The Korea Herald

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지나쌤

Hallyu cited as face of Korea

By Korea Herald

Published : Dec. 18, 2012 - 19:06

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Hallyu has become the representative image of Korea thanks to K-pop, Korean drama and Korean cuisine.

In a survey of 3,600 foreigners living in nine countries conducted between October and November, the first thing that the respondents came up with when they thought about Korea was Korean food, followed by TV drama, K-pop and electronic goods, all included in the broad concept of hallyu. When asked about the main attraction of hallyu, 56.1 percent of the respondents said, “being new and different,” followed by attractive appearances, the Culture Ministry said.

However, the perception of Korea varied according to region ― while Asians cited dramas, K-pop and Korean food as representative of Korea, European respondents associated the country with the Korean War and electronic goods. Those from the Western hemisphere said the reason they consume hallyu products was because they were new and different.

The survey also showed that the growing awareness of Korea and its culture is influencing the nation’s economy. After learning about hallyu content, respondents expressed openness to purchasing Korean products, try Korean food or visit Korea.

“TV dramas had an impact on the purchase of Korean apparel while films induced people to learn Korean traditional culture. Those who listen to K-pop want to learn the Korean language,” the report said.

But many were negative about whether the hallyu content was professional or of high-quality, sufficient to sustain the boom. About 66 percent said hallyu would not persist in four years from now.

“It seems that the political and historical relations could become an obstacle in the future. It is already being seen in Japan’s case where hallyu seems to be declining following territorial disputes between the two countries,” the report noted.

By Bae Ji-sook (baejisook@heraldcorp.com)