Kimchi Anyone?

There’s a new phenomenon in town and its called the K phenomenon. The K, if you don’t know, stands for Korean and its ranges from music to food to fashion and TV.

My 5 boys got bitten by the K-Pop bug although I do wonder whether its because of the music (huh?), the dance moves (reminds you of the boy bands of the 90s plus the make-up) or whether its because of the skimpy outfits the girl groups wear. Since my boys are basically teenagers, I guess it must be the last reason listed.

My wife seems hooked on Korean TV dramas, as my aged mother and my sister. I sat through one of the series and I got to admit it can get quite addictive. But with more than 120 episodes per series, I must check myself fast before I get hooked any further.

As for me, I prefer K-movies and K-food. There have been quite a few memorable Korean movies that I have watched over the years. Titles like ‘Married to the Mafia’, ‘My Wife is a Gangster’, ‘My Girlfriend is An Agent’, ‘Ricky Vampire Cop’ and many more are good for a laugh.

And I am proud to say that this was before the K-movement became the K-movement.

I can’t understand the language though, so thank God for subtitles. It helps and you do get to learn a few words here and there.

As for K-food, thanks to my wife, I have widen my horizon from Kimchi to Seoul Garden. With an eat-all-you-can buffet meal on offer, I have learnt when the best times are to go to Seoul Garden. I can’t help notice though that the Seoul Garden we have in Johor Bahru has been slightly Malaysianised, ie to suit the local palate. But then again, its a business right!

But as my wife and I talked the other day, the K-phenomenon began with music and for us, it all began with that man, Rain. Don’t really know his actual name but I heard that he is now doing national service in Korea. Wonder whether he’ll be asked to teach the army men a dance move or two.

His music accompanied with the dance moves made Korean music palatable and visually exciting. And that always help.

Personally, without him I doubt the K-wave would be anywhere near where it is now but then again, knowing the Koreans, once they get going they get going and they persevere. A bit like the Japanese I’d say.  But I also heard that it is not on to compare them with the Japanese. Something to do with ancient history. I may be wrong. If I am, my apologies.

But when we talk about Korea, we must never forget about their football. Playing in consecutive World Cups, with their players playing in the European leagues and actually doing well in the top flight. Malaysians can actually a thing or two here.

Branding also helped. Names like Kia, Hyundai, LG and Samsung roll off the tongue, just as easily as the Japanese brands eg Toyota, Honda, Sharp, Panasonic etc used to. The only Malaysian brand that I can think of at the top of my head is Petronas, Proton, Pensonic and Khind. But then again I am Malaysian. Anybody else can think of any other internationally recognised born-in-malaysia brands?

The question, how long will this K-wave last? The last wave to hit Malaysia was the J-wave with J-Pop at the forefront. It lasted quite a while, so it be interesting to watch.

So til my next rendezvous with my wife at Seoul Garden, can somebody pass me the kimchi?





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