Hallyu grows internationally


Sam Gaddis

Sophomore Maddie Cooke wears a shirt from her favorite group “Got 7”. Members of the group hail from South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong and the United States.

For the 1000’s of Americans who have never heard of K-pop, or Korean pop music, ‘Hallyu’ is just another word. But for the die-hard fans, ‘Hallyu’ is a word that defines who they are and what they represent. The word Hallyu describes the spread of Korean culture and pop music to other countries.

“I first got introduced to Korean culture when I was a kid,” senior Paige Patton said. “My grandma is Korean and my mom was born there. They would make Korean food for the family, and we’d do all sorts of things to get involved with the culture.”

People find out about the Hallyu world in various ways. Stumbling upon an Instagram post, discovering it through friends–whatever the way, the Hallyu coalition has substantially grown past South Korea, now extending into North America, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and various other countries.

Sophomore Maddie Cooke, a student at YS Rho Martial Arts, became interested in Korea through martial arts, which led her to discover the world of K-pop.

“Korea’s martial arts are amazing. The famous K-Tigers are so cool, and that really attracted me to the country and it’s music,” Cooke said. “It’s so different and also really good, even though I can only understand a little bit.

[quote text_size=”medium” author=”Maddie Cooke”]

Most people who listen to K-pop aren’t even from Korea–they listen from all over the world. That’s what makes it so unique.


Hallyu is not targeted towards specific genders. Junior Colin Murray proudly wears his ‘Chanyeol’ sweatshirt to school every day, representing his favorite member from the group ‘Exo’. He even dyed his hair a faded red to look similar to Chanyeol’s.

“Chanyeol and Sehun are my favorite. Must I explain? Chanyeol is [a] top tier cutie along with great vocals. And Sehun’s face was handcrafted by god himself,” Murray said.

One thing that Hallyu newbies do not know is that a ‘bias’ is a K-pop fan’s favorite idol in a group.

“Big Bang is my favorite because their songs sound really unique and meaningful,” junior Kristin Mcdonald said.

Like many others, senior Sarah Hima found out about K-pop through social media.

“One day I was on Vine, and an account I follow posted something about K-pop. I decided to look into it,” Hima said. “I’ve been hooked ever since.”

K-pop is significantly different from American music because what is popular in Korea is widely made up of groups, rather than the individual, as commonly seen in the U.S.

“My favorite group is ‘Got7’, because their group has a lot of diversity, and it shows that even though it is Korean oriented, it reaches to a larger audience,” Cooke said. “Most people who listen to K-pop aren’t even from Korea–they listen from all over the world. That’s what makes it so unique.”