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Here's to Unity and Beyond: How K-pop brings the world together

  • Merceline Carrasco

It's 2021 and we all have witnessed how the K-pop craze has spread all over the world. Curious to know what made K-pop so powerful? Read through these highlights and find out how it captured— and stayed in— the hearts of many.

K-POP UNITES...

Through concerts

Fans gather and make it a point to enjoy and watch the concerts of their favorite K-pop artists. Be it online or offline, they make sure not to miss the performances. It's a fun experience— from learning the lyrics and fan chants to cheering with fellow fans as they hold with pride the banners they made (plus the light sticks, of course!).

2015 Best of Best in the Philippines with Girls Generation, Red Velvet, BTOB, and Super Junior. Photo from Anne Delfin / @anneeers on Instagram. 2019 GOT7 Keep Spinning World Tour. Photo from Pau Manzano. GDragon Act III: Motte. Photo from Eliza Mae Salvador.

Because of the current pandemic, K-pop concerts are made more available for online streaming. This expands their reach especially to countries the K-pop bands haven't toured before. Fans get to enjoy the concert comfortably at their own homes.

Sometimes, fans get lucky when their favorite idols take the banners and pose with them!

Banner and gift from Taiwanese Moomoos.
Photo posted by @mamamoo_official on Instagram.

Through dance challenges

K-pop is famous for its outstanding choreographies. K-pop groups sometimes challenge the fans to upload their own version of the dance. Because of this, fans get to share their talents and inspire fellow fans to do the same.

BTS #DynamiteChallenge on TikTok
NCT #HotSauceChallenge on Instagram

Through fan celebrations

Anniversaries, comebacks, birthdays— these are just some of the few celebrations that fans never fail to forget. They set up elaborate fan projects for these events! One of the most popular ways fans rave is through cafe projects. Banners, balloons, posters, photo cards, various merchandise, and the like are displayed at their chosen cafes. This is also a chance for fans to meet up and celebrate together, talking about their idols and sharing their experiences while their favorite songs play.

Drinks are served— dressed in cute cup sleeves!

Cup sleeve fan project by Filipino Fantasy for SF9 Dawon's Kdrama, Doom at Your Service.
Photo from Chiarra Mogol / @CubForDawon on Twitter/Instagram.
At a cafe in Seoul celebrating BTS Jin's birthday.
Photo from the author / @merceline_ on Instagram.

Through acts of kindness

The work doesn't stop with making music and engaging with fans. K-pop stars also try to encourage people to help make the world a better place.

BTS Love Yourself: Speak Yourself The Final in Seoul. Photo from Anne Delfin / @anneeers on Instagram.

Movements such as the BTS x UNICEF Korea #LoveMyself campaign raises awareness on violence against children not only in Korea but globally as well. As part of its campaign, booths were set up at their concert tours in Korea, Japan, Canada, Germany, and the U.S. K-pop idol Kang Daniel Wanna One helped pay for the medical and living expenses of children with disabilities by donating to the Miral Welfare Foundation. Fans of another cool K-pop band Block-B teamed up and built a drinking well in a poverty-stricken area in Cambodia.

These are only a few among the countless philanthropic acts of K-pop artists and fans. This community inspires one another to lend a helping hand and comfort especially to those in need.

BEYOND K-POP

Over the years, K-pop just became stronger. K-pop proved to be a great asset to the Hallyu/Korean wave. It is more than music, lyrics, and choreographies— it is a culture.

K-pop spurs passion among its fans. This passion acts as fuel to achieve goals. It leads the fans to become bonded and form relationships. Friendships are built despite the distance— even language barriers collapse. Personally, I think what makes K-pop powerful are the shared experiences among fans and their idols. There is a sense of belongingness felt by every member of the community no matter where they come from. Differences such as in culture, language, and race deepen the relationships because they bring awareness, understanding, and respect within the K-pop community. Doesn't it feel heartwarming to be seen and accepted? It is a much needed comfort especially in difficult times.

Being a K-pop fan is more than just listening to music, attending concerts, or buying merch. It is being a part of a wonderful community where passion-driven members motivate one another to explore their purpose, be free, and/or simply… have a place in this world.

K-pop indeed keeps uniting people everywhere. It’s fun to be a fan despite the distance, and being appreciated makes the heart grow even fonder.

Interested to dig deeper on how K-pop continues to be a strong influence? Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines interviewed some Filipino K-stans. You can listen to their beautiful stories here!

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When I first heard from the news that SMART collaborated with my favorite K-idols— international superstars BTS, I got really excited. It made me feel closer to BTS, especially when I see their campaign ads whenever I pass by EDSA, when at a mall, and even when I’m buying from a sari-sari store. I feel grateful to local companies like SMART for bringing us fans closer to our favorite artists. Their campaign indeed inspires Filipino ARMYs like me to live life with passion and purpose.

Passion and purpose have no limit with Smart Prepaid.

Because of SMART’s wonderful promos such as the Double GigaVideo, I never miss my fave idols’ schedules, I am always updated with fan projects, I can stream songs and music videos whenever I want, and I can connect with my fellow K-pop fans worldwide.

Whoever you are, wherever you may be, I hope you keep learning, keep chasing your passion, and keep living your purpose.

Oh, if you haven't found your purpose yet, I hope you continue to search for it. Keep exploring. Eventually, you will find yourself living it. In the meantime, you can enjoy life's ride while connecting with the people you love.

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Merceline Carrasco

Merceline knows quite a lot about Korean culture as she's been fascinated by it since over a decade ago. She's travelled to Korea 8 times, is a "Krew"/volunteer staff for the Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines, and an Honorary Reporter for Korea.net. She's really into Korean stuff— from dramas, music, and films to food, fashion, and skincare, but has yet to put all her thoughts in a single webpage. Oh and by the way, she's grateful to BTS as they make her want to live better.