What is Hallyu? Hallyu (한류) which means “Korean Wave” is the increase in the global popularity of South Korea culture including dramas, movies, TV shows, manhwas, Korean music, fashion, beauty, food and language.
The Hallyu has spread all around the world mostly because of the internet. It started to gain popularity all around Korea and some parts of China and Japan back in 2010 with dramas like “Boys before Flowers” and “Coffee Prince”, this also made actors like Lee Minho and Kim Hyun Joong along with his group called SS501 gain an extreme popularity. In consequence groups from the first generation like Shinhwa, H.O.T. and TVXQ, groups from the second generation like Super Junior, Big Bang, SHINee and Girls Generation and solo artist like BoA, Se7en and Rain became extremely famous in other parts of Asia.
In the summer of 2012 PSY’s video for “Gangnam Style” topped the charts in YouTube as it became viral and opened the doors for an international success, this helped Korean culture and entertainment spread all around the world. By the summer of 2013 Boyfriend, U-Kiss and T-ara became a national phenomenon in Japan, Thailand and Philippines and groups like Super Junior and SHINee became international icons. The impact of K-pop has made famous festivals like “K-con” and “Music Bank” take place in different cities outside South Korea, for example K-con took place in Paris, Saitama, Los Angeles, New York, Abu Dhabi and this year for the first time is going to take place in Mexico City and MB took place in countries like Japan, France, Hong Kong, Chile, Indonesia, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico and Hanoi.
Nowadays K-movies and K-dramas are also extremely popular among teenagers from all around the world, a great example is the movie “Train to Busan” that set a record as the first Korean film of 2016 to break the audience record with over 10 million theatergoers and it also became the highest-grossing Korean film in Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Also, now more Korean actors are staring in Hollywood movies, for example Wu Yi Fan (former EXO member) in xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, Lee Jong Gi in Resident Evil 7 or LuHan (former EXO member) in The Great Wall.
In conclusion, The Korean Wave is here to stay for a long time, so just sit back and enjoy this wonderful diversity of entertainment.
Diana Carolina Flores Castellanos.