131220 Super Junior Featured in a Chilean Newspaper
“The Silent Revolution Of K-Pop In Chile”
The rumor of disbandment of a K-Pop group, Super Junior, was enough for its name to be a Trending Topic during 4 days. But, why this genre is gaining more followers in Chile?
Many were surprised to see during 4 days in a row, among the most commented on Twitter (Trending Topic), this hashtag: #SuperJuniorTheLastManStanding, and not for its content. Day and night dozens of tweets followed one another and were part of the trends list, even asking what meant “Super Junior.”
It’s about a K-Pop (Korean pop) group formed in 2005 and comprised a total of thirteen members (all specialists in music and acting). The band has visited Chile twice, in 2012 and 2013 with the same success: hundreds of fans (most minors) crying for the miracle of seeing the idols from another continent. The concerts, called “Super Shows,” can last longer than 4 hours and include videos, scripts and several costume changes.
Trinidad Gallardo (21), nursing student, witnessed both concerts that Super Junior held in Santiago. She knows everything about the band. She created a group on Facebook that counts with more than 5 thousand members. Stand out her knowledge about the topic. She explains why the extensive Trending Topic: “It’s been awhile with a rumor about how their company, SM Entertainment (the agency promoting them) wouldn’t renew their contract when it comes the termination date of it, because now they will focus on new groups. At a global level, ELF fanclub (Everlasting Friends by its initials) agreed on Twitter to demonstrate that they still prevail in the world”, she says.
A Chilean is coordinating the campaign from here. “Now we are doing it just to show the support and love for the group, which is the most famous K-Pop boyband worldwide”
María Paz Donoso (24), journalist at Chilean University, developed a thesis this year about the topic. In “Oriental Music-Video in Chile: a “metanarrative” of contradictions. Japan and Korea to the limit”, researched the roots and reasons of the phenomenon of the oriental cultural products in Chile, and she drew conclusions.
“Unlike other currents, K-Pop was greatly present in the media. Its coverage got my attention on the news, something that was not happening with Japanese concerts”, says Donoso about the start of the adventure. “It is not just about K-Pop, but rather, it is about an oriental current that has been happening for years, and it was expressed by anime and later spread in other forms of consumption, like music.”
Donoso made a reconstruction of the phenomenon, and she ended up with K-Pop. She says that Korean music concerts, in Chile, up until 10 years, were unimaginable. “The first festival was in 2012 in Caupolicán, a symbolic theater for music.” She also adds the contribution of Mega (Chilean television channel) to the local scene. “It was the channel who bet on this as well, with dramas (Korean TV series) and the series from channel ETC, which also belongs to Mega.”
“Music Bank” has been the biggest event around K-Pop that took place in Chile. It was held in 2012 in the Quinta Vergara. Since then, everything has increased. “’Music…’ is a TV show, and Chile was the first Latin American country that had the live show. That was managed by Korean embassy here.”
The last information is not whimsical. According to María Paz, Korean government policy highlights of the popular culture of the country around the world. “Especially South Korea. They don’t have a good relationship with Japan and they try to overcome them in that”. But it goes beyond that, Donoso explains about other factors that attract the youngsters. “Values of oriental culture, like the respect for elderly people, are the key. Also the high level of masculine sensitivity. And the perfection. Korea shows us a perfect country, where everything works. And for teenagers and young people of middle or low socio-economic levels, that can be very attractive.”
cr:StringsChile & Vilma Fernández