Riya Choudhary, New Delhi
Bhopal Regional Round of the K-Pop India Contest 2023, organized by the Madhya Pradesh Korean Fan Club, was conducted on 18th June 2023 (Sunday) at Sardar Vallabhbhai Polytechnic College (Polytechnic Chourah) Shyamala Hills, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. The Bhopal regional round witnessed powerful performances by 22 participants, including 12 in the dance category and 10 in the vocal category. The judges of the Bhopal Regional Round were Korean G1, also known as Park Ji-won and, Rachna Bhagat who evaluated and cheered for the participants.
Here is an excerpt from the statements of the winners of the Dance and Vocal categories regarding their experience of this event.
Hello, we are V5; Saloni Waghaye, Tanishq Gajbhiye, Saee Mohadikar, Shipra Shamkuwar and Prajakta Chaudhari. We are overwhelmed to be a part of this contest. We became so dedicated after we won the online round for the contest, and we thought that yes, we should make it big. We practised hard over those days and nights, we worked on our weaknesses, we overcame our weaknesses together and today we’re the winners of the Bhopal Regional Round (dance category). Even if we were from another state and city (Nagpur, Maharashtra), Bhopal and MPKFC treated us so well that it felt like home. A big thanks to the organizing head and team of MPKFC they took care of us very well throughout the regionals. Participants were great competitors as well as good companions. The judges Ji-won Ma’am and Rachna Ma’am were so interactive with the participants and the audience, it felt great to interact with them. They were so supportive. Overall, it was a very great experience until now and we hope to do our best further too. We would like to thank KCCI for this wonderful opportunity. We will give our hundred per cent for the Semi-finals in Delhi! The thing that motivated us to take part in this contest was to make our dream come true i.e., to be K-pop idols in the future representing our country, India. It is going to be a very difficult journey but at least we’ve started it with the help of this contest. It also allows us to visit South Korea and perform there which is a dream for almost every person in India who follows K-pop. This contest also gave us a chance to help and improve our performance, stage presence and help us grow eventually to be a great artist in future. We’re looking forward to seeing the great performances of all the winners in the Semi-finals. Thank you!
SAPNA KANNOJ (FIRST RUNNER-UP)
Hello, I am Sapna Kannoj, 16 years old. I am the 1st Runner-Up in the dance category of the Bhopal Regional Round. It’s a wonderful experience for me, I am grateful to join this event. All participants and volunteers are very nice, it’s an honour to me being 1st runner-up in the dance category, it was such a big stage for me🤩✨My parents and BTS 💜✨especially my mom, they are such a big motivation and inspiration for me to giving my best…in this contest, it’s such a big opportunity for me, 🙏Thank you KCCI and MPKFC for making me part of this contest. Thank you so much💝✨
MAYURI PATIL (SECOND RUNNER-UP)
I am Mayuri Patil and I’m 26 years old. I am the 2nd Runner-Up in the dance category of the Bhopal Regional Round. I was eagerly waiting for the K-pop contest and when it was announced that this time the contest will be offline, I couldn’t contain my joy. I got very excited because I love performing on stage, meeting new people, and watching such great performances live. Got a chance to experience K-pop culture, K-food and all the activities that happened. It was all fun. I had a great time with everyone. I loved K-pop since 2015 but I didn’t know that K-pop Contest happens in India too. I love dancing so much and being a dancer, I enjoy performing on stage. As soon as I came to know about the contest, I got so excited to have experience on stage, what could be better than getting a chance to perform on your favourite K-pop idol’s songs? Thanks to this K-pop contest I was able to experience such memorable moments, so happy being a part of this contest. I enjoy Music Dance and K-pop has that unique sparkling thing that makes me so happy and enthusiastic. I don’t even have more words now thank you KCCI & MPKFC for hosting this amazing contest.
YASHASWINI JOSHI (WINNER)
Hello, everyone, and greetings. My name is Yashaswini Joshi and I’m 20 years old. I am the vocal category winner of the K-Pop India Contest 2023’s Bhopal Regional Round. The K-Pop Contest this year has a lot of energy. The competition was held offline after several years, and it was thrilling for each contestant to perform on stage. I commend each contender for successfully presenting their acts because they were all excellent. I was able to witness such ability at such a young age. There were many different performances, and as everyone excelled in their respective genres, it eventually turned into a fierce rivalry. I was excited and a little anxious to compete in this competition. In the vocal category, I discovered that everyone had their genres they felt comfortable performing, and they all did so in their own unique and creative ways. Selecting songs that fit my voice was challenging, but I made the right choice. The organizers were beneficial and answered all of my questions. They were polite and cooperative. Even after our performance, they continued to encourage us. I also wanted to thank the judges for their immense support and encouraging words during our performances. One of my interests is discovering other cultures. After learning more about Korean culture, I became so enamoured that I spent the entire day listening to K-pop. Millions of Korean musicians work tirelessly to produce music and communicate their ideas to listeners around the globe, transcending language barriers in the process. My mind finds relief in their songs. I was astonished by how music can alter your life. And for me, it was true. Since music has its own language, understanding by the listener is not necessary. I could quickly recall the words to the songs I had heard back in the day, but I was fascinated by the beauty of Korea and its culture, so I began learning the language. Soon, I was able to sing Korean songs with ease. When I discovered the meanings behind every song, I was enthralled. I considered using this expertise. I viewed this contest as an opportunity to advance since you never know what the future will bring. My mother and my friends encouraged me to give my best throughout the journey and gave me their best.
ANINDITA RATRE (FIRST RUNNER-UP)
Hello, I am Anindita Ratre and I’m 21 years old. I am the 1st Runner-Up of the vocal category in the Bhopal Regional Round. Finally, this year we were able to experience the contest in person and for me, it was bliss! The competition taking place offline made a good resolution towards interaction and communication. I enjoyed all the activities and overall performances of everyone! It was really fun, and I had a great time with everyone. I’ve been a K-pop stan since 2016 and since then I have always wanted to communicate and participate with every single person who loves K-pop as much as I do. K-pop includes a variety of genres and is fun in its own way. I’ve always enjoyed singing and K-pop was the missing piece of the puzzle.
LAVANYA PILLAI (SECOND RUNNER-UP)
I am Lavanya Pillai, age 20 and I am 2nd runner-up from the vocal category. My overall experience was amazing, I am so happy that I got to perform in this contest this year and also got to meet the judges, the amazing performers. I got to learn so many things from them. Also, I got my favourite group’s photocards. Thanks to KCCI and MPKFC to organize this amazing event. It’s very nice content that joins two different cultures which is exactly what motivated me to take part in this contest, I found out about this contest back in 2019 when I started knowing about the K-pop culture, the songs, dramas etc. I also took part that year it was my first time and I ended up getting 1st runner-up position. That year also I got to experience so many things and it was overall amazing.
Congratulations to all the winners and runner-ups of the Bhopal Regional round on behalf of team Hallyuism! We wish you all the best for the semi-finals and we are rooting for you!