Sinlung /
29 August 2010

Korean Culture 'Invades' Mizoram

jenijuno Aizawl, Aug 29 : Growing affinity with 'Hallyuwood' movies has been reported in Mizoram among teenagers, who have gradually turned away from Bollywood movies and even the Hollywood flicks in favour of the 'Hallyuwood' movies.

'Hallyu' is a term coined by the Chinese media which literally means 'Korean wave'. It refers to the phenomenal growth of Korean popular culture - from music, movies, drama to online games and the Korean cuisine.

Korean movies like 'Stairway to Heaven', 'Wish Upon A Star', 'Brilliant Legacy', 'Delightful Girl,' 'Greenhouse', to name a few, have already melted the hearts of the teenagers, even grown-up women.

From DVDs to clothes to hairdos, everything about Korea sells like hot cakes in the streets of Aizawl, the state capital of Mizoram, it was learnt.

Shah Rukh Khan, John Abraham, Bipasha Basu, Aishwarya Rai, Angelina Jolie, Leonardo Dicaprio and so on, have ''given way'' to Gweon Sang-woo, Cha Tae-hyun, Jeon Ji Hyun, Jung Da Bin and Song Seung Hun in the heart of Mizoram youngsters.

''Korean film DVDs top our sales chart. We hardly sell DVDs of Bollywood and Hollywood films nowadays. Those who buy Korean films are mostly teenage girls,'' said a woman who sells DVD on the street near the Millenium Centre here. ''Housewives, sometimes men, also buy Korean film DVDs,'' she added.

''I love Korean films because they are cool. I have not missed a single playback of Korean films on the local channels. I also buy DVDs and watch them on my PC,'' said Lalrinmawii, a Class X girl in Aizawl.

''Most of Hollywood films are not healthy for children. Old Bollywood films were healthy, but not these days' Bollywood films.

So, I encourage my kids to watch Korean films instead of Hollywood's and Bollywood's,'' said 45-year-old housewife, Diki.

The impact of Korean movies on the youngsters have reflected in language, food habit, dress style, even the body language and some Korean manners.

Imitating the Korean heroes, many youngsters in Mizoram have started donning long hair. Not only youngsters dress like Korean stars, Korean words like anna saiyo (halo), sarange (I love you), watuke (what to do), waju waju (yes) have become common language among them.

''I want to learn Korean language because I want to work in Korea. Korea is my dream country,'' said Jenny Ralte, a Class-12 girl.

Some youths have even started sleeping on the floor of their rooms instead of on the bed. A number of factors have led to Korean cultural 'invasion' on Mizo youngsters.

The advent of cable television has played a significant role in ushering in Korean cultural wave in the Mizo society, with Korean satellite channel Arirang being the harbinger, it was learnt.
The local cable TV networks in Aizawl are regularly showing Korean films dubbed into the local language. This fans the Korean cultural wave to spread like wildfire.

Another key factor is the cultural proximity theory, which implies that media productions from culturally affiliated countries have greater reception than those from more culturally distanced countries.

''When the youngsters watch Korean movies they easily identified themselves with the stars. That phenomenon is not possible with watching Bollywood and Hollywood films,'' said Lalrindiki, a sociologist lecturer.

Some have expressed fear that this Korean cultural wave would eventually dilute Mizo culture among the youngsters.

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