Hallyu, the Korean wave or Korean fever, is not a new concept for many people. This term originated from Chinese journalists to name the high growing popularity of South Korean culture in mid-1999 in China. Nowadays, Hallyu has become a phenomenon in Asia, especially East Asia, and has spread to the Middle East, North Africa, and Eastern Europe. Each year, Korea gains millions of dollars from the Hallyu effect. In addition, it increases the Korean cultural interest and opens a new door for the tourism of Korea to the world. The Korean culture also strongly influences the lifestyle of many people, especially the youth.

Hallyu brought Korea about $500 million in 2002 and $1 billion in 2005. This total revenue was earned from the exporting of electrically household applicants, software technologies, and entertainment’s products. Most of our furniture and appliances are Korean products, and the trade names such as Samsung, LG, Daewoo, and Hyundai are well-known in Asia as well as in the world. NCSoft – the Korean game producer – with enormously popular multiplayer online role-playing games span across 29 countries engender $39.8 million only in last 3 months of 2009. Besides, Korea can be considered as a big cultural exporter when more and more countries, mostly in Asian countries such as Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, which have high demand for broadcast programs and dramas of Korea. Korean pop music is also welcomed ebulliently by the Asian youth.

When using the term Hallyu, people usually think of the entertainment industry, especially drama and pop music. Korean drama has achieved resounding success overseas and stood on the top of the heyday with Autumn in My Heart, Stairway to Heaven, Dae Jang Geum, Full House, and BOF. There are a variety of key factors that make the success of Korean dramas. However, there are three main factors that build up this phenomenon. First, the plot stories of these programs are not old-fashioned but unique, and close to our real life. It makes the drama more animated and attainable to the audience. Second, the outstanding production technology plays an essential role to construct the “glistening” dramas. Most of the dramas are carefully processed to have the finest work before publishing. Finally, yet importantly, the physical charm of the actors and actresses is the main key to appeal to the viewers. Furthermore, the actors and actresses’ character in drama is very ideal and has become the dream of many audiences, especially females.

Besides, Korean pop music or K-pop sets a new trend of music interest in the youth nowadays.Super Junior, SNSD, Big Bang, 2 PM, Bi Rain, and Se7en are making a K-pop fever all over Asia. Besides, some Korean bands and singers like Wonder Girls and BoA are hitting the music market in US and gaining many positive results. The attractive dance, the harmonious mix of melody, and the nice-looking singers are the three main factors that build the name of K-pop. Their music has become the favorite of many Asian countries, especially in Japan. People love to watch their eye-catching videos, sing along and dance like them.

Through these entertainment products, the Korean culture becomes broadly popular in Asia and some parts of the world. People are gradually familiar with the customs, costumes, food, pop music, and language of Korea. Whenever we think about Korea, Hanbok – the traditional Korean costume – seems to be the first image in our mind. Many Korean style restaurants spring up like mushrooms to meet the needs of people for kimchi, sochu, and others Korean food. Besides, more and more people want to learn the Korean language due to Korean drama. In Vietnam, Korean language is increasingly popular and some universities have foreign language department that allow student to learn Korean instead of English or French. Additionally, Hallyu opens a new gate for tourism of Korea when more and more people consider Korea as a tourist destination. Korean drama, movie, and music inspire people to think about a Korea with romantic and picturesque landscapes, friendly and sincere people, and a harmony between traditional and modern lifestyle. Each year, it attracts a great number of tourists from Japan, China, Singapore,Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam to visit a real Korea and discover the Miracle on the Han River.

Hallyu affects strongly the lifestyle of many people, especially the youth. It changes their thinking and attitude in life, but sometimes in the negative way. The number of people that have cosmetic surgery has increased, mostly in women and teenagers. They want to have perfect appearances like actors and actresses in drama. Besides, they prefer using the Korean products such as clothes, cosmetic, and cell phone that appear in dramas and music videos. In addition, they become a slave to fashion. From hairstyles and make-up to the clothes they wear, they want to be the same as the Korean celebrities. Somehow, they appreciate a person by appearance and discount quality. Besides, they are addicted to the deep, manly, and romantic manner of actors in dramas. Furthermore, a happy ending always happens between a talented male character and a lubberly female one that creates a vain dream in the viewers. As a result, they are easily disappointed when their boyfriends are not as wonderful as these actors are. For some youngsters, they do not try their best to overcome the obstacles, and wait for a prince, just like in dramas, to save their life.

Overall, hallyu is a triumph of Koreans to popularize their culture and products to the world. It is stepping forward further to the America and many Western countries. However, it also faces some problems. Some countries are trying to stop this Korean wave for several reasons in terms of the bad effect to the youth and the business competition. However, Hallyu is a model that many countries can learn from to have suitable strategies of broadcasting their image to the world.

Minh Nguyên _9D

  • Trương Thị Thanh Tuyền

    Right, but there're some points you loose.
    First, the physical charm is not the most important reason lead the success of Korean entertainment products.
    Second, admiration is not only because the beauty of apperance, but also because the will to overcome obstacles of them to keep their foothold in the showbiz, that's the most important thing to build an unshakeable admiration.
    We should learn the way Korean have done, but moreover, we should learn their spirit. As the president of corporation Hyundai used to say "Nothing is failure, all is obstacle"