[INTERVIEW] VAISHALI: The Indian Yeoja

We are here to share Vaishali’s journey of becoming a part of the K-World, her first trip to South Korea, how she started her YouTube channel and about her selection as one of the Honorary Reporter in Korea.net!

Vaishali at Namsangol Hanok Village (left) and in Insadong (right)

Q: Please introduce yourself a bit.

V: Hi! This is Vaishali (aka The Indian Yeoja), an Indian girl passionate about South Korean Culture and Korean music specifically. I belong from Rewari in Haryana, a small town near Gurgaon. Like every other millennial out there, I also moved out to pursue higher education. I did my graduation from Shri Ram College of Commerce in Delhi University, the point in my life when I was first exposed to the world of K-Pop and later on I did my MBA from IIM Udaipur, another turning point when I actually got to visit South Korea and attend K-Pop concerts. Having studied at two of the most amazing institutes, I had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful and talented people and I got a lot of inspiration from them. Since my college days, I had developed this thing called ‘Passion’ in me and I truly believe in its power and miracle. There’s no definite time in life when we develop or realize our passion but once we do, we shouldn’t stop as this is one of the few things that can make you happy from inside.

Q: When did you start liking K-Drama, K-Pop and Korean culture? And what is that one thing you like most about South Korea?

V: It all started after my first year of college, 2013 to be precise. It’s actually a funny story. During my  college summer break, I asked my senior to lend me some series and she just gave me her laptop and asked me to take whatever I want to watch. While scrolling I randomly ended up opening the series ‘Boys Over Flowers‘ and I just felt, “This looks different, I need to watch this!” and I told my senior that I am gonna take it. She denied at first and warned me that I will not be the same person. It’s 2020 and look at me now, haha!

One thing that I like most about South Korea is the respect and discipline imbibed in the people of this country and it’s pretty visible in everything they do and not to forget, the hardwork they put in. Be it companies like Hyundai or Samsung who have made household names across the world or say the success of K-Pop bands for which members went through years of practice and hardwork while being humble at the same time even when they’re making history in the music industry.

Q: Who is your favorite Korean drama/ movie actor and which K-Pop group do you like the most?

V: Ahh! It’s the most difficult question haha. So actor Yoon Shi-yoon is already my favorite. And I feel lucky to be able to meet him when I went to Seoul last time. I love his personality; he is so friendly and humble. But there’s one more actor that I really want to meet one day i.e. Lee Joon-gi. Talking about actresses, its Jun Ji-hyun and Park Bo-young.

Actor Yoon Shi-yoon at the fan-meet in South Korea

Talking about K-Pop groups, I love all the groups and for me, it’s actually about songs rather than a particular group. But the K-Pop group Mamamoo is something that inspires me so much. I attended their concert when they performed at Busan One Asia Festival in 2018 but at that time I was not a fan and just heard their song ‘Starry Night,’ I love them so much now and listen to them often.

Busan One Asia Festival (2018)

Q: What motivated you to start your YouTube channel ‘The Indian Yeoja?’

V: It was actually during my solo trip to South Korea when I realized that I really need to go back and share my wonderful experience with the world. So I tried to cover everything that I did there, the food I tried and the concerts I attended. So, when I came back I planned to share just these 3-4 videos but the whole process of editing my videos made me realize that this won’t be enough. There’s so much about the Korean Culture, about K-Pop that India needs to know. So I decided to keep making more videos to slowly unfold the beauty of the culture and the music.

Q: Please share what your videos are about?

V: Though I have made only few videos but my whole objective is to share my knowledge of Korean Culture and also discover new things at the same time. From K-Pop music to food, from tourism to people, I want to cover it all, while learning more about the Korean Culture at the same time. I also want to create a mix of Indian and Korean Culture as they have so many similarities.

Q: We see that an Indian actress, Radha Bhatt reacted to K-Pop in your latest video. How was it collaborating with her?

V: This was such an unexpected and unplanned collaboration. This was when she visited our campus in Udaipur for a literary fest, I just requested her to watch some K-Pop music videos and it was so difficult for me to choose music videos in a hurry so I just went with my favorite ones. It was a fun collaboration and the fact I liked the most is that she genuinely enjoyed the music and shared her views even though it was her first time watching and listening to Korean music.

Q: Also, how was your trip to South Korea? That was your first time, right?

V: That trip is one of the most memorable and cherished memory of my life. It was indeed my first trip to South Korea and that too solo. Funny part is that it was my first flight ever haha. But I really did enjoy a lot.I was a bit anxious in the beginning as I was going alone but as I was aware of the culture and the language, it became even more fun for me to enjoy every part of it.

Q: Have you learnt Korean language? If so, please specify the source and when did you start learning?

V: Yes, I started learning Korean in 2015 at Korean Cultural Centre India in New Delhi. It was such a wonderful experience to learn language with people from different background. We even had students from different nationality in our class and it was an amazing learning experience.

Q: You have recently become the Honorary Reporter for Korea.net. Please share your experience so far and what all it took to become a part of the project?

V: I am honored to have this opportunity to work for Korea.net. With this platform, we will be covering all the major activities and events that take place in India or between India and South Korea. It makes me so happy to see the two nations work together and continue their strong friendship.

I came across this through social media and because I have been involved in the Korean Culture and events previously, I thought I should give it a try. Honestly, your interest is what it takes to be part of this project. I have had a huge interest in their Culture and I wanted to explore more so I applied and it made me so happy to be part of this program. Even though the journey has just started, I am glad to connect with people from various countries and share our love for Korean Culture. Our induction ceremony is scheduled in May’20 which will be held online and I hope to contribute in my best way and enjoy at the same time.

Q: Please share about any upcoming video/ project you are planning for. Any artist/ YouTuber you wish to collaborate with in future?

V: I plan to cover other aspects of Korean Culture in my upcoming videos, apart from K-Pop. There’s this one specific video that I’m making for our upcoming induction ceremony in which I plan to combine Indian and Korean Culture and I am really excited for this video. Hope it turns out well. I really wish to collaborate with all the YouTubers with similar interests and hope to share our love with the world through our videos.

Thank you Vaishali, for taking out time for us. Your journey is very motivating and we hope people get inspired! Don’t forget to subscribe to her channel.

Watch the video about her solo trip to South Korea!

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