Raghnya Kaul
-By Raghnya Kaul -Gurgaon- for July 2020 Instagram: @roses_in_spring

Hallyu stands for “K-wave” which is the influx of Korean culture in any country be it through music,
dramas, movies or simply cuisine and fashion. India is known to be a land of many cultures and
traditions. Monuments erected here are not just fifty or sixty years old but, hundreds if not,
thousands of years old. The younger generation is already exposed to many different traditions from birth. Thus, we accept new cultures with open arms.

As globalisation spread through the country and technology became not just affordable but also advanced, the people quickly started taking an interest in not just Indian music but, music from across the globe. Streaming services that are considered a necessity nowadays were unknown to the commoners back in the day. As I sit in my dimly lit room, being forced to stay indoors due to the on-going global pandemic, I feel a little less lonely and disconnected from the world because I can enjoy hallyu from the comfort of my home.

Those who aren’t aware of the k-culture, it might be a little hard to understand and accept it.
Why are all these girls after EXO? Who is this Lee Minho and why are my friends such a fan of his
dramas? These are common questions one gets to hear from people who do not to listen to k-pop as a matter of preference. I love it and I love to be a part of it. K-pop has given me something much greater. It has given me friends, laughs and many memories which I’ll treasure forever.

Let me quickly add on an incident which happened with me last year, in the summer of 2019. I went for a trip to Hong Kong with my family as soon as 11th grade was over.  As I was sitting in the subway, I looked at two girls sitting parallel to me and my sister. One of them was busy in her phone whilst the other looked at me, gave me a bright smile and with a bit of hesitation said, “Hi Army!” and waved at me. Turns out she understood that I and my sister were discussing about the BTS merchandise that she was wearing. Me and my sister smiled and waved back too.  The fact that I could feel a connection with someone who lives a life which is completely different from mine, someone who speaks a language completely different from the one I do, someone who looks completely different from the people around me – made me feel like an 인사이더 [insaideo] (‘insider’ i.e. A person who has many friends and acquaintances) when I always thought of myself as an 아웃 사이더[autsaideo] (‘outsider’ i.e. a person who doesn’t have many friends and acquaintances).This sense of belonging, feeling of togetherness and of being “one” has to be my favourite part about K-pop.
Whenever I felt lonely, my idols told me that they loved me. And they continue to
do so. This is how they have always managed to bring happiness in my life. I’m glad that I could gain
some strength from K-pop. Something that I have continuously told my friends and I still keep saying to everybody else, is that words will never be enough for me to describe how much I adore my idols and how important it is for me. Those who struggle with tough times, I hope all of you can find some comfort through your favourite hallyu stars. I hope that you’re surrounded by love and happiness.

My journey with my idols as well as Kiwa has been lovely so far. I hope we can be together for a long
time!

Thank you!

By Hallyu Fan Ms. Pragyanshree Mishra – Mumbai

Featured for June 2020

My venture into to the Korean culture started basically in 2014 when my sister showed me my very first Korean Drama “Playful Kiss” that made me enter into the Korean world before which I was all about typical Indian serials and books, it was like an eye-opener and I started watching any Korean drama that I found interesting because all the dramas are quite different from one another and it’s generally 16-20 episodes long.

I guess it was around 2 years later when my sister again introduced me to k-pop culture with a BTS video and to be really honest I didn’t find it as interesting and stuck to watch the dramas. In 2018 BTS idol was something that my sister liked a lot so we used to listen to it all the time and when in April 2019 they were having a comeback I was somehow sucked into the fandom, I really can’t explain what happened but just that it started with ‘what is their name?’ as I know is for anyone who firsts joins the ARMY.

I am very glad that I have known BTS, they have made me realise many things and their song ‘Not today’ has been the one which helped me in my time of mental crisis and made me smile, I am forever grateful to them for that. I can’t express by words what they mean to me and how much happiness I feel just by looking at them, not just as an ARMY I know anyone who belong to any of the fandom can feel this for their idol.

I believe that once we open our eyes and see what’s beyond, we can find several people looking at the same thing and then it becomes a wave taking everyone along with them, just like the sparks that starts the fire.

Korean artist popularity has been increasing rapidly over the years and now a days I feel most of us are somehow connected to it. I am still trying to understand the Korean culture better and it always fills my heart with warmth and happiness. Recently I have joined Mumbai Korean club too where I have met some wonderful people who feels like family whom I know I could have never met otherwise.

I am so glad that the Korean culture is getting accepted in India as well, and happy that I am a part of it.

Saranghae