The Lastest Invation into North Korea? K-pop!

According to the website donga.com  The K-pop Wave that has been sweeping
Europe and all of Asia has jumped the fence into North Korea.

Can this be the diplomatic event that could
bring the peninsula back together? I don’t know but I am happy to watch them
try….for hours and hours…

Heres the scoop:

South Korean pop music, or K-pop, has reportedly
started to gain popularity in North Korea.Despite a stern crackdown by the North’s security authorities, many people in
the North led by the children of high-income families are learning the latest
South Koreanfolk songs and dance, news reports say.Introducing this trend, the U.S.-based Radio Free Asia said Tuesday, “Names
of South Korean dance groups, such as Girls’ Generation’ and Big Bang are no
longer unheard of in North Korea.”

A Chinese trader who frequently visits North Korea told the broadcaster,
“South Korean dance fever is sweeping young people in Pyongyang,” adding, “A
homemaker of a well-heeled family asked me to get a Girls’ Generation CD to her
recently.”

The Radio Free Asia report said dance is so popular among children of the
North`s rich and powerful in their teens and 20s living around Pyongyang’s
Junggu or Daedong River districts. Rumors also suggest that “those who cannot
dance disco cannot play with other children.”

Private lessons for dance have gotten popular, and tutors even teach dance
and singing at homes and exercise rooms for 20 U.S. dollars per month.

The trader said, “These days, homemakers of rich households don`t tell their
children to learn the accordion or another instrument, and are more interested
in teaching modern dance entailing both dance and singing.”

The children of senior North Korean officials who attend prestigious schools
such as Kim Il Sung University and Pyongyang Commercial University are enjoying
South Korean and Western music by dodging the relatively loose crackdown on
them, he said.

“Hallyu,” or the Korean Wave of South Korean pop culture, has been repeatedly
confirmed by North Korean defectors. With more South Korean dramas and music CDs
flowing into the North via the North Korea-China border, chances are high that
famous South Korean singers, including girl groups, will enjoy increased
visibility, experts say.

An official at Hanawon, a state-run training center assisting North Korean
defectors to settle in the South, said, “Many North Korean students really like
South Korean songs and dance, and they easily follow South Korea’s singing and
dancing,” adding, “Dance performances staged in the trainees’ completion
ceremony at Hanawon is just as impressive as performances by South Korean
singers or students.”

North Korean authorities are stepping up their crackdown on hallyu, with one
saying, “The inflow of external trends, including the Korean Wave, should be
blocked.”

Pyongyang apparently believes that external winds of this nature could pose a
stumbling block to consolidating the structure of power succession for heir
apparent Kim Jong Un.

In a visit to Shinuiju early last month, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il
reportedly criticized his country`s fashion and social disorder by saying,
“North Pyongan Province has become a dance hall of capitalism.” He then ordered
a stronger crackdown.

I love when I accidentally find great music! NeeHaoMag & Beilei

While reading on a new magazine i am enjoying NeeHaoMag I found this awesome artist Beilei. So I searched on Youtube and found her videos there. She is awesome! Check her out!!

I am often asked … Why do I love China … « Wandering Waiguoren 漫步外国人

from :I am often asked … Why do I love China … « Wandering Waiguoren 漫步外国人.

I am often asked why china and why do I love it so much. Do i hate america? no has nothing to do with my love of my country…it is hard to explain but I recently had to write an essay for my scholarship that helps give you an idea why and how much I truly love China.

***

 

China and Chinese culture has been a love of mine since I was 5 years old. I used to read stories of a far away land with beauty and mystery. At the time I dreamed of traveling to China and walking on the Great Wall, but at the time it was not possible.

When I came to The University of Akron in 2008, shortly after the Beijing Olympics, I began to take any course that I could on China. I made a big leap and tried Chinese as my foreign language and fell deeper in love with the country and it filled my dreams.

Chinese was very hard but extremely rewarding. I began listening to mandarin music and watching Chinese movies. I wanted to read, see and listen to anything to do with China. I worked hard because I wanted to achieve higher knowledge of the language and the culture.

In May 2010, I was given an opportunity to live my dream of visiting China. During a two-week stay I was able to see amazing cities like Shanghai, Kaifeng, Xi’an and Beijing. I have never been so happy in my life! I saw magnificent places I had only read about in books. I was in awe of the history I was in contact with. I savored every moment I could in places like the Pudong in Shanghai; the Daxiangguo Temple in Kaifeng; the Teracotta Army and the city wall in Xi’an; and the Great Wall and Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

I want to take my study of the Chinese language and cultures even further and teach others about the beauty of it. To do so, I would greatly be honored to partake in the year long study of the Chinese language in China. I deeply feel that in order to create a more harmonious world we should learn about other countries and cultures in order to understand them.

I believe that we as Americans cannot continue to force our ideals on other countries. As citizens of the world we need to embrace other cultures and build bridges of learning between the countries. By studying Chinese language and culture, I hope to help build those bridges of understanding between our nations.

Knowledge is the greatest tool and Chinese is a tool I hope to master and eventually pass on to others.

You can ask anyone that knows me about what my passion is and they will abundantly say it is Chinese language and culture. I am the vice-president of the Chinese Cultural Society at The University of Akron, a volunteer at many Chinese culture events, and have written about Chinese culture on our school paper. I am an active promoter of Chinese language, not only at The University of Akron, but in our local community. My hope is that I can help continue the bridge between our countries for many years to come.

Learning Chinese language has also opened many doors for me. I have met many wonderful people since I began my studies. I was also able to turn my love of Chinese language and culture into a part-time student assistant position at our universities Confucius Institute. There I had the pleasure of assisting on many events including out campus’ “China Week” and “Chinese Summer Camp.”

I also spoke to high-school students who are also studying Chinese during “High School China Day” sponsored by our Confucius Institute. Along with another Chinese Student, we taught different study methods that will attract a younger audience. My classmate and I both discovered that through Mandarin pop music we could improve our pronunciation and our vocabulary while enjoying new music and learning about the popular culture of China. At the end of the High School China Day our students performed a popular song for everyone. It was sung in Mandarin and everyone enjoyed it very much. Our class was quiet popular and we were asked to do it again for summer camp.

When awarded this scholarship I will be a model student and ambassador for both The University of Akron and the Confucius Institute. I will maintain the highest level of behavior and will continuously promote Henan University, Confucius Institute, and Chinese Language.

I feel this once-in-a-life time opportunity will provide me with the skills to improve my Chinese well beyond a traditional American classroom setting. Without the opportunity to practice Chinese every day, I fear I will begin to lose what I worked so hard to gain. I wish to go as high as I can in my proficiency in Chinese language and feel this is the best tool to do so. By immersion into the culture and country I am able to observe and learn things that cannot be fully expressed in class, all the small things that people who are communicating do when speaking to one another. These are the things that make a Chinese speaker truly a master.

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.

Korean TV idols set tone among Chinese fashion consumers

By Andrea Fenn

SHANGHAI — “There are tens of million people watching them, they have become more popular than the evening news”.

Lin Yu walks down the aisles of Korea Museum with the two hands encumbered with shopping bags. The logos on the bags read “Korean dream”, “Korean movie star” and have writings in both Chinese and Korean characters.

Like many young Chinese consumers, she is enthusiastic about Korean fashion. And like most of them, the source of this enthusiasm is chiefly one: Korean television series.

The popularity of TV series from South Korea has grown so big to influence a whole generation of young Chinese in their lifestyle and consumption choices. As a consequence, Korean style is increasingly in vogue among youngsters, and clothes from Korea are extremely well received among Chinese consumers.

S&S Fashion Plaza is a department store in Shanghai. Among those who work and shop there, it is better known as ‘Korea Museum’, as it is one of the fashion malls catering to Korea enthusiasts and selling chiefly Korean produced and designed clothes, which now operate virtually in every big city in China.

With more than 100 shops, roughly 60% exclusively selling Korean fashion, assistant manager Hou Yibin argues S&S Fashion Plaza is one of the biggest Korean department stores in East China.

“There is a great demand for Korean-design clothes, and we serve customers and shops in most of the Yangtze Delta region”, says Mr. Hou.

Visiting the shops in S&S Fashion Plaza, it is almost immediately clear why Korean clothes stand out compared to the local garments.

Owner of one of the shops Liu Jianxu is sitting at the counter sporting one of his flagship items: a shocking blue fur jacket that would not go unnoticed on a fashion runway in Seoul.

Despite being nationally Chinese, Mr. Liu belongs to the North Korean ethnic minority of Heilongjiang and he is very proud of his roots, as well as of the designs he sells.

“Korean clothes have deeper colors, a better fit on the body and more pioneering cuts”, he explains.

However, more than the sophisticated materials and design, the main reason for the success of Korean clothes seems to be the huge influence of Korean TV series among young Chinese.

“All my friends love them”, customer Lin Yu, 25, explains. “And we all want to dress up like the characters in the series”.

In recent years, Korean drama series have achieved widespread popularity in China. A February 2011 report from the Korean Culture and Information Service shows TV series are the element of Korean culture Chinese people are most satisfied in.

The success of Korean TV – which has generated the new term hanliu, literally “Korean frenzy”- results in high views and sales of Korean video products. Li Fujing, a DVD seller in Shanghai, says Korean TV series “My Princess”, currently one of the most popular Korean dramas in China, is so requested that DVDs have been sold out for the past two weeks and it is virtually impossible to find in video shops around China.

Chris Berry, professor of television and film studies at Goldsmiths, University of London and International Research Center for Cultural Studies IFK, Vienna, reckons Korean TV dramas are popular because they are centered on topics that are congenial among young Chinese, chiefly urban women.

“Korean dramas involve love and family life, things that Chinese feel culturally close to and can relate to”, he says.

Prof. Berry argues through Korean TV, Chinese young middle-class feed their aspirational interest towards Korea and its glamorous capital Seoul.

“Chinese audience see in Seoul and in the characters of the dramas what China and the Chinese people might be in the future”, says Prof. Berry. “From these dramas, people imagine a glamorized and idealized idea of Korea they are fascinated by and aspire to”.

According to Prof. Berry, the success of these TV series is often linked to actual consumption, and adds in the growing popularity of Korean fashion in China. In 2010, Chinese imports of finished garments from Korea grew by 37.8% to USD 152m.

Korea is now the second biggest single exporter of clothes to China after Hong Kong. And fashion coming from Korea seems to be one of the products that Chinese consumers are most attracted to because of these television dramas.

“There are online shops where you can buy exactly the dress that one actress wore in that one TV series”, Prof. Berry recounts. “And they are extremely popular”.

Popularity allows Korean clothes to enjoy unconditional favor among drama lovers, even though the retail cost tends to exceed that of local products.

According to shop owner Mr. Liu, while there is a growing number of brands producing fashion directly in Mainland China, the majority of Korean clothes in China is still manufactured in South Korea. And this, naturally, brings retail prices higher.

“When clothes are made in Korea, quality is better and the design is more refined”, says Liu. “It’s natural that the price is higher”.

However, there is also who thinks the frenzy about Korean TV is leading to unbalances in the market, as sometimes clothes from Korea are merchandised at a higher price than the average only because of the connection with television dramas.

According to S&S Fashion Plaza’s Mr. Hou, Korean clothes sold in his department store can be up to 3 times more expensive than same quality clothes produced in China, yet customers still seem willing to pay the difference.

“Chinese consumers have a strange attitude, sometimes they are more willing to pay more for something rather than less”, he admits. “And this is an exemplar case”.

If the influence of television on youth is often regarded negatively, in the case of Korean TV series it might at least be bamboozling the consumption choices of several Chinese young fashion consumers.

Via: Korean TV idols set tone among Chinese fashion consumers.

2NE1 Announces ‘Global Event’ via @gokpop

2NE1 and YG present a ”Global Event’ for fans with an amazing prize.

2NE1 has introduced their first ‘Global Event’ just like Big Bang.

In this case fans will have to make a cover of their new single ‘Lonely’ and upload it on YouTube. Since YG is promoting this event creativity is a must.

All 2NE1 fans in the world can participate in this event, it does not matter where you are or your nationality, and can make an individual or group cover. The ones who want to join will have to post a comment on their official event site HERE and attach the video with the tittle ‘2NE1 LONELY COVER CONTEST’. The contest is already open and will finish on June 21st.

via @gokpop 2NE1 Announces ‘Global Event’.

South Korean star Rain talks about music and movies, but not his looming 2-year military duty – The Washington Post

MACAU — In nine years, Rain has gone from an unknown backup dancer to one of Asia’s hottest stars. The South Korean actor-singer also has two Hollywood movies to his credit.

But his thriving entertainment career must be put on hold later this year when he reports for two years of mandatory military duty. It’s a topic the 28-year-old performer doesn’t want to discuss.

In the southern Chinese gambling enclave Macau for the latest stop of what is likely his final Asian tour before military service, Rain made sure the media couldn’t ask him about his imminent break from the entertainment industry.

At a news conference — delayed 2 1/2 hours — before his concert at the Venetian Macao casino-hotel late Saturday, organizers banned questions that were not preapproved by Rain’s managers. Instead of discussing how the break would affect his entertainment career, Rain spoke about Macau and fan reaction around Asia.

He talked about his new movie “Living in the Sky,” in which he plays a pilot, and said he wanted to make more action films and take on romantic roles in TV dramas.

Few details of his military duty have been disclosed, but he told South Korean media last month that it would start at the end of this year.

Managers for the the South Korean star, whose real name is Jung Ji-hoon, refused an interview request in Macau from The Associated Press.

In his short career, Rain has released five Korean albums and a Japanese record and launched a film and TV career. He has also crossed over to America, appearing in a “dance-off” against comedian Stephen Colbert and starring in the Hollywood action thrillers “Speed Racer” and “Ninja Assassin.”

But Rain thinks his entertainment future lies in Asia.

“Now America is no longer dominant. Now many Asian movies and songs are very popular. The two regions have the same status now,” he said.

Rain’s fans are confident their idol will emerge from the two-year break unscathed.

Several dozen die-hard fans were camped out outside the concert venue six hours before show time.

“He is a very hardworking person. Serving in the military will improve his determination. It will make him more manly and more mature. His career might take a different direction after his military service, but I think he will keep getting better and better,” said 21-year-old university student Zhao Wenwei.

“All his fans think that if he is gone for two years, we will not forget him. We will remember him by watching his movies and other past works,” said the Shanghai resident, who shelled out 1,980 Macau patacas ($255) for her ticket.

“The two years of military service will help build his endurance,” said Ivy Tang, an 18-year-old university student from the southern Chinese city Guangzhou who traveled to Macau with about 60 fellow members of a Rain discussion group on the Chinese search engine Baidu.

___

Online:

Rain’s website: http://rain-jihoon.com

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

from:South Korean star Rain talks about music and movies, but not his looming 2-year military duty – The Washington Post.

China Picture – Travel Photo – National Geographic Photo of the Day

China Picture – Travel Photo – National Geographic Photo of the Day.

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