Jasmine Khan, Lucknow
Lucknow Regional Round of the K-Pop India Contest 2020 was conducted online on 26th July 2020 at 2 p.m. IST on the YouTube channel Korean Culture Lucknow. Here is an excerpt from the statements of the winners of the Dance and Vocal categories and the Regional Round organiser kculturelko regarding their experience of this event.
Ms. Kritika Singh (Winner)
Hello, my name is Kritika Singh. I’m 16 years old, and I got the 1st position in the Dance category of the Lucknow Regional Round. Few days before the last date of the online audition, I was scrolling through Instagram and saw the K-Pop India Contest 2020 post by Korean Culture Lucknow. So, I decided to participate in it because everything was online. I was seriously not expecting to win the competition. When I saw the results, I was extremely happy and was about to cry. It was one of the best moments for me in 2020 so far. My mother really supported me through this process. She helped me with my dress and selecting the music. She also helped me recording the video. It is the first K-Pop contest I have ever participated in. I wanted to participate in it as I considered it as my first step towards the future that I dream of. As for K-Pop, it has literally changed my life. I never had a goal before I got to know about K-Pop. I always took everything for granted, but after getting to know about K-Pop, I have set my goals, and I am taking my future seriously and working hard for it. After this competition, I don’t really know what I’ll do, but I’m sure that I will continue to work hard and pursue my dreams.
Ms. Akanksha Singh (First Runner-up)
Hello. I am Akanksha Singh, and I am 18 years old. I got 2nd position in the Dance category in the Lucknow Regional Round. I came to know about this contest while scrolling on Instagram, and at that very moment, I thought that that was the chance to showcase my talent and passion for dance. I am glad that I participated in this contest. It was a surprisingly incredible experience because at first, I thought that I wouldn’t even get through the first round as I am not a professional dancer and had not received any training, but my family supported me and motivated me a lot. I panicked as I came to know about the contest at its very last week, and I only had 8 days in my hand. I practiced a lot, and thankfully, I prepared my performance in 5 days. I was really into K-Dramas and K-Pop since I was 15, and I always wanted to be a part of Korean culture because it is really fascinating for me to see the idols and actors performing on the screen. Since I was a kid, I always wanted to be a star. This contest opened a door for my future and inspired me to work hard for my passion. K-Pop and K-Culture mean a lot to me because it has boosted my confidence and encouraged me to improve myself. It also taught me that if I will work hard, then I can achieve my dream. I’ll look forward to enhance my dancing and singing skills and participate next year to win the competition because it will be my first stepping stone towards my dreams.
Ms. Nikita Chaurasia (Second Runner-up)
Hello. My name is Nikita Chaurasia, and I’m 23 years old. I’m the Second Runner-up of the Lucknow Regional Round in the Dance category. I came to know about the contest through the page of KCCI which I have followed for a long time. I really didn’t expect much, and it was surprising to me that I secured a position in the contest. Taking part in this contest and getting this position was really touching for me because I was thinking from the past 2 years to participate in it but never tried. I’m also thankful to those people who pushed me to participate and believed in me. I just wanted to take part in this contest for a long time, but because of the lack of confidence, I was not able to. But, this time some of my friends/K-popper friends asked me to do it. For me, K-Pop is SUPER JUNIOR, as this is the group that brought me into K-Pop, and I’m really thankful for them. Now, I’m also listening to other K-Pop groups’ songs and improving my dancing skills. Also, I am eagerly waiting for K-Pop India Contest 2021.
Ms. Damini Chaudhri (Winner)
Hello. My name is Damini Chaudhri, and I’m 22 years old. I am the winner of the Lucknow Regional Round in the Vocal category. I came to know about this contest while I was surfing on Twitter. I am immensely honoured to have won the Lucknow Regionals. It’s a moment of extreme satisfaction since I worked really hard for this. I participated last year as well along with my younger sister. We won the third position last year. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude towards KCCI for giving us this wonderful opportunity. My biggest inspiration to take part in this contest would undoubtedly be BTS. Their music motivates me to keep striving. I wish to make music that moves people like they do. K-pop for me is perfection. I absolutely respect every musician, but when it comes to K-Pop, the sheer dedication that they put forth for each and every performance to bring together music and dance is simply remarkable. Korean culture is fascinating for me in terms of the disciplined lives of the people and the fact that they are connected with their roots despite having such modernity in their actions. I have had a deep interest in music since I was young so I wish to cultivate this talent of mine and hopefully be referred to as a singer someday.
Ms. Ardra Ramakrishnan (First Runner-up)
Hi. I’m Ardra Ramakrishnan, and I am 18 years old. I won 2nd position in the Vocal category of the Lucknow Regional Round. I found about this contest on Instagram while I was looking at the page of Korean Culture Lucknow. After messaging them at that moment itself, they asked me some questions and added me to the Whatsapp group of participants. Since it was my first time, I was a little nervous but then I decided to participate and started practicing every day. My parents also encouraged me a lot. The main reason I participated is because of the inspiration I draw from BTS and Z-Girls Priyanka. When I heard about my winning, I couldn’t control my emotions. That is one of my happiest days ever. K-Pop and Korean culture have played a big role in my life. Inspiration from K-pop and opportunity from the Korean Cultural Centre India make me believe in my dream. Now, I’m looking forward to more contests and auditions as my dream is to become a K-Pop idol.
Ms. Manya Singh (Second Runner-up)
Hi! My name is Manya Singh, and I am 14 years old. I am the Second Runner-up of the Lucknow Regional Round in the Vocal category. I came to know about this contest from the Korean Cultural Centre India. I am feeling happy and a little sad too because I didn’t come first, but since it’s my first time participating in this contest, so I will take it as an experience, and I’ll try my best next time to come first and perform in the finals too. My parents also inspired me a lot, but it was me in the first place who got motivated to take part in this contest. K-Pop means everything to me. After I got to know more about Korea and K-Pop, I found it interesting and thought that can it be possible that an Indian can also become a K-Pop trainee in Korea! All I know is that I will do my best to become a trainee and an idol in the future.
Regional Organiser: Korean Culture Lucknow
Ms. Pragya Dixit and Ms. Anupriya Raj
It all started in August 2018 when we, along with a few other girls who shared the same interest, decided to start a K-Pop fan-club in Lucknow. When we started doing different activities and meeting new people, we started growing more interest in Korean culture along with K-Pop. We were surprised when we came to know that there are so many people around us who share the same interest in Korean culture as us. So, we decided to grow our family and reach out to more people who are interested in K-Pop or Korean culture. We got our chance when we found out about K-Pop Contest India. We gathered all our resources and information and decided to give it a try and organise the Lucknow Regional Round in 2019. It was kind of hard for us initially since we were all students, but we had a dream to do something different together. We did everything we could, from making social media accounts to reaching out to more people. We made a small team, divided the work, and started with everything we had. On June 31st, 2019, we successfully organised the K-Pop Contest India Lucknow Regional Round. We were more than satisfied and happy. Our event was a big success, and we were happy that people were enjoying themselves. We thank KCCI for giving the participants an opportunity to perform from home in this pandemic keeping in mind everyone’s safety this year. We were happy to see 2000+ people joining our live-stream and more than 10000+ views on our Regional Round video on YouTube. We also organised some fun activities and giveaways for the fans on our Instagram handle, and it was so good to see a lot of people participating and showing interest in it.
We thank KCCI, all our sponsors, our editor Ms. Monika, and our whole team for making this year’s online regional round successful. We really wish to make the fans happy and help them gain more knowledge about the culture through our pages. We’re happy that they love us and are connected to us. It was not easy to reach out to people especially when it comes to Korean culture solely. We have been into Korean culture and its promotion for more than 3 years now, and we’re still growing. We’re happy that we started it. It has enhanced our knowledge as well as it made us more active socially. I don’t think there’s something we can not do now.
Check out the Lucknow Regional Round here: