Culture versus Fangirls
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
I've been wanting to write this blog for a long time and I think I'm fully ready for it. I've stretched,c causing me to look at my homemade bulletin board, filled with Super Junior, Epik High and Kpop lighsticks. My mouse has run over my Tablo background to hit my Tumblr page, where Hangeng makes a heart at me smiling, only to see the devastation that has caused me to write this blog. Groaning, I grabbed myself a bottle of water smiling at Nishikido Ryo who takes up 50% of my wall space in my bed room, made my way back to my computer corner where SHINee and Eunhyuk cheer me on as I start to write. My iTunes is blasting Magic Power and a lot of Xie He Xian with subtle hints of Show Luo and Fahrenheit. As you can clearly see my life is completely full of Asia pop. A lot of teenagers/young adults are in the same boat as I am-in love with a complete different part of the world.
But as I type I still have one question on my mind. Are we in love with the exact same thing? Well I'm going to say no. But by the looks of it, right now, you think I'm full of crap. If you are a Kpop/Jpop/Cpop fan ask yourself this: How did you find this type of music? For me, I was researching how to speak Chinese videos on Taiwan versus Chinese Culture when I stumbled upon Fahrenheit, which then lead me to Youtube clicking until I fell in love with DBSK and Super Junior, only to find myself a few months later drenched in a musical style I couldn't get enough. I'd sit there smiling watching these idols dancing, but then Epik High found their way to me, and my opinions changed COMPLETELY once again. A few months down the road I met my best friend through Fahrenheit who introduced me to a whole new kind of Jpop than I was use to. Since I was about 10 I loved Anime and Manga. I'd look up theme songs trying to sing along, so I knew Jpop, but I never new it like this. Now I'll stop here- how did you roll upon Kpop/Jpop/Cpop? Similar? I hope so. Well now here is this one: Why did you stay?
I'm not going to lie at all, staring at very cute boys and pretty girls is a bonus but the reason I stayed? I found their mannerisms, traditions, and where they came from so intriguing. Not only am I in love with the music, it's their culture I can't get enough. I'm not trying to learn Chinese, Korean, Japanese just to speak to my idols. While it would be nice to walk up to them and speak their language, I think it's more respectful-but I'm not learning it just because of my idols. I want to go to those small villages and talk to the people to see what their Culture and History has showed them or taught them. I'm more interested in walking the streets of Nantou Puli, asking the elders of the village their history rather than running around in Taipei looking for Show Luo or Fahrenheit.
On my Tumblr I reblog a lot of things that deep down piss me off. All I see a lot of the time is: SEOUL I'M COMING. SOUTH KOREA I WANT. SOUTH KOREA I NEED YOU. But why? Are you really interested in visiting this country or are you wanting to got here to see your idols. South Korean isn't only known for it's boybands you know. Have you ever researched their history? Their culture? Do you know what Chuseok is? Do you know what Chinese New Year is? Do you know what the Lantern Festival is? Do you know why people wear Hanbok/Hanfu/Kimonos? Do you know their culture? Do you understand it? Because honestly, people who run to these countries without knowing anything give people like me who are trying to study it a bad name. I'm not trying to bash these people or not make their dreams come true--if your dream is to go to South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China than who am I to stop you. But seriously think of learning the culture before making an idiot out of westerners.
Another thing that I absolutely can't stand is the shallow minds. I see a lot of people saying they want to marry an Asian boy--but I doubt they really do. Tell me, when you think of Asian what pops into your mind? Korean? Japanese? Chinese? Hold it! Are you thinking Taiwanese or Chinese? Do you know the difference? What about Malaysians? Vietnamese? Thai? East Asia doesn't just consist of Koreans and Japanese. I've talked to people where they just want to date a Korean--that's not Asian. That's Korean. There is a difference. And some people don't even count China!
Close mindedness doesn't help the fact that we look like idiots when we go overseas. I'm going to stick out, hey I'm short, overweight, I have tattoos, and blonde hair-but that doesn't mean I can't speak their language. I get so many questions about where I want to go after I finish college. I smile and say "Taiwan" they look at me all "Why do you want to go there?" I'm pretty sure every one thinks East Asia is full of despair, it has to be when they follow saying "It's bad over there." I even had someone tell me not to go to Taiwan because their Communist! COMMUNIST!? My Writing 2 professor in college told me Taiwan was like Hawaii to China. Do people even know what they are talking about? I bet a lot of Kpopers are reading this wondering where Taiwan is--they see it all the time when their idols go overseas but do they really know what/where it is?
See! This is what I'm talking about! Fangirling has taken over a culture that I love, and I'm afraid by the time I get there ready to learn more about these beautiful cultures everything will be gone, and I'll be walking down subway stations full of Kpop this, Jpop that, Cpop there. I'm afraid when I get to Seoul people will laugh thinking I'm just another fangirl to see their Idol. I'm so scared that when I head to Singapore people will smile and say I've hit the wrong section of Asia. The worst of it, is I don't want to head to Taipei and Tokyo and be laughed at because other westerners have left a bad name for my race. Maybe I'm just being over critical but I believe if you are going to enjoy a different part of the world's music, you should also try to understand their culture, their history and not just their language. I would suggest actually taking classes rather than learning it alone through dramas, TV shows, and music videos. Take pride in this area of the world you love. Watch what you say, it mind offend someone. Are you really into Asians or just a certain type of Asian? Do you really want to visit these countries, or do you want to go see your idols?
TL;DR Fangirls have taken over delicate cultures which can be easily insulted, making it hard for those of us who want a life out East for the culture and history--not just the idols.
I have to agree with everything you said. Korea is beautiful on its own, even without the K-Pop. I get annoyed easily when everyone now seems to wanting to go to Korea which I'm pretty sure to see the idols. Well, you can't even buy the tickets when they came to Malaysia, so why go there if you don't even know how to appreciate the real Korea~ Oh, thank you for requesting at dorkistic.net.. the layout is beautiful~
Hello! My name is An Ai Tian but you call me Iseul
I'm a college student attending The Ohio State University to major in Chinese with two minors in Korean and Japanese
My ultimate goal in life is to work oversea's with the cultures I love dearly.
I'm obsessed with East Asian Culture, and enjoy listening to Asia Pop!
I'm very opinionated and I hope you forgive me if I insult you, or something you like.
Please enjoy my not-so-well thought out rants, we can be friends.
I highly enjoy these bands! If you like them too, please follow me on my different medias.
Epik High, Super Junior, NEWS, Kanjani8, SHINee, SNSD, Big Bang, f(x), TRAX!, Infinite, B1A4, DBSK, BoA, Fahrenheit, 謝和弦，Magic Power, Yamashita Tomohisa and many more. Don't be afraid to ask.
I wish on airplanes! I'm currently stuck at 21 airplanes and 3 out of my 6 wishes have come true. c:
I dislike those who judge people (I think it's hypocritical though since I always do), and I believe everyone has an opinion. I just shout mine at the top of my lungs.
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