K-pop Comes to Poland
September 2, 2011
South Korean pop culture has been attracting increasing attention recently, not only in Asia but also in Europe. While visiting South Korea, European fans of Korean pop music attend concerts by their favorite artists and talks shop about the latest albums with other fans from around the world. Korean pop, or K-pop, is also increasingly popular in Poland.
The Korean Culture Center in Warsaw held a K-pop competition May 21. Fans of K-pop from all over Poland sent in their submissions in April and between May 11-18 auditions took place. On May 21 all those who qualified for the competition sang a song they had prepared along with accompanying choreography.
The My Love K-Pop Star exhibition was held on the same day, with images created by the fans. All competition participants received small souvenirs related to Korean music. Next, a Polish DJ hosted a K-pop night between 7 and 10 p.m. The event was a big success. Nearly 200 people from all over Poland attended.
In France in early June an SM Town concert was held in France, featuring bands from this, the biggest Korean music label. Groups like SHINee, Girl’s Generation or f(x) came to Paris for a several-day series of concerts. After the success of SM Town, which was organized jointly with the SM Entertainment label, fans from other European countries also wanted to invite Korean artists to perform. In Poland, Anna Sergiej, the head of the Polish SHINee fanclub, came up with a similar idea.
K-Pop Flashmob is an event that brings together fans of Korean pop in public spaces in major cities of the world. Such an event was also held in Warsaw. Despite bad weather, more than 300 fans of Korean music gathered on July 30 at 3 p.m. in front of the Palace of Culture and Science to take part in a dance competition and to dance with the South Korean flag.
Thanks to Sergiej, who organized the event, fans of SHINee, Super Junior, Big Bang, Girl’s Generation, 2PM and BEAST took part, along with Vietnamese people who permanently live in Poland. Fans arrived with posters and banners, some wearing T-shirts with their favorite band names, and with the Korean flag painted on their faces.
The event started with choreography for such K-pop songs as “Sorry, Sorry,” “Gee” and others, performed by all participants. Next, 10 teams participated in a dance contest, presenting their dance skills with their favorite music in the background.
The program ended with a dance with Polish and South Korean flags. The participants sang “Victory Korea” by Super Junior, put together South Korean and Polish flags from paper cards, and jointly sang “Win Korea! We love you Korea!”
“We had only a week to tell everyone about the event, yet nearly 400 people from all over Poland arrived,” said Sergiej. “Some people traveled for eight hours to take part in K-Pop Flashmob.” Sergiej adds that bands such as Super Junior, SHINee, and Girl’s Generation are popular in Poland, Big Bang and SS501 have the most fans. When asked why she organized the event, Sergiej said, “We wanted to express our admiration for Korean music and our hope that some day they will perform in Poland.”