How does it feel to be a K-Pop fan in Nepal?

K-Pop

‘K-pop’ means ‘Korean Popular Music’. This is a special genre of popular music originated in South Korea. From BTS’s Dynamite to Blackpink’s DDU-DU DDU-DU, K-pop is widely appreciated and loved.

Their music is unique, heart-triggering, and soothing. I was intrigued with their music the day I listened to them back in 2016. No doubt, I am huge fan of K-Pop since then.

This is the very first time, I am openly accepting my love for K-pop and the music industry.

But have you ever been mocked by your friends or strangers for your unique preference towards K-Pop? I go through this that all time. Many K-Pop fans in Nepal might have faced what I encountered recently. I was teased, mocked, and laughed at loving K-pop. Like, seriously? What’s wrong with their music? Why so much hate over this particular genre?

Let’s make it clear that K-pop is widely distinguished by its use of a variety of unique and catchy audiovisual elements. This term is mostly used to represent the music produced by idol groups. Thinking about why I hesitate to say ‘I am a huge K-pop fan in Nepal’? I will explain this too.

Before that, let me list out some of the infamous quotes that we (k-pop fans in Nepal) hear from non-k-pop fans almost every time when we confess our love for K-Pop:


#1. Why Listen To K-pop When You Don’t Understand A Word?

Photo: Pexels

Well hey, let me tell you one truth- ‘Music is made not only to listen but to feel them.

Another truth is, yes, I don’t completely understand the lyrics of K-pop music, but I am exploring my taste in international music and I am loving the positive vibe it’s spreading.


It lets me understand and feel the art, language, culture, and music from a non-native country. Besides, music is something that’s beyond language.
You don’t need to understand them completely. But you can feel its beauty.
I am not saying their music is far better than ours. What I am trying to say is I respect their music and I respect their hard work and effort.
It somehow heals my soul and I believe it heals many others too.


One more argument on why I listen to them when I don’t understand a word.
Have you listened to the worldwide famous Latin pop song ‘Despacito’ and also to ‘Gangnam Style? Why did you enjoy listening to them when you also didn’t understand a word despite the title of the song? It’s because you enjoyed the music, it’s because it struck in your head, it’s because it’s good international music.
The same rule follows when it comes to me liking K-pop.



#2. They Look Alike Girls, They Wear Makeups:


Why do people prefer doing makeup? Obviously, to look good. First thing first make-up is genderless. You do not need to be of a certain gender to wear makeup. People do makeup to feel confident, to look more flawless, to present their better version. If it beautifies your outer appearance, then what is wrong with doing makeup? K-pop artists use makeup to present their unique version. They love the way they look, we(k-pop fans) adore their makeups and their music, their career is shining like that of a highlighter then why judge them if they wear makeups? What harm has it done? It hasn’t degraded the makeup & beauty business with them using the makeups.

Fan
Photo: Teen Vogue

It’s just the narrow-thought process of humans.

We live in a society where women are differentiated from men by seeing their makeup. And yes, wearing makeup doesn’t make you look like a girl. It is their culture and way of treating themselves with makeup to look attractive and charismatic. So, we hold no right to question their culture or their makeup.

And if you still think K-pop artists look-alike girls wearing makeup, always imagine your favorite male movie character or a male television host, or the groom from our Nepali wedding culture who wears makeup. This might change your perspective towards makeup. If it doesn’t then I am sorry dude. I can’t help with your personal problem.


#3. They All Look The Same:

Do they look the same? So what’s wrong? They are equally talented at the same time, right? They all are loved, their music is praised. But, I have seen people teasing K-pop artists saying they have small eyes, they look plastic and whatnot. Okay and? I mean are people jealous or stupid to judge others in that way? The only opinion I have for those friends is, don’t disrespect anyone for their appearance or for their talent, or for any reason. Everyone is good the way they are. Nobody’s perfect and that’s okay.

#4. K-pop fans are toxic:

You can’t judge the whole fandom just because you had one wrong encounter with an individual K-pop fan. There are multiple events where k-pop fans have come together in the name of their idols to help during the tough times. BTS, Black pink and EXO fans take up climate activism, disaster relief in the name of the idols each year.

Even for the purpose of Black Lives Matter, A.R.M.Y’s (BTS’s fan) had collected a total of sum of 1 million dollars for the good cause. In Malaysia, A.R.M.Y have a campaign named BTS for charity creating many donations for blind people. They have also been working for turtle conservation. In the U.S., A.R.M.Ys have set up a campaign named Save Children where they contribute to disadvantaged children. Filipino armies contributed rice for poor people. Nepalese armies donated to animal care on different special events of their idols. On the day of idols birthday, music video launch, or any special event fans from all around the world raise funds, distribute food for free, help the elderly, and perform many kinds of humanitarian work. It is the power of fandom guided by love and compassion. It’s not toxic, it’s amazing.


#5. “K-Pop Fans Are Bunch of Teenagers Screaming For Their Oppas.”


A fan means you love their work. It’s not being blinded by their words. A fan can be a 5-year-old kid to an 85-year-old granny. It doesn’t matter what age they are, they should respect their idol and learn from them. I have interacted with K-pop fans of all age groups. They share about how their K-pop idols and their music healed and inspired them. People have hundreds of stories on how their music improved their mental health as it worked as music therapy. It’s not just about teenagers screaming OPPA but there’s far more to it. The beautiful and meaningful lyrics, phenomenal presentation, attractive sets and outfits, and the wide range of vocal and rap style is what has attached many people to K-Pop.

I have listed down alll the ‘oh not that again’ kinds of lines that I have heard the most. Now you might be still wondering why I like K-Pop so much? What is so special about them?

Let me tell you the reasons why I stan K-pop with all my heart:


a. The Music Itself: its Meaningful and healing lyrics:

K-Pop music has meaningful and relatable lyrics. While most recent songs revolve around partying, sexual fantasies, drugs, and random ideas K-pop songs inspire you. They share positive messages and vibes. My favorite lines from some of the best K-pop music are as follows:


Although I’ll fall again
I’ll make a mistake again
And I’ll be covered in mud
I believe in myself because I’m a hero
-Anpanman


Days when you hate that you’re you, days when you want to disappear
Let’s make a door in your heart
If you open that door and go inside, this place will be waiting for you
It’s ok to believe, it’ll comfort you, this Magic Shop
-Magic Shop

Follow your dream like a breaker 
Even if it breaks down, don’t ever run backward, never
Because the dawn right before the sun rises is the darkest
-Tomorrow

It’s okay to shed the tears
But don’t you tear yourself
Moonchild – RM

They have taught me about self-love, life, and more. Read these 2 lines:

It’s just that loving myself 
Doesn’t require anyone else’s permission 
Answer: Love Yourself 


I started to be grateful and appreciative for every moment. They have made me emotionally and mentally stronger and have taught me that even though I make mistakes and break down at times it’s okay because the next moment I might become a warrior.


b. Their Music Has Taught Me the Importance of Mental Health:


K-Pop songs highly prioritize mental health and there are tons of songs written on that topic. Their lyrics teach us to fight, to keep going, and not overthink (which is something I strongly need). There was a time when I was going through a very hard time and keeping up with each day felt suffocating then their songs was a fresh breather even in those times. From that day my love towards k-Pop scaled even more.

The morning will come again
No darkness, no season is eternal”
-Spring Day

c. Phenomenal and attractive presentation :


I feel like K-pop is truly a work of art. The effort they put up for a single musical production is really aspiring. From alluring fashion styles to attractive sets and decors and amazing choreographies, K-Pop taught me to give everything for the dream I aspire. The hard and amazing choreographies are really fascinating and astonish lots of people including me. The different shades of hair color are also amazing to see being brought out in life. From the outside, it seems to be a fantasy and a glittery world. That’s what fascinates me.

d. Fandom is like a family to me:


Any K-Pop fans from all around the world are like a family to me. I am an ambivert and sometimes it’s hard for me to interact with new people but if you are also a person invested in K-Pop then I can easily go and become friends with you. We can share our bias, the reason we love our idols, our favorite song, etc. K-Pop has also united people from all over the world because of which I can interact nicely with any K-Pop fan living anywhere in the world. They are ready to listen and help me anywhere I need so K-Pop fandom is like my second family as they are the sweetest people. I sometimes like to thank the group I Stan for making me able to meet such beautiful souls from so many countries even though we have not met physically.

Photo: SnackFever


e. Is a great source of entertainment :


K-Pop involves a wide range of activities from the teaser of music videos where we guess different theories for the music video to the actual launch of it, variety shows, V-log, V-Live, stream their music, Twitter trends, Tiktok trends, reality shows. All of these activities keep you greatly engaged and can always be the best way to end your tiring, happy, sad, or whatever kind of day you had. I notice myself smiling in every kind of K-Pop-related content. So, I think it acts as my daily dose of serotonin.

Well, this is one of the reasons why K-pop fans get really defensive when anybody teases them for being a fan because it is not just about boys and girls singing and dancing. There’s a lot more to that. They are the reason for many people’s smiles. K-Pop has become a very important part of life for many people. K-Pop is all about love and compassion and that is why we believe in sharing love.

And, it’s okay to not have any interest in this particular music genre but it is not okay to ridicule and mock someone for their preference as well. Be rational and be supportive to each other.

“if you can’t respect, don’t even open your mouth”
― Kim Namjoon

Photo: https://www.thomann.de/blog/en/

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Sneha Jha is affiliated with blogging sites like Offline thinker as the art of writing intrigues her. She believes that words have power and public speaking is challenging which is the reason why she is also a public speaker. She loves spelling out her thoughts and interacting with others. She is one of the people who loves challenging herself with new opportunities and ventures and learning a lot through it. She has converted her passion into a profession due to which she loves every second of her work. She is an easy-going person and the simplest of things can make her happy.

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