Aqsa Khan, Delhi
Exciting India also known as Fluttering India or Dugeundugeun India (두근두근 인도), is a show released in 2015 where six idols from popular K-Pop groups namely EXO’s Suho, Super Junior’s Cho Kyu-hyun, SHINee’s Choi Min-ho, INFINITE’s Kim Sung-gyu, and CNBLUE’s Lee Jong-hyun went on a trip to Mumbai, India to explore their journey under the theme ‘Wasteland of K-Pop, INDIA’.
TVXQ’s Shim Chang-min, who was supposed to join in too, but couldn’t join because of his Dome Tour. The variety show was broadcasted on the KBS World in South Korea which is a great platform to address the questions such as what steps can be taken to increase the popularity of K-Pop in India? In what ways, the success of the K-Pop can be determined in India? The show also covers the daily lives of these singers trying to adapt amidst new language and culture and the hurdles they faced during their stay in India.
I watched the show in 2016 with mixed feelings as at that time I was not much aware of K-Pop (as compared to now). The show consisted of 4 episodes, these episodes showed the 5 days journey of these singers in Mumbai, India. The singers were escorted with a KBS news reporter namely Kim Ki-heung in India who reported the experience of idols for KBS News.
The K-Pop idols met a translator upon reaching in India who helped them throughout their journey. Since they were hungry, the idols first headed to have an exciting Indian lunch where they enjoyed the variety of Indian cuisine, after hearing about it from the translator. Then they proceeded to meet the Korean Consulate and got to know about a few Indian K-Pop fans. With the hope to meet some of the fans, they went to the Gateway of India. However, a lot of people did not recognize them initially due to the lack of popularity of K-Pop back then. The idols still obliged to take pictures with some of them. Shortly, Super Junior’s Kyu-hyun met a fan called Babu, who introduced them to Indian music culture as well at the Rhythm House, Mumbai.
The idols went to watch the hit Bollywood movie of Shahrukh Khan ‘DDLJ’ at the famous Maratha Mandir, and also took some acting lessons at the Dharavi slums. In the night, they went to a mall to purchase Indian attire.
They got a chance to visit Yash Raj Studios where they met Mr. Ashish Singh and got to know more about Bollywood. They also came to know about a stuntman Mr. Oh Se-yeong from South Korea, who was working on Shahrukh Khan’s film ‘Fan’ at that time. The group also met the Principal Secretary, Tourism and Culture, Valsa Nair Singh who was on her visit to the Film City. The night brought a surprise as the KBS reporter informed them to be present for the 7AM news instead of 9AM news.
For this, they all wore Indian kurta’s which they purchased from the mall and reported interviews with locals at the Gateway of India. The next morning the news was broadcasted at 7AM KST on the KBS news channel. Shortly, the group flew back to South Korea as their journey in India came towards the end. After a few days, some Indian K-Pop fans who came to know about their visit wrote them letters and sent video messages.
Exciting India is a must watch variety show which will take you to a rollercoaster ride of experiences the singers had. Their journey is full of different emotions every day. Since, the first episode till the last, I was laughing hard at certain hilarious experiences of the idols in India. This is one of those shows that provide major insights into the level of awareness Indian people had regarding K-Pop five years back, as compared to the popularity which exists today. This show has served as a bridging gap between India and the K-Pop, and can be attributed for one of the earliest contributors for spreading the Hallyu wave in India.
You can watch the show here if you haven’t.