Diya Jain, Delhi
The world offers an endless amount of fresh and breathtaking art in the form of movies, films, songs, paintings, and much more. But we often find ourselves cocooned in our world, to an extent that the majority of cultures remain alien to the average individual. Even in the case of diverse musical cultures, as a fan of K-pop, I’m often asked the reasons why I choose and appreciate the music I listen to. After all, it is in Korean, they say. But the beautiful thing about music that most fail to notice is that one does not need to understand the language in order to enjoy it. And if you want to know what’s being said, you can check the lyrics videos, turn on the subtitles or closed captions, and even use Google Translate. There are so many options to choose from!
In the past, the world associated the K-pop industry with Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’, a peerless global chart-topper from 2012, that even became the first YouTube video to reach one billion views. As years went by, the hype around K-pop died down until the emergence of Bangtan Sonyeondan or BTS, as they are popularly known.
BTS, a boy band with seven members, debuted in 2013 and made history in 2017 when they became the first K-pop group to perform at the American Music Awards, cementing their place alongside the best in the entertainment industry. Concurrently, solo idols like Eric Nam and groups like Blackpink and NCT 127 fought their way to international stardom as well.
Regardless of the groups’ success and achievements, they still struggle to be accepted and appreciated for their work and contributions. Unfortunately, this is quite a common occurrence. Unacceptable behaviour at best, and widespread discrimination and gender shaming at worst – the hatred is cruel. It’s also unfortunate how people criticize and attack the thriving industry without even giving it a try.
People don’t realise that it’s too easy to be critical of superstars, but rarely does one see the hard work and dedication that goes into reaching the pedestal. Being in the public eye, they are often judged by how they present themselves in front of the masses. Unfortunately, that is just one part of what truly makes them an idol.
There’s no denying that one is entitled to her/his opinion and can freely express it. After all, people have different tastes in music. But this does not give anyone the right to use this freedom to slander and insult the others. The best that one can do is express her/his dislike and move on. After all, music is meant to put the heart at ease and spread happiness.
It is my firm belief that the successful ones work hard to reach where they stand today. And, it’s not justified to completely disregard their efforts based on one’s preconceived notions or dislike for the music. In fact, global music should not be bracketed on the basis of language and culture. It’s meant to be heard and shared with everyone. I believe open-mindedness towards diversity and variance is the key to humanity’s socio-cultural journey to the future. What do you think about it? Share your thoughts.