Despite being a part of India, the Mini Korea in India is northern state of Manipur. Ever since local authorities banned Bollywood movies and Hindi TV channels in a bid to “stamp out Indianisation”, a vast majority of the local population have turned to Korean pop-culture.
When separatist rebels in the remote north eastern state of Manipur banned Hindi movies a decade ago, they had little idea it would trigger a cultural invasion from a country more than 2,000 miles away. But when Bollywood was forced out, the Koreans moved in.
In the markets of the state capital Imphal, shops are packed with DVDs of South Korean films and television soap operas, as well as CDs of Korean pop stars, with a particular focus on preening boy bands. Hairdressing salons are covered with head shots of Korean celebrities and offer a wide range of spiky, “Korean-style” cuts which are hugely popular with young Manipuris of both sexes.
Teenagers also trawl through Gambhir Market, a three-story warren of tiny boutiques, for skinny jeans and other clothing trends inspired by Korean television shows.Even the language has made inroads, with Korean phrases like annyeong-haseyo (hello), kamsahamnida (thank you) and sarang-haeyo (I love you) peppering conversations in schoolyards and market-places. With the emergence of channels like Korea’s KBS World Arirang Tv, the popularity of Korean popular culture became more widespread, and Manipur soon started to resemble a mini-Korea in India.
Similarities Between Korean And Manipuri Cultures
It generally becomes easier for the learners to relate to certain part of the new culture which are found to have something similar in their own native cultures.
Even though Korean greetings are done with a bow depending on the situation, which is not found in Manipuri culture, the current study will highlight the similar ways in which we greet each other by using verbal expressions. Korean way of greeting sometimes use the expression bap meogeoseoyo literally meaning have you eaten food but carries the sense of hope all is well. Similarly, in Manipuri culture too we sometimes use the phrase chaak charbra literally meaning have you eaten food but implying that whether all is well or not. Both the cultures have seen very difficult times in the past where having a proper meal felt like a luxury. Therefore, it became a way to greet generally to ask if one has had that kind of a luxury, implying that whether things have been going on well.
Difference between the methods of offering formal bow in Manipur and Korean culture in a formal ceremony by a male and a female is also found to in both the cultures. A male bows differently in both the cultures as compared to the manner in which a female bows during ceremonies. It is an interesting part of the practical class, where students get to practice the permissible way to bow in the Korean way.
Korean Food culture may be very different but both the cultures have rice eating communities and eat fermented food especially fermented soya bean (doenjang in Korean and hawaijar in Manipuri).
One of the gestures that are prohibited in both the cultures is that of using left hand to give or to receive anything. If done so, it is considered to be rude especially if the counterpart is a an elder or senior.
It is an accepted norm in Manipuri society to leave shoes outside while entering someone else house. Another similar behavior in both the cultures is that the eldest in the family is always served first and the rest of the family waits until the eldest member starts having the meal. Both the cultures pay utmost importance to the elderly while proceeding with any matter at hand. It can be seen in various forms of honorific forms used while addressing a senior. For instance, honorific form the verb to eat in Korean is deushida, which has an equivalent form in Manipuri called luk haba instead of chaba and that’s why people saying mini korean in India.
Where is Korea in India?
Korean people can be found in various parts of India, primarily in cities that have a significant presence of international companies, educational institutions, and cultural exchanges. Some of the major cities in India where you can find Korean communities are:
- Chennai: The capital city of the state of Tamil Nadu has a notable Korean population due to the presence of Hyundai Motors, which has a manufacturing plant in the nearby city of Sriperumbudur.
- Delhi: The capital city of India is home to a diverse range of international communities, including Koreans. Many Koreans in Delhi are students, professionals, or diplomats.
- Bengaluru: Known as India’s Silicon Valley, Bengaluru attracts a large number of multinational companies, including Korean tech companies. It has a growing Korean community due to the presence of Korean IT firms and educational institutions.
- Mumbai: As the financial and entertainment capital of India, Mumbai is a cosmopolitan city that attracts people from various countries, including Korea. Many Koreans work in the entertainment industry or are involved in business and trade.
- Pune: Located in Maharashtra, Pune is another city with a significant Korean presence. It has a growing number of Korean students and professionals due to educational and business opportunities.
Why is Korea Popular in India?
Korean culture and entertainment have gained significant popularity in India over the past decade. Here are a few reasons why Korean culture, particularly K-pop and Korean dramas, have become popular in India:
- K-pop Music: K-pop has gained a massive following worldwide, and India is no exception. Korean boy bands and girl groups, such as BTS, BLACKPINK, EXO, and TWICE, have attracted a dedicated fan base North East in India. Their catchy music, impressive choreography, and engaging performances have resonated with Indian fans, leading to the growth of K-pop fandoms across the country. That’s reasons everyone saying Mini korea in India.
- Korean Dramas (K-dramas): Korean dramas have gained a substantial viewership in India. These dramas offer a unique blend of romance, drama, and intriguing storylines, often with high production quality. The availability of K-dramas on streaming platforms like Netflix, Viki, and Viu has made it easier for Indian viewers to access and enjoy these shows, contributing to their popularity.
- Cultural Exchange: The increase in cultural exchange between South Korea and India has also contributed to the popularity of Korean culture. With the rise of bilateral trade and business collaborations, there has been an influx of Korean expatriates and companies in India. This has facilitated the exchange of cultural practices, leading to the spread of Korean cuisine, fashion, beauty trends, and more.
- Social Media and Online Communities: Social media platforms have played a significant role in spreading Korean culture in India. Online communities and fan clubs dedicated to K-pop and K-dramas provide a platform for fans to connect, share their love for Korean entertainment, and participate in fan events. This online presence has helped create a sense of community and has further fueled the popularity of Korean culture.
- Global Hallyu Wave: The Hallyu Wave, also known as the Korean Wave, refers to the global popularity of Korean entertainment and culture. As the Hallyu Wave has reached various countries, including India, the exposure to Korean music, dramas, films, and fashion has increased. The diverse and captivating content produced by the Korean entertainment industry has captivated audiences around the world, including India.
Why K-Pop is Popular in India?
K-pop has gained significant popularity in India over the years due to several factors:
- Catchy Music and Energetic Performances: K-pop offers a unique blend of catchy music, impressive choreo – graphy, and high-energy performances. The infectious beats, memorable hooks, and visually appealing music videos make it appealing to a wide range of audiences, including those in India. K-pop songs often have a mix of Korean and English lyrics, which allows listeners to connect with the music even if they don’t understand the Korean language.
- Global Reach and Online Accessibility: K-pop has successfully expanded its reach globally through social media platforms and online streaming services. Artists and agencies actively promote their music on platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, making it easily accessible to fans worldwide, including India. The availability of K-pop music videos, live performances, and behind-the-scenes content online has helped create a dedicated fan base in India.
- Dedicated Fan Culture: K-pop fandoms are known for their strong dedication and active participation in supporting their favorite artists. Indian K-pop fans, often referred to as “K-poppers” or “K-pop stans,” actively engage in fan activities such as streaming music videos, voting for awards, organizing fan events, and creating fan art. The sense of community and shared enthusiasm among K-pop fans in India has contributed to the popularity and growth of the genre.
- Cultural Exchange and Globalization: With the advancement of globalization, cultural exchange between countries has become more accessible. Korean entertainment companies have actively expanded their reach beyond South Korea, targeting international markets, including India. Concert tours, fan meetings, and collaborations between Korean and Indian artists have further promoted the popularity of K-pop in India.
- Influence of Korean Dramas: Korean dramas, known as K-dramas, have gained a significant following in India. Many K-drama fans are introduced to K-pop through the soundtracks of these dramas, which often feature songs by popular K-pop artists. The crossover between K-drama and K-pop fandoms has contributed to the increased popularity of K-pop in India. That’s why people called Manipur is Mini Korea in India.
- Unique and Diverse Appeal: K-pop offers a wide range of genres, styles, and concepts. The industry produces music that caters to different tastes, including pop, hip-hop, R&B, EDM, and more. This diversity allows K-pop to appeal to a broader audience in India, as individuals can find songs and artists that align with their preferences.
In summary, the catchy music, energetic performances, online accessibility, dedicated fan culture, cultural exchange, influence of K-dramas, and the unique appeal of K-pop have collectively contributed to its popularity in India. The combination of these factors has helped K-pop gain a strong fan base and establish a presence in the Indian music scene.