Dark Side of K Pop Industry

Luna Speidel, Belgium

Although K Pop generally classifies “popular music” within South Korea, the term is often used in a narrower sense to describe a modern form of Korean pop that is influenced by styles and genres from around the world. The Asian pop singers are becoming more and more popular and, therefore, the music industry is pushing them harder so they can be at their best on stage, which is understandable. CDs, music videos and interviews have been taking their lives to a point where it becomes too much. Is it normal that at almost every concert at least one of the group members faints? Is it normal that they are doing more then 30 different dance routines per night for many months? We should take a deeper look and see if this is human abuse or not.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor kpop groupsAfbeeldingsresultaat voor kpop groups

The multi-million dollar industry that is controlling the lives of the big stars, makes everything look so glamorous and nice. But what the fans and the outside world in general doesn’t know, is that behind that fake image the artists are working 12 hours and maybe more a day every day to make everything look perfect. This leads to a form of abuse and is often hidden by the industry itself. You can’t force someone to stay on their feet and give everything they’ve got on a stage in front of millions of their fans. The fainting and collapsing on stage is a message and gives all the hidden darkness away. The industry can’t control everything and certainly not health.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor kpop groups fainting

When you become someone famous in that industry, your whole life is being controlled and getting out of it is almost impossible. Things like dating and getting married are not allowed, unless the significant other is approved by the industry. Everything is made for the artists to become more famous and for that to happen every detail counts. Most of the Kpop singers need to have plastic surgery to maintain their beauty and achieve the perfect look that the fans want. But again, this is something that the entire industry keeps secret so the performers look like natural perfection. Their diets are really strict and can go to a point where these celebrities starve themselves to keep up with their perfect body image. That’s also one of the things that causes the lack of energy and fainting on stage.



With all that negativity that’s hidden, you would think that the artists make a lot of money out of it so it’s at least worth something to them, but even on that level, the Kpop stars are victims of financial exploitation. For one show, a regular Kpop group generally earns $4000, 90% of which goes to the company and 10% gets divided between the singers. The singers are also threatened with blackmail so they don’t break the contracts, which are often for long terms, and stay in the groups. In the end, it’s a really dark industry that’s is created to give people what they want so the company gets to make as much money as they can.

Anti-Fans Sometimes Try To Kil is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Dark Side Of The K-Pop Industry And Idol GroupsAfbeeldingsresultaat voor dark side of kpop industry

Korean Foods: You Definitely Need to Know

Yumin Ko, South Korea

  • Have you ever tried Korean Food?
  • If you have tried these dishes, how did you eat those foods?

Maybe, some of you have tried Korean food, but some of you have never tried or never heard of them.

So, I would like to let you know about some dishes that are very popular in Korea. Furthermore, I’m going to tell you how to eat them more excitingly and with more flavors.

These will be good tips!


This is a popular Korean dish made by stir-frying marinated diced chicken in a gochujang -based sauce with sweet potatoes, cabbage, catnips, scallions, rice cake, and other ingredients.

Normally, this is fried on round hotplates, but some restaurants serve dishes on the gridiron to bake over the charcoal fire. For this time, I will provide tips.

Most people who have heard about Korean food think that all Korean food is very spicy.    To be honest, it is not true, but, if those foods are made from the gochujang based sauce, it is possible that the dish could be spicy.

Dak Galbi

[Souce: http://kayak27.blogspot.com/%5D


First, make a wrap!

Perhaps this tip could help to lower the spicy flavor.

The restaurants serve some side dishes with the Dak-galbi which are lettuce, catnips, marinated sliced radishes in some ingredients, etc, as ssam(wrap) vegetables.

Second, Dak Galbi into Bokkeumbap!

Koreans usually eat it at the end of eating the Dak-galbi.

The Bokkeumbap is made from fried rice with the leftovers Dak-galbi sauce after you eat. I recommend you would leave a few pieces of chicken to fry. It could provide a new taste to you.

And if you like cheese, definitely add it in.

For detail, you can see the video below.

[Souce: https://www.cnn.com/travel/videos/foodanddrink/2018/02/13/dak-galbi-south-korea-cuisine.cnn%5D

Soon Tofu

Have you heard of Soon tofu? “Soon” means “soft” in Korean, in this usage.                        So “soon tofu” is soft tofu.

Most of you may have tried tofu foods, especially the Sundubu-jjigae(Korean Spicy Soft Tofu Stew).

Sundubu jjigae recipe

Korean Spicy Soft Tofu Stew
[Sauce: https://www.koreanbapsang.com/kimchi-soondubu-jjigae-soft-tofu-stew-kimchi/%5D

But I would like you to know the truly natural “Soon tofu” because all the flavor of foods comes from the material.

“Soon tofu” is made from beans.

The taste is very soft and light, and it doesn’t contain any artificial flavors so it is good for your health.

Chodang Dubu Village (초당두부마을)

Image result for Chodang soon Tofu[Sauce: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=264371%5D


If you feel that it is a little bland, I recommend eating it with side dishes, like Kimchi and soy sauce which some restaurants serve.


Patbingsu (literally “red beans shaved ice”) is a popular Korean ice dessert with sweet toppings that are chopped fruit, milk, syrup, and red beans.

A long time ago, we ate Bingsu with red bean paste without special ingredients like fruit, but nowadays added ingredients have been created. So there are many varieties called “Bingsu”.

One of the popular recipes is  “Injeolmi bingsu”. Injeolmi is one of the traditional Korean rice cakes, so, if you try it you might get the feeling of being Korean.

Besides, Korean Bingsu varies like”Chocolate Bingsu”, ” Mango Bingsu”, “Melon Bingsu”, “Watermelon Bingsu”, “Strawberry Bingsu”, etc.


What makes me miss Korea

What makes me miss Korea

Bijin Park, South Korea

Image result for south korea

Have you ever missed your country while you were traveling? Maybe almost all people have felt it once. I am living in Santa Barbara and I am from South Korea. I can experience a lot of any other foreign cultures in Korea, so I have never felt difficulty while living in USA. However, I feel nostalgic for my country sometimes. What makes me feel this about Korea is because of Norea Bang and PC Bang. This is also one of what I love in Korean culture, and from now on I am going to tell you about this culture.


1.Norae Bang

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Normal Norae Bang

If you like singing and dancing, I really recommend ‘Norae Bang’ to you. It is Korean Karaoke, and we call it ‘Norae Bang’. ‘Norae’ literally means singing, and ‘Bang’ means a “room” in Korean. In South Korea, there are a lot of Norea Bangs everywhere because almost of Korean people from kids to adults love to enjoy their time here, and going Norea Bang after drinking is taken for granted nowadays.

Image result for 코인노래방
Coin Norae Bang

There are two types of Norae Bang. One is normal Norae Bang. You pay money for 1 or more hours, and you can sing any songs whatever you want in a room. The time is limited. The other is coin-Norae Bang. You pay money for the number of songs. One song is 500₩(about 50 cents), and 2 songs are 1000₩(about $1). I usually go to coin Norae Bang because the room is usually smaller than normal, so I go there by myself and enjoy! Moreover, most of them open 24 hours. So anywhere and anytime you can have a good time!

In the video below, people went to one where they take off their shoes in a Norae Bang in South Korea, but we usually don’t take our shoes inside. How the Noreabong looks, how  we play inside and how much we pay is all different from each other.



2.PC Bang

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South Korea is famous for amazing game players. I guess PC Bang is one of the factors contributing to it. PC Bang is a Korean Internet cafe. It is also everywhere and is open 24 hours. So many Koreans go to PC Bang, even though they have their own computers in their houses because PC Bang has a lot of benefits. They have SUPER nice computers, headphones, keyboards, chairs that you can even sleep comfortably and if you want, you can order some snacks and food through computers. Also, playing games for 1 hour is usually $1, and if you stay more, the price goes down like 2 hours for $1.5, but they vary in different locations.

As of 2017, South Korea had the fastest average internet connection in the world at 28.6 Mbit/s, according to the report State of the Internet published by Akamai Technologies, and PC Bangs are the best. So some people use PC Bang when they book tickets that are on a first come, first served, but most people go because they want to enjoy games without disconnection and slow Internet speed.

Image result for pc bang

To be honest, I wasn’t interested in PC Bang before because I really didn’t play any games on the computer. However, when I found myself in trouble, It helped me. One day my phone was dead while I was traveling to some places in Korea by myself. I could not do anything, stuck in strange world, I didn’t know well, and the time was about 2 or 3 am. Nobody was around me. Walking down the streets with panic, I found PC Bang and I got an idea to use the Internet and found my way to get out. Thanks to PC Bang, I was able to find where the house I was supposed to go was, the way to get there and contact with people there who were so relieved. Also, in other cases, it helped me a lot like when I needed to register for courses in university. And now, I sometimes enjoy doing ‘Overwatch’ game. This is what I came to like PC Bang. However, the one thing that you have to know is people under 18 can only use it until 10 PM, but if you are not, you can use it for 24 hours. Someday, if you have the opportunity to come to South Korea, I hope you enjoy this culture and have a great time. Thank you!



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