oK Pop

Experiencing the K-Pop subculture

A dance group performs during the 3rd Philippine KPOP Convention held at the Megatent, Meralco Avenue, Ortigas, …Subcultures, a distinct group of people differentiated from a larger group, typically form around a common interest. In the past few years, a subculture passionate about the Hallyu phenomenon or the Korean Wave has grown tremendously. Judging from the approximately 25,000 mall attendance (Yes, mall attendance, not a show!) during the last Super Junior members' visit, the K-Pop subculture is indeed huge and is still growing.

Here are some reasons I think it's great to be part of the K-Pop community.

1. K-Pop and Passion
No doubt about it, K-Pop fans are passionate about Korean dramas, music, movies, television, and Korean culture in general. Outsiders not part of the K-Pop subculture will never truly understand the reason for this passion. The seemingly extreme emotional response is similar to those expressed by enthusiasts of anime, J-Pop, Star Trek, World of Warcraft and Twilight, which are subcultures of their own.

Observers of the K-Pop phenomenon cannot deny that a K-Pop fan's passion is palpable. Many have become K-Pop evangelists indoctrinating friends and family to their K-Pop world. Fans dress, eat, speak K-Pop and plan trips to Korea. Of course, anything in excess is unhealthy so there is a need to balance passion with reality.

How much of a K-Pop addict are you? Take this fun test!

2. K-Pop and Friendships
The passion for K-Pop has provided avenues for fans to develop friendships. Initially built around K-Pop "spazzing" or the need to chat and go hysterical from excitement over one's favorite K-Pop stars, deeper friendships quickly grow.

Online forums become venues to spazz out and engage in serious discussions. Most, if not all, of the bigger K-Pop fan clubs started as discussion forums. Fans who meet through these forums eventually grow close. Personally, I met a number of my closest friends because of K-Pop.

K-Pop has also inspired "cover dance groups" and "cover bands" that work on their act with the same discipline as as their idols. No surprise then that members develop deep friendships along the way.

3. K-Pop and Social Impact
Fans give back, too. The Philippine K-Pop Committee, a non-government organization composed of several local K-Pop fan clubs, not only organize events to bring together K-Pop fans, the group also supports the work of Gawad Kalinga. As the K-Pop community grows, I hope that their social impact also increases. Local and international K-Pop fan clubs also do their share, usually inspired by their idols, through activities such as relief operations, blood letting, compassion visits, donations, and even building a house!

Are you a proud member of the K-Pop subculture? Share your experiences with us!

Catherine Deen blogs for Yahoo! Philippines OMG! She lives, eats and breathes Korean music, cuisine, telenovelas, and pop culture. Follow her on Twitter @cathsdeen.

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