Fashion. Entertainment. Sports.
It seems that Korea is about 10-20 years behind that of America or any western country in the pop culture scene. Boy bands, girl groups, tights with stirrups, baggy t-shirts, high-top Converse or Reebok shoes are still in existent in Korea. These are not necessarily bad things; it just takes me back to being in junior high or even elementary school again. The following three posts are just my observations and again, I apologize for any generalizations and stereotypes. Entertainment. KPop, or Korean pop music, is a phenomenon here. Teenage girls go crazy over boy groups who are just a couple years older than them. Shinee, 2PM, 2AM, Big Bang and Super Junior can all be compared to the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC and all of the other lost boy band groups. The Kpop bands all have that certain type of beat and to some extent, they sound the same. Each song has a dance that the teenage girls love to learn and will naturally “bust the move” whenever they hear the song. The number of members in each group is anywhere from five to 13! Who knows how long these boy bands will last.
Check out Shinee’s latest song:
The students go crazy when they know that as a foreign teacher, you know some of their most popular songs. It’s definitely another way to connect with the students. Some of the students are so close to their teachers. Teachers in Korea are there for their students for more than just homework. For example, some Korean teachers give students advice about everything, such as how to deal with their parents and where to apply for high school. As a foreign teacher, we are unable to connect on that level with the students. So, KPop will have to be the common ground, which is fine with me because it would be really hard to leave after a year if I was that close to my students.
My take on Kpop. I love Kpop. There are some boy band groups that I would rather not listen to. But I appreciate all kinds of music, even if I can’t understand the lyrics. And if helps me connect with my students, it makes teaching even more enjoyable.