The Korean wave- its rise and power

See! We're trendy and fashionable!

Has he just survived from a electricity attack?
Vietnamese teenagers under The Korean Wave

Teenage boy with Korean hair style!

Truly " Korean" girls

The rise of the Korean Wave

Over the last decade Korean popular culture has become the most beloved culture among Asian people. Asia is no longer dominated by Western  culture, and people are choosing what they consider to be more Asian, as well as something that contains Asian values and sentiments. That is the trend toward a more Asian life.

More and more people throughout Vietnam are choosing to watch Korean movies, listen to Korean music, follow Korean soap-operas, wear Korean style clothes, play online games of Korea manufacture and even travel to Korea to visit sites they have seen in their favorite Korean dramas. This phenomenon is called the Korean Wave.

Starting point of  the Korean Wave

It is unclear wave started to become popular among Asians, but public media began recognizing Korean popular culture in Vietnam in 1998, when the Korean television drama ” The Medical Brothers” was broadcast in Ho Chi Minh city.

Jang Dong Gun and Lee Young Ae in The Medical Brothers

The drama caught people’s attention in part because its main actor, Jang Dong Gun, was particularly attractive to Vietnamese women. Vietnamese audiences were attracted to the ” modern image” seen in the fashion, hair style, and lifestyle of South Korea. The views and items portrayed in this drama, such as tall buildings and fancy cars, the high quality health care services and the high standard of living, portrayed South Korea as a modern and developed country. Also the modern images projected, such as following the latest fashion, emphasizing the visual imagery, all showed Korean television drama to be trendy. Vietnamese realized that Korean was much more modern than they had thought it to be.

The role of popular music in the circulation of Korean culture in Vietnam is very significant. Teenage band such as Baby Vox  attracted Vietnamese young audiences. The reason that Korean music attraced so many Asian fans is that it has adopted Western pop music and recreated it in Korean style, through fashion or performane style.

Baby Vox band

Aiming to conquer the Vietnamese music market, lots of Korean artist launch their albums in Vietnamese also.

V4Men band- The first Korean band to sing in Vietnamese

Korean movies added to the Korean Wave by offering sensational scenes and plots, in a maner different from those offered by Hollywood. They containted strong Korean characteristics and sentiments, which many Asians could easily assimilate.

The portrayal of South Korea in television dramas, in high quality of the visual images in Korean movies, confucian sentiments incorporated into music videos and soap-operas, the active promotion of Korean production companies, all created opportunities for Korean culture to circulate throughout Vietnam.

Why Korea?

Many scholars and journalists have written about Korean Wave in academic journals, newspaper and magazines, putting 2 reasons that make Korean Wave a force influences on the social behavior. Those are:

South Korean popular culture expresses Asian values and sentiments, which Asians can easily assimilate.

The self-confidence and nationalism Koreans show through their culture as well as in international events.


The effect of The Korean Wave in Vietnam is becoming much more serious. Many Vietnamese teenagers now favor Korean culture. Therefore, orientations must be conducted among variuos schools and universities in Vietnam to prevent teenagers from losing their Vietnamese traditional culture, a very important element in their growing up process, which is also part of their life.

Assisting young people to have solid knowledge, acknowledge responsibility for their actions, and be able to deal with difficulties is the most important thing, not simply preventing them from doing this or doing that, experts say.

Tran Ngoc Thai Duy- BAUN09359



8 responses to “The Korean wave- its rise and power

  1. Nguyen. T.T.Nhung

    i love ur topic a lot … lol b/c i’m one of fan of JANG DONG GUN and BIGBANG also. but i’m not so much crazy about them. u know, a lot of teenager overact in freaky way when they meet their idol. TERRIBLE !!!
    At the time of the movie ” The model” showed, i still remember that there had a lot of girl who dyed their hair into yellow and apply lipstick in plum color to their lips everywhere. it’s so funny ^^! it looks like “Korean-Vietnamese” lol . This phenomenon should be considered more than ,i think.

  2. Haha,the first to leave a comment for your entry!
    Your entry’s name attract me. Well, what a hot issue, right!?

    I think that not all of Vietnamese teenagers are influenced by Korean style or at least , they know how to mix it with Vietnamese style. Those picture you show us shown that these young pp are overreacting.They are freak not professional (like they might thought =.=)

    If you take time to listen to Korean music, you will realize that it is very amazing! I am a fan!

    Anyhow, love your essay! Keep doing well!

    p/s: I think you posted a wrong picture of BabyVox.I’ve seen them before and they are not 5 girls in that picture T~T

  3. That picture is Baby V.O.X re. V, not baby V.O.X (since i used to be a fan of baby V.O.X >/////<)

    Baby V.O.X re. V (or reVolution) is the 2nd Baby VOX. And i dont think Vietnamese people listen to they much (in fact, none at all :P) I believe Korea music attack Vietnamese because of Lee Jung Huyn, after Thanh Thảo covered (or stole at i saw it) her songs. Before that there ARE artist that are known in VietNam, but didnt sound like a big deal here…

    And it sound like you dont link Korea trend huh? ^^ I love them… Its just Vietnamese teens dont suit those kind of trend~! And they enjoy it too much… ^^"

  4. Hmm, i don’t think that’s Korean style in those pictures. Kind of Harajuku from Japan? I’m not sure though :p

  5. Lê Nguyễn Quỳnh Tiên

    I agree with Minh. I think Korean style is different. They have their own style but not freaky. Korean fashion is cute and suitable for Vietnamese (I think so). And it is not bad if you love a Korean band or a Korean singer, because in Asia, many teens have their Korean idols too, so why Vietnamese cannot?
    Some teens are overacting, but some are not. Like us, I know many students listen to K-Pop or US/UK music, not Vietnamese music. I think you know the reason why ^^ But we still know we are Vietnamese (we are not late 9X, who just try to be different and crazy >_<). We love "ao dai", love HCMC and love VN. I think when teens get older, they will know what is suitable for them. This is not a very serious situation.
    But I must agree that the Korean Wave is true. And thank you for this topic. It reminds me about Korean films in 1998 – 1999, when all Vietnamese mothers and daughters sat in front of a TV to watch films with a box of tissue nearby. =))

  6. LOL Tiên, how can youre everywhere?? XD

    “when all Vietnamese mothers and daughters sat in front of a TV to watch films with a box of tissue nearby. =))”

    I believe youre talking about my mom and me, just not in 1998-1999 XP

    Anyway this entry is not talking about serious situation, rite? Its quite interesting and not bashing anyone of us… so~~ We can take it easy i think…

    Chế Như Ngọc

  7. Lê Nguyễn Quỳnh Tiên

    @Micky: ^^ our blog and our friends’ entries are very interesting. I must read it all. 😀
    Haha, yeah, maybe not only about your mom and you, but also about many families. I think if you watch a romance Korean film, you have to cry at least one time TT_TT(right for girls only)

  8. I think your article hits a lot of good points. As part of the younger generation, I see a lot of Viet teens choosing Korean entertainment over Vietnamese entertainment. It is important that we try to remind the youth about their Vietnamese heritage and do more to promote the Vietnamese entertainment. A lot of Viet teens tend to say bad about Vietnamese music and entertainment but if you look hard on youtube and other Viet websites, there are actually quite a few of really good Vietnamese music out there. We have the potential so now we just have to improve the entertainment industry more and be PROUD of our culture. There’s too much separation between Vietnamese and it’s time we come together and forget the past. We need to talk more positively about ourselves and spread the beauty of our culture to others around the world.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s