content. Also, in the case of Western culture, it is very difficult to enter the Arab world directly. However, since we recreated those cultures in our own way, we can say that we accept them well at the moment because there is a wide consensus in that regard.

◇ Lee Jae-yoon > Is Western pop culture not well received in the Middle East?

◆ Heonshik Kim> There is a very difficult aspect. Because there are religious issues, and in terms of content, for example, there are many stories about drugs, drinking, and sexual deviance. That’s why Arabs are very strict when it comes to men’s and women’s issues, so our K-POP songs are a bit limited even in terms of sexuality. In this regard, it can be seen that the response rate is high.

◇ Lee Jae-yoon> If it is difficult to accept Western culture, then it seems that pop culture in the Middle East is not active?

◆ Kim Heon-shik > It is a difficult situation to officially authorize such a performance, and of course there may be aspects of listening to it implicitly. In particular, since the digital culture is very active even in Qatar, it is said that the upper class, that is, materials from rich families, mostly listen to K-POP. However, in the case of this English region, many concerts are held because K-POP can do aspects that cannot be revealed at all. You can see it this way, and recently Korean dramas like ‘Crash Landing on You’ are very popular. So if you look at it, zombies like ‘My School Now’ are also popular. It can be said that the response to Korean dramas is very high, so that three or more Korean dramas are definitely in the top 10 on Netflix.

◇ Lee Jae-yoon > Is Middle Eastern popular culture itself weak?

◆ Kim Heon-sik > Wasn’t Jungkook singing the World Cup theme song this time? But for 3 minutes, I did a solo performance, and later a singer appeared who became very popular in Qatar. However, she wears a turban and sings very softly. So there is no performance dancing. Also, fashion is not diverse, but that part is now filled by our K-POP, and it is dynamic, powerful and very young, so there are aspects of Arab culture that do not have things of such. So, for comparison, you can think of a trot singer singing a song statically. Therefore, as there is a lack of performance forms that can be performed, these points are filled.

◇ Lee Jae-yoon> As you said, it is not easy to enter the Middle East because it is a closed cultural place. What further efforts do you think will be needed to settle down in the future?

◆ Kim Heon-sik > First of all, this field is very closely related to culture and politics. The same is true of China and socialist countries. Food, for example, pork that should not be eaten is included, but clothing should not be too revealing. So, in the case of our singers, we don’t reveal ourselves as much as possible when performing on K-POP platforms. I have such consideration, but I think I need to expand those things a bit more. Also, do you have religious ceremonies, or do you not pray several times a day? I take steps like avoiding that time slot and setting up a schedule. If we don’t overcome those cultural differences, we can be politically excluded from decision-making. For example, what happened was, we went to a concert, and when the fans came up to him, our singer gave us a little hug. But there was an uproar. Because it is punishable if you come into contact with the opposite sex in an official setting. We connected because we were fans, so now there was so much possibility that K-POP itself could be looked down upon. However, it is not just a matter of culture, but because it is intertwined with a certain system of politics and religion, it is a part that needs to be considered in a complex way.

◇ Lee Jae-yoon > That’s right. It’s a shame, but today is the last time to ‘read k as a culture’. You’ve been together for over six months. Shall we listen briefly to how you feel and finish?

◆ Kim Heon-sik > Among current affairs programs, there is no program that deals with culture in a fixed way. ‘News of Lee Jae-yoon head on’ was the only one. That’s how important our content is, and that content isn’t just limited to culture. I completely sympathized with politics, the economy, society, and the world, so I tried to cover as many stories as possible that are not covered in other broadcast programs by providing this opportunity.

◇ Lee Jae-yoon> It’s unfortunate, but we’ll see you again whenever there’s a cultural issue. Thanks for coming out today.

◆ Heonshik Kim > Yes, thank you.

Hyemin Kim YTN ([email protected])

[저작권자(c) YTN 무단전재 및 재배포 금지]

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