From The Non-Korean Who Loves Korean Entertainment

From The Non-Korean Who Loves Korean Entertainment

14 stuggles international fans of Korean entertainment can relate to.
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I believe it’s safe to say that we’ve all had something that we’ve obsessed over once.

It might have been a TV show, a musician, or even a book series, and quite honestly the nature of the obsession itself doesn’t really matter. It is the fact that we’ve emotionally invested ourselves in the earnest worship of our hobbies which grants such obsessions so much importance.

Personally I’ve been quite obsessed, or rather, enamored with Korean entertainment, that including K-pop, K-dramas, and Korean variety shows. As someone who has been in the fangirl circle for quite a while, five years approximately, I’ve experienced enough to know that the life of an international fan is everything but a stroll down a path of roses. So, here are a few of the struggles we K-pop, and K-drama fans have often dealt with.

Waiting for the release of weekly Drama episodes.

If you are watching a recently released drama, then you know that you will have to wait a week in order to watch the next two episodes. As someone who is used to watching Brazilian novelas, which release episodes on a daily basis, I find the weekly rule to be rather burdensome. I mean, a week is like a year in a fangirl’s calendar.

No subtitles.

There is also the problem of episodes being released, but, without any subtitles. Then it becomes a problem of self-control, questioning whether or not you should watch the episodes twice, once without the subs and once more as soon as the subtitled version is released.

Pulling all-nighters to catch up on dramas.

At times you may have been far too busy to watch all of the new episodes, or you simply decided to wait until all of the episodes had subtitles before you started watching them, and this can prove to be a real struggle. The obvious answer is to have a K-drama marathon, but, for those of us who have school the next day that probably means sleeping in class the following morning. Oh well, what else are we to do?

Not knowing what to say when you’re asked about the types of music you like.

There’s also the problem of not knowing what to do or say when your friends, who do not know nor like K-pop, ask you about your favorite songs. I tend to fumble with my words until I can think up the title of an English song and in the end it always ends up being something that is now completely obsolete. Personally, my worst nightmare is being passed the aux cord during a car ride. I’d rather sit quietly and nod along to whatever song they choose to play, which often tends to be something that is entirely foreign to me.

“Are they Chinese?”

If I am brave enough to put on a Korean song that always ends up being the moment I am bombarded with questions and criticisms. One of them being the much despised question regarding the bands nationality. I mean, yes, they are Asians, but, not all Asians are Chinese. Geez, give me a break!

When oppa is prettier than you.

I am not sure how many times I have shown my mom a picture of a Korean star I fancy and she answered saying that they were “prettier” than me. Truthfully, some of the Korean male stars I’m into are far more feminine looking than I am, but, that doesn’t make them any less manly. Oppa is still oppa. I always reply to her saying “Good, at least our children will be pretty.” [Here we have a prime example of a fangirl’s delusions. Let a girl dream.]

Setting impossible standards for men.

Knowing that oppa is handsome, cute, and sexy makes it extremely difficult for us to set our standards for men at an actually achievable level. We want someone like the protagonist of our favorite K-drama. But, seriously, who can ever be that perfect?

Learning Korean.

As not having available subtitles often turns out to be a problem, we fangirls decide that it is best to just learn the language on our own. However, we fail to realize that teaching yourself a language is not as simple as it may seem.

Randomly speaking Korean in public.

There comes a point though where we’ve watched enough dramas and listened to enough songs to know a few words in Korean. Surely enough, I tend to spout out Korean words randomly in public, causing people to glance at me with an air of confusion. It’s worst when I’m around my best-friend. Together we have full conversations in Korean, leading our other friends to complain in frustration.

Not knowing many people who share the same interests.

Luckily, my best-friend is as obsessed with K-pop and K-dramas as I am and I can easily reach out to her whenever I am in desperate need of fangirling. However, if we’re ever separated and this need strikes, we have to suffer quietly because other people just don’t get it.

Having the same bias as you friend.

It’s all fun and games until your friend decides to like the same bias as you do. It’s like no, baby girl, go find yourself your own man.

Knowing far too much about Korea

This one is seriously funny because once you’re thoroughly submersed in Korean fandoms your friends start taking you for an expert is everything relating to Korea. Just hope no teacher mentions South Korea in one of your classes, because your friends will all give you “the stare” and you’ll likely be like:

Planning to go to Korea to meet oppa.

This is the ultimate goal, but, we’re often too poor and busy to go on a trip to South Korea. One day though, one day.

Feels

Do I even need to say anything else? Oppa gives us feels. That’s final.


That’s all, my little pumpkins! I hope you enjoyed reading this and I wish you the best of luck in your fangirling adventures. It’s not as bad as it may seem. 안녕~

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.

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Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.


I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.


I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.


As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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