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In a lot of researches, writers in Korea state that Korean culture has entered many countries in the world, beginning in China, then it moved forward to Southeast and Central Asia. From the year 2000 to 2002, the number of films and music album bought by neighborhood countries of Korea increased dramatically ( Hyejung, cited in Lee 2007). According to Kim (cited in Lee 2007), the connection between Korean culture and other cultures are Korean films. Vietnam is not an exception. Korean dramas focus on “sexual love”, the “promoted luxury” and “hedonistic lifestyles” which attracted many young Vietnamese (Kang, cited in Cho 2005).
According to Nguyen (Xuan 2012b), with dramas whose content was gentle, philosophical and deeply humane, Korean wave entered Vietnam 10 years ago. She adds that in the middle of the year 2005, the amount of hours projecting Korean films reduced from nearly 20% to 8.4%. However, up to now, Korean dramas have been accepted by a lot of Vietnamese because of their varied themes and indeed meanings.
Dang (2009) agrees that around the year 2000s, Korean wave developed strongly in Vietnam. During 2000s, in Vietnam, from the North to the South, Korean dramas occupied much of time on television channels with four or five dramas which were projected every night (Dang 2009). At that time, Korean dramas were so popular that whenever mentioning it, everyone thinks to cancer, accidents and amnesia (Xuan 2012a). The reason for that success is their close ideology to Vietnamese’ culture. Different from American series films, Korean ones are filled with traditional values and technical sophistication. While Hollywood or Bollywood focused on action scenes, sexy actors and actresses, Korean movies conquered Vietnamese by ‘nice storylines, good production values, beautiful locations, excellent and gorgeous actors and actresses’ (Dang, 2009).
Agreeing with two above opinions, however, Nguyen (2012) suggests that an important factors helping Korean wave enter Vietnam was their cheap price. Compared to the price of films of other countries, the average price of Korean dramas was about only a quarter or even a tenth of them. Therefore, a lot of Korean films were bought and they have been popular around the ASEAN, Eastern and other parts of the world (Nguyen 2012).
Besides, another feature of Korean culture is Korean music, or K-pop. Dramas are in narrow areas, meanwhile, Korean music has developed dramatically thanks to beautiful dance and music videos meticulously invested (Xuan 2012b). A lot of famous Korean bands organized their concerts and they have sold millions of tickets each concert. Im (cited in Cho 2005) indicated that during H.O.T concert in February 2005, more than 100,000 copies of their records sold and many T-shirt with pictures of H.O.T bought by young people.
What are the impacts of Korean wave on Vietnamese?
It can be clarified that Korean wave influences Vietnamese, especially Vietnamese youth, with both good and bad effect. Primarily, Korean wave has changed Vietnamese’ lifestyle positively. Contrary to people who admired Korean idols in China or Japan, Vietnamese ones “consumed enthusiastically” all of idols’ pictures and messages (Cho 2005). Luong (cited in Xuan 2012a) suggests that Korean dramas can help young people learn the way to overcome their trouble, the way to work in a community and become more independent. In make-up area, a research shows many girls and women in Vietnam have changed their make-up way since Korean dramas and music entered Vietnam. They have used darker eyes color, “thinly shaved eyebrows”, “body-hugging clothes”, and “square-toed shoes” like Korean characters and singers they admired and crazed (Jim & Seo, 2004). They also added that the Vietnamese president, Tran Duc Luong, has had his dinner with two famous actors and actress of Korean that time. This action expressed Vietnamese’s interest to Korean culture (Jim & Seo, 2005). During the last 10 years, Korean dramas have gradually replaced Chinese ones in Vietnam. Especially, for young people in Vietnam, modern lives, beautiful houses and items in Korean dramas have led them to think more about better lives in Korea and they admired those so much. They considered Korea as a developed country after seeing modern sceneries in Korean dramas. Therefore, they have tried to borrow and adopt those modern things into their lives (Dang 2009). Furthermore, she demonstrates that by Korean wave, a lot of young people considered Korea as the destination for their later lives. For example, Nguyen (cited in Xuan 2012b) states that in 1994, the number of student registering for school was only 30 students but that number increased to 120 students each year. And the reason they give is because they enjoy Korean dramas and music so much. It’s a piece of love young people giving to Korean culture (Nguyen, cited in Xuan 2012b).
Besides, the penetration of Korean wave in Vietnam brings along some bad impact for people, especially on young Vietnamese. Korean movies use fictional material, so they can make young people illustrate about Korea and “Korean dream”(Thanh 2012). Luong (cited in Xuan 2012a) assumes Korean wave has attacked young people strongly and a lot of young Vietnamese has become crazy fan of Korean singers, actors, actresses. A part of the youth has wrong thought about the Korean culture, which causes some bad actions. He takes his daughter as an example. She always ask him to buy many pictures, items relating to her idols. She even can wait many hours to meet her idols in the airport and unhappily comes back without seeing them. His daughter is only one of thousands of young people who are crazy because of Korean idols. The fashion trend of young Vietnamese is also influenced much by Korean wave. It would be good if young people didn’t abuse that trend. So many young people have copied the style of Korean stars and they have spent so much money on buying the same clothes to their idols’ ones (Nguyen, cited in Xuan 2012b). However, according to Kim (cited in Thanh 2012), another bad impact of Korean wave on young Vietnamese is that it usually causes traffic jam in big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city because all of crazy fans want to see their idols in real (Nguyen 2012). As a recent study, estimate that about 500,000 viewers coming to each of big Korean concert in Vietnam. So, it is easy to make congestion. Even some crazy fans dare to suicide if their parents don’t allow them to go to see their “oppa” (Thanh 2012).
How to deal with Korean wave’s effects in Vietnam?
Korean wave is popular in many countries around the world, including Vietnam. So, people and government should take some actions to deal with it properly.
Thanh (2012) recommends that Vietnam medium should change the way advertising Korean culture now. Developing Vietnamese culture appropriately should be done too. Furthermore, other countries should cooperate to produce cultural products bringing different cultures (Dang 2009). Luong (cited in Xuan 2012a) adds that Vietnamese government had better invest to creative science after learning precious experience from Korea. In fact, Vietnam government has applied a lot of documents to local Television stations asking to reduce the number of foreign dramas, especially Korean dramas and increase the Vietnamese ones (Dang 2009). These actions will make equal between two culture and make the young enjoy them right.
Moreover, family and school play an important part in dealing with their children’s craze for their idols. Parents and teachers had better unite together to educate and guide their children the best way to admire their idols and take their love to idols into the inspiration. With the right education and direction, the young definitely know the best way to behave with their love to their idols.
Finally, the most important solution belongs to attitude of young people to Korean wave. Teenagers in Vietnamese should behave right to effects and drawbacks of Korean wave. People should make use of without destroying it. (Nguyen, cited in Xuan 2012a).
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