Saturday, September 24, 2011

K-pop fever in Latin America

On September 11, the 2nd K-pop Latin America Competition was held at Paseo la Plaza, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, hosted by the Korean Culture and Information Service (KOCIS) of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. A total of 407 people in 171 teams from 14 countries including Costa Rica, Chile, and Peru entered the contest, of which 14 teams were selected for the final after passing a video test and live show screening.

Flohr (María Florencia Acosta) from Argentina got first place in the singing category and Peruvian girl group Step Up placed first in the dancing category. They both qualified for the finals of the Worldwide K-pop Contest which will be held in Seoul in November.

Thanks to the event, K-pop fever in South America has also started to get attention from local media. The biggest newspaper company in Argentina, Clarín, covered the contest and wrote about the winner Florencia Acosta on September 13 with the headline “The Queen of K-pop.”

On the same day, news channel El Trece reported the event with the title “K-pop Enthusiasm,” saying K-pop is getting more popular in Latin America with its showy dance moves, and that Argentina also has a number of Hallyu fans. It also showed footage from K-pop concerts and fans being enthusiastic for their music.

The entertainment magazine Lunateen also covered the event with the title “I love you K-pop,” reporting that Argentinean Hallyu fans shouted ”I love you K-pop“ when Korean singers appeared on stage, and some of them showed tears of happiness.

An official from the Korean Cultural Center of Latin America said, “Considering the fact that there hasn’t been a single Korean drama on TV in Argentina, it is truly amazing that the biggest newspaper companies and broadcasting companies covered the event and K-pop.”

It is the first time that K-pop has been shown in Argentinean media and more media companies including Radio la Plata are asking for help such as arranging interviews with the winners.

Previously, the K-Pop Cover Dance Festival hosted by the Visit Korea Committee was held in the central city of San Paulo, Brazil on September 7. A total of 20 Brazilian teams participated in the event in which the overseas fans of Hallyu danced to Korean songs. More than 5,000 K-pop fans attended the event, proving the popularity of K-pop. Moreover, in July, around 350 Argentinean K-pop fans performed in a flash mob in Buenos Aires, requesting Korean singers such as Girls’ Generation and Shiny tour to their country.

The final K-pop contest “K-Pop World Festival” will be held in the city of Changwon on November 24. A total of twelve teams from all over the world will compete against each other to become the final winner of the contest. The event will also be aired in real time on KBS and KBS World to 72 countries.

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