There has been never ending disagreements between Korean fans and International fans. International fans come from America, Europe, Africa….etc. and not just China or Japan. International fans are more open-minded and free minded. (If that makes sense) Maybe its because our cultures are different or that our government is different. That doesn’t change the fact that we still love the same music. I’m writing this blog post because I want our Korean part of our fandom to understand us.
Since forever disagreements have been around but no one tries to clear it up. In the end it just piles up to a big ball of hate. I understand that our Korean counterparts look at us differently. We ARE different, heck, most of us aren’t even Korean.( I know I’m not) Its natural to feel a bit of unease towards us. You, (Korean fans) might feel like we are invading your property. I get that. Its K-POP. KOREAN POP. Its for Koreans. Its natural to feel a bit territorial and possessive. (Not saying all are) Something like getting you laptop taken away and replacing it with a crappy one. Your going to respond like “that’s my computer, you can’t take it away!” (Happens to me all the time)
People ask me what music I listen to. I used to respond right away, “K-pop. Korean pop.” Immediately, they would look at me. “Are you Korean?” I shake my head. “Do you speak Korean?” I would shake my head again. “I’m Chinese.” I respond. They would nod and put up a fake smile. “Why do you listen to it when you can’t even understand it.” I smile wider. “I can. I learned. I listen to it because I like it.” And usually after that they leave. My best friend (Who’s white btw) loves K-pop as well. I cannot even describe how difficult is was for her to get accepted. (She still isn’t) People would ask her the same questions, she would respond the same. This time, they don’t let her off because she’s Asian. Because she’s not, they alienate her. People called her a “wannabe Asian” and made fun of her all the time because she doesn’t listen to her own country’s music. Its even harder for her because she isn’t Asian. Multiple times she had told me she had given up, I would say, “Don’t you want to keep seeing your bias and supporting him? You can’t give up. Ignore them.” She would agree and become an even better fan. If its hard for you, its harder for us. (Not to mention learning Korean)
We international fans got through so much. We get alienated and talked upon. We can’t go to concert and events as easily as Korean fans can. Buying a few merchandise rips a hole out of our pockets. We rely on Korean fans much more then they rely on us. They are responsible for fan cams, fan chants, fan accounts, information, support…etc. The list could go on and on. We really appreciate K-fans a lot and we really do. We depend on Korean fans to show our love in our place, I mean come on, they aren’t going to hear you through a computer screen on the other half of the world. If I encountered a Korean fan here I would do my best to help him/her. With the limited Korean I have, I would try to help and translate and make them feel welcome. I would respect him/her. K-fans are respected and looked up upon to us international fans. (I usually side with the Korean fans.)
I believe we can all clear this misunderstanding and help each other out. I don’t want to go to Korea someday and be “blacklisted”,as I have read somewhere, and I truly hope its false. Here are somethings we do differently as international fans:
-We are dedicated to multiple groups (That DOES NOT mean we are not loyal. We very much are but its extremely difficult to choose one because they are all so awesome)
-We have multiple biases, but usually only one ultimate bias (An idol that rules above all)
-We are a bit more wild during concerts. (Like who wouldn’t? We only have one chance to meet them and its very hard to)
-We usually have messy fan chants. (Because we are up dancing and singing)
-Military enlistments make us upset. We haven’t really got used to it, but we accept it.
-Sharing a bias usually isn’t too big of a problem. I share my ultimate bias with anyone (*whispers* B.A.P’s Daehyun)
-We usually do fan cams with cellphones and crappy cameras. Usually security wouldn’t let us bring them to concerts.
And that’s about all that I can think of so far. But differences aren’t the point here. The point is our similarities. we both love K-Pop don’t we? We all love our biases don’t we? We support them don’t we? The answer should be yes we do.
I joined in a Facebook group for B.A.P’s concert last May. We were all different. Different ethnic groups. Different cultures. Different places. Different languages. We were basically a rainbow of diversity. Yet by loving Kpop, we all came together. We looked past our barriers and came together as a family. Just by one single similarity, we became one. (WE ARE ONE! EXO-IMNIDA! sorry…) I hope you can understand us more now. 나는 당신이우리를 이해할 수 있기를 바랍니다.
This group of SHINee fans have all sorts of people in it.
The oh-so-famous light stick oceans. I would say Korean fans are more organized when it comes to these things.