Why K-pop is so popular? It’s not just the looks

There are many articles written about K-pop but not many of them talk about why people love k-pop other than the music and visuals. Its not just about the music videos or what the songs sound like. Many k-pop fans know the hard work and dedication that actually goes into becoming an idol.

When it comes to Korean idols they aren’t just put together and allowed to make music like American stars. Once they are in the industry  they have to spend years training, they learn how dance, improve there singing and sometimes put on strict food diets.   But it doesn’t stop there many companies have rules that the trainees have to follow and those rules stick even when they debut.

  • The rigorous training.: It might seem obvious but you have to train all the time and  that might seem normal for some but for these idols many of them become trainees as young as 12 which means they have to juggle school work with training. Some trainees have to wake at 5am just to balance their schedule
  • Dating: dating is a nono for many idols. It does vary with each company but most have a strict no dating rule. If they date and are caught it could lead to dismissal from the company. Just look at Hyuna and E’dawn they were kicked out, lucky for them psy scouted them for his company and we may get the comeback we all want. Oh and they are still going strong.
  • No social media: When you are training and even when you debut there is one rule that may be hard to stick by which is no social media for 2 years. i would honestly find it hard myself.

Many idols can train for 8 years and still not debut and another can train for 2 years and debut before them. Becoming an idol is hard but what you gain is so much better.

Now enough about the hard stuff lets get into the fun and happy stuff.

We all love our idols whether they are actors or singers. And they always show their appreciation of getting where they are today with our help so I thought what actually got these fans started. why they like K-dramas and K-pop and how they got into it?

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BTS

 

I myself love that the music is so different from western music. I feel as if they put more dedication into the music videos and actually spend time reflecting their feeling into the lyrics.They want us to be able to relate to the lyrics show that they can go through the same problems as anyone else. Even though there is a language barrier it doesn’t stop us from connecting with the music and the artist.

Now when I began listening to K-pop I didn’t understand what the big deal was but then when i began listening to more songs and reading the lyrics I was hooked. Even when I had no idea about what they were saying it still brought such excitement into my life. There was always a song to fit your mood, whether it sad or happy you could always find a song or artist who fit the way your feeling.

 

In the last few years K-pop has blown up so much globally. And many western fans know the names of popular K-pop groups. So I got in touch with a K-pop fan to find out her opinion on K-pop.

As a fan living in the UK it’s hard to find stores local for me to be able to buy albums or posters or even restaurants that sell Korean food.

However with some research I was able to find quite a few:

Oseyo – They Sell everything from K-Beauty to food and even K-pop merchandise. The prices are pretty reasonable.

Hmart – owned by the same people as oseyo

Kpop – Cafe that sells Korean food and photos or groups

Seoul bakery– Korean food and drink and downstairs is full of k-pop memorabilia

Gaza soho – serves Korean desserts.

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So as the K-pop world has grown so has the K-drama world if you listen to K-pop you most likely have watched a K-drama or two in your lifetime. And if you haven’t I recommend you do.

I am addicted to K-dramas because some of the characters are very relatable. you don’t just get rich people you also get poor people going through something hard in there lives and still pushing through and being strong and independent. They also allow you to escape to a new world. It could be the inside of a comic book or even going back in time to the Joseon era and experiencing the lifestyle back then.

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Scarlet heart Ryeo cast

 

The Korean culture is growing and there are fans all over the world so why not reach out online. so with the many hundreds of fan accounts I follow I reached out to a few

Now one fan account in particular that I reached out too posts daily whether its new K-dramas or older ones, they shared it. So I chose to reach out to them and ask them why they like Korean dramas and what got them into it. 

” F4 is always going to be my favorite, It was the K-drama that got me addicted to the K-world even though my first drama was full house”

Boys over flowers was my first Korean drama ever and from the moment I started it I was hooked and now 2 years later I am here writing about many of my favourite K-dramas. If you are a new K-drama fan and are unsure of what to watch I recommend Boys over flowers. It’s the most classic drama and contains everything you need from some laughs to some tears your emotions will be high.

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source: Flickr

We all can agree K-pop is continuously growing worldwide and that the Korean culture is mixing in more with the western style and are coming together to show language barriers mean nothing. Lets continue to show support to idols and let them know that the hard work and dedication they put in is very much appreciated.

K-Dramas through the Decade

Imagine a life without K-dramas, that was me over a year ago when I hadn’t even heard of K-pop let alone K-dramas. Now I wont exactly call myself an expert but i will say I have the knowledge to take you on a tour.

Although I may not have been watching for a long time i have watched many K-dramas that go as far back as 2004. So I thought it would be a great idea to compile a list of my favourite dramas, starting from 2009 to the present with each one being chosen by year.

Let’s begin.

Boys Over Flowers – 2009

Boys Over Flower OST

Boys over flowers was the K-drama that started it all. If you have never watched a K-drama I recommend this as your first one. The plot is amazing and it never seems dragged out which I have seen in other dramas. I believe the cast are beautiful and  they fill everything I want to see in a drama in regards to the flow of love, drama and real life situations. This drama does it all for me.

Rich meets poor in this drama when Geum Jan-di ends up at one of the most prestigious schools in Korea. This is where she meets F4 the most handsome, richest schoolboys. Gu Jun-pyo falls in love with her but will their love-hate relationship and a mother who will not hesitate in ruining their love get in the way?

K-rating: 5/5

You can find Boys over flowers on Netflix 

 

Secret Garden – 2010

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What can I say about secret garden? It was amazing I loved the whole body swapping situation it gave the drama a twist. With the girl being poor and the guy being rich it was nice to watch them experience each others daily life and the struggles they go through. The comedy aspect in the drama made it better too especially when they were in each others body and they would do something out of the ordinary for that person it just brought the whole drama together.

Similar to boys over flowers, rich meets poor when Kim Joo-won a store CEO meets stunt woman Gil Ra-im. She is always on his mind so he decides to pursue her, at first the feelings aren’t reciprocated but with bodies being swapped how complicated can it get?

K-rating: 4/5

You can find Secret Garden on Netflix

 

Flower boy Ramen shop – 2011

Flower-Boy-Ramen-Shop-K-Drama

I thought this drama would be worth watching after seeing  Jung Il Woo’s portrayal of Kang Ji-woon  in ‘Cinderella and four knights’ however I was left quite disappointed. The beginning was great but around the last 3 episodes I felt that the story had dropped and it was being dragged out for too long. It seemed as if the plot had just gone and they were throwing ideas together. The cast kept it interesting and I liked the ending but I feel they could have made it better by getting rid of the scenes that weren’t really relevant.

The drama follows a woman in her 20’s trying to pass her civil service exam. She meets the arrogant heir to a large food company and at first is attracted to him until she finds out he is a senior in high school and 6 years younger than her. Then throw in a ‘husband’ she didn’t know she had and her fathers Ramen shop what could go wrong?

K-rating: 2/5

 

To the beautiful you – 2012

to the beautiful you

I found this drama so cute. The whole girl dressing as a boy kept the drama on its toes especially in times when you thought she would be caught. As much as I love Choi Min-ho I did have second lead syndrome, Cha Eun-gyeol was the cutest. He was very comedic at times which gave the drama more life. I also liked the connection that Goo Jae-hee had with both the male leads 

The drama follows Goo Jae-hee a Korean girl living in the states. She is often bullied by her peers and wanted to drop out. One day she sees a track and field competition on the tv. She spots one of the jumpers Kang Tae-joon. He becomes her idol allowing her to stand up for herself, one day Tae-joon is injured which could end his career. Fearing for the worst Jae-hee decides to transfer to the same school he is attending but there is a catch, its an all boys school. Not giving up she cuts her hair and disguises herself as a boy.

K-rating: 3/5

 

My love from the star – 2013

my love from the star

There are many reasons why this drama is on here. It was different to other dramas it gave us a twist of supernatural  and science fiction. It also showed us different time lines with the main characters life. There was also a sense of mystery, you didn’t know what was going to happen next with the main couple especially with Do Min-joon’s departure looming so it left you on your toes wanting more. I also liked the fact that Do Min-joon had powers it made it more dramatic and gave some action to the drama this kept it more exciting because you didn’t know what he would do next.

An alien who came to earth in the Joseon era gets stuck for 400 years. 3 months before he leaves for home he meets a top actress Cheon Song-yi. She believes she is loved by everyone until she meets Do Min-joon, she soon develops feelings and tries to get him to fall for her. He tries to keep away from her due to his upcoming departure but finds himself failing to do so.

K-rating: 5/5

You can find My love from the star on Netflix

 

Pinocchio – 2014

pinocchio

I watched Pinocchio because I love Park Shin-hye and Lee Joon-suk. The drama was good however there were parts which just dragged and some episodes I believe were a little boring. It may be down to the fact of not really being in to the whole murder mystery dramas. The ending is really good and I found it so cute with everything that had happened it was nice to see a happy moment.

A family was destroyed after their fireman father died while helping people caught in a blaze. It was all made worse when the media blamed the fireman for the death of the other firefighters who had gone in after him to save someone who was still inside. The family became outcasts, the brother left and the mother decided enough was enough and decided to kill herself and her young son. The boy survived and ended up with an elderly man who believed he was his son who had passed away. The boy tries to hide his past from the man’s granddaughter Choi In-ha who had gone to live with them after his other son and his wife divorced. Choi In-ha dreams of being a reporter but has Pinocchio syndrome which makes her hiccup when she lies. With her dream in mind secrets are uncovered and a family is brought together to serve justice.

K-rating: 3/5

You can find Pinocchio on Netflix

 

Oh my Venus – 2015

oh my venus

This drama was just cuteness overload. Shin Min-a made her character very adorable and comedic and So Ji-sub was very comedic but serious. I love the difference in the characters and they way they connect. At times the drama got serious which I liked as it showed more realism as to what people go through.  I also found that  Kim Ji-woong and Jang Joon-sung made the drama very funny and kept me laughing through the episodes even when it got sad at times you didn’t feel down for too long.

When the love of her life breaks up with her for putting on weight, lawyer Kang Joo-eun decides its time to turn her life around. Her ticket comes when she meets Kim Young-ho a personal trainer turned Hollywood star. She finds out his secret that he is the famous John Kim and ‘convinces’ him to help her lose weight.

K-rating: 5/5

You can find Oh my venus on Netflix

 

Goblin: The lonely and great god – 2016

goblin

Words can not describe my love for this drama. The romance, drama, supernatural all rolled into one just created a piece of art. So much happens in this drama that I can’t pick a favourite part I just love the characters and the actors they chose portrayed them so perfectly. The romance and comedy was amazing but when it got serious It left you with tears in your eyes. So if you decide to watch this I advise you to have tissues at the ready.

A goblin, Kim Shin becomes the landlord of a grim reaper in charge of taking deceased souls. Kim Shin has been wanting to end his immortal life but the only way that can happen is by his human bride. Ji Eun-tak a high school student has had a hard life one such problem being that she can see ghosts who haven’t passed on. One day she unknowingly summons the Goblin and through various circumstances ends up falling in love with him.

K-rating: 5/5

You can find Goblin on Netflix

 

My secret romance – 2017

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The best thing about this drama was that it was totally different to any drama I have seen. The one night stand in the first episode just changed what I thought the drama would be like. It was more age fitting for me. The main characters were just a great pairing and it was a bit cliche at times but i liked that, it kept it like a classic K-drama. As a sucker for romance this drama just fit me perfectly. I just wish that there was more episodes because I needed more of their romance.

Through a series of misunderstanding Chan Jin-wook meets Lee Yoo-mi. Jin-wook’s sly, playful personality charmed Yoo-mi. They sleep together and in the morning Yoo-mi leaves leaving Jin-wook confused and angry. 3 years later the pair meet again when Yoo-mi ends up working for his company. She pretends that she doesn’t know him, but he knows she is lying. With all the drama that pursues in there life will there love stay strong?

K-rating: 4/5

 

My Id is Gangnam beauty – 2018 

my id is gangnam

For Cha Eun-woo’s first leading role in a drama it was beautiful. He played his character perfect and I loved the fact that he liked Mi-rae from when they went to school together. I also enjoyed the moments when Mi-Rae learned things about beauty, you can be born beautiful and the person themselves or others around them could still have a problem with it. Beauty is inside and this drama showed that not everyone is happy just because they are pretty and everyone is going through something.

Kang Mi-rae had been bullied her whole life for her looks. Her mother allows her to get plastic surgery. However when she joins university her looks get her into more trouble than she thought and still gets teased as the ‘Gangnam plastic surgery monster’. It follows her life as she recovers her self esteem and shows you should love yourself for who you are.

K-rating:5/5

You can find My Id is Gangnam beauty on Netflix

 
 
Touch your heart – 2019
 
 
touch your heart
 
 
This drama hasn’t aired yet but I cannot wait to watch it. After Lee Dong-wook and Yoon In-na’s portrayal of sunny and the grim reaper in Goblin I want to see more of them together. 
 
The drama follows the romance between a top actress who due to a scandal is on the down fall and the a prickly lawyer.
 
 
 
 

 

 

Condom Recall

Durex has pulled a number of there products off the shelf due to concerns that they may burst.

It is said that the condoms may break if used nearer the expiry date. However it can also break during application or use.

Although there has been no safety issues as of yet. Durex has advised anyone who has used the products listed below that they should seek advice from medical professionals, and to wait no more than 72 hours.

What is usually advised after having unprotected sex and not on birth control would be taking the morning after pill. For more emergency contraception advice visit NHS online

Products recalled:

  1. Durex Real Feel 6 Pack, Batch Number 1000438054, Expiry Date Jan-2021
  2. Durex Real Feel 12 Pack, Batch Number 1000444370, Expiry Date Feb-2021
  3. Durex Real Feel 12 Pack, Batch Number 1000474804, Expiry Date Feb-2021
  4. Durex Latex Free 12 Pack, Batch Number 1000444367, Expiry Date Feb-2021
  5. Durex Latex Free 12 Pack, Batch Number 1000433145, Expiry Date Jan-2021
  6. Durex Real Feel 12 Pack, Batch Number 1000419930, Expiry Date Jan-2021
  7. Durex Real Feel 12 Pack, Batch Number 1000444367, Expiry Date Feb-2021
  8. Durex Real Feel 12 Pack, Batch Number 1000416206, Expiry Date Dec-2020
  9. Durex Real Feel 18 Pack, Batch Number 1000434066, Expiry Date Jan-2021
  10. Durex Real Feel 18 Pack, Batch Number 1000430479, Expiry Date Jan-2021

 

Ex JLS member Oritse Williams charged with rape

On December 21st 2016 Williams was arrested just a day after performing in the city.

A woman had made an allegation of rape against the 31 year old singer following the concert.

The singer denied the allegations but has now been charged with the rape of the 20 year old woman.

Another man has also been charged with sexual assault.

After the split of Jls Oritse had started his own entertainment company and released his first solo album called ‘waterline which also featured american rapper Pusha T.

Appeal for man assaulted in Vauxhall

On Thursday may 31st at 17:52 police were called after a report of two men fighting was made.

Officers and the London ambulance service arrived to find a man in his 50’s with facial injuries.

He was taken to hospital by London’s air ambulance and is still in critical condition.

An arrest was made at the scene of a 20 year old charged with grievous bodily harm.

He was released on bail and will return to a south London station in May

DC Ollie Cahill-Smith, who is leading the investigation, said: “Although an arrest has been made I am still keen to hear from witnesses or anyone who has any information about this incident. If you haven’t come forward already, I would urge you to get in touch.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Brixton CID by calling 101 and quoting CAD 6616/31 May or tweet @MetCC.

Mayor announces £2 million support for gang exit projects

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced a £2 million investment in the London Gang Exit programme. 

Sadiq’s aim is to tackle the root cause of violent crimes to try to prevent any future deaths.

The London Gang Exit programme was created to be able to help a gang member or someone who can be recruited. They will receive professional help ranging from mental health to substance misuse to finding a new home and even a job.

Referrals can be made by a teacher, police officer, care workers, and probation officers.

Below is a list of actions he plans to enforce:

Boosting police power

The Mayor plans to create a violent crime task force that will consist of 120 officers. The Met Police have also  introduced targeted patrols with extra stop and search powers to the areas most affected by knife crime. The Mayor is investing £110m in to the Met Police in order to protect the number of front line Police officers on London streets.

Preventing future violence

The Mayor created the young Londoners fund in February, spending £45m to steer young teens away from crime. Schools in London have knife wands now available to keep students safe. City Hall works with the police, charities and councils on two programmes aimed at ending and preventing gang violence and exploitation, working with victims and young people at risk.

Action plans under way

The Mayor has published a new Knife Crime Strategy, to tackle knife crime, taking in views from bereaved families and victims. Every London borough now has its own knife crime action plan to tackle violence locally, created in partnership with the Met

City Hall summit

Politicians from across political parties and the capital are being invited to City Hall to be briefed by the Mayor and Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick about the action being taken against the current spate of violence.

Not everyone completely agrees with The Mayor’s decision. Some feel that he should pay the same amount of attention to other crimes. Where as others feel it is a good idea.

Korea’s historic summit

Kim Jong-un the Supreme Leader of North Korea is the first North Korean to legally step into South Korea in decades.

Along side the president of south Korea Moon Jae-in, the two agreed on making a peace treaty that was signed on April 27th 2018.

In the treaty they agreed upon these terms:

  •  South and North Korea will reconnect the blood relations of the people and bring forward the future of co-prosperity and unification.
  • They declared that they would renew the relationships between the two countries by fully implementing all existing agreements and declarations, that had been decided between the two sides so far.
  • They agreed to have discussions in order to make neutral decisions for the implementation of the agreements reached at the Summit.
  • They also agreed to take various military measures to ensure active mutual cooperation, exchanges, visits and contacts.
  • They agreed to endeavor to resolve the humanitarian issues that resulted from the division of the nation.
  • South and North Korea agreed to completely cease all the hostile acts against each other in every domain including land, air and sea, that are the sources of military tension and conflict. In this vein, the two sides agreed to transform the military zone into a peace zone.

This heralds a new era for the Korean peninsula after the 1950’s war between the North and the South.

President moon expressed his opinion saying “We have confirmed that realizing a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula through complete denuclearization is our common goal. I clearly affirm today that the South and North will closely cooperate on complete denuclearization in the future.”

Many political members have responded to the developments including:

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson

US President Donald Trump

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/989820401596366849

 

 

 

 

 

Toronto suspect in custody

Suspected driver being questioned by Canadian Police after a rented van mowed down pedestrians in Nothern Toronto, killing 10 people and leaving 15 injured.

The suspect, Alek Minassian 25, was not previously known, police have said.

alek-minassian-toronto-van-crash

Although the motive was not clear it appears to be a deliberate attack, officials added.

CBC News caught a man on camera who appeared to be pointing a gun at officers while shouting ‘kill me’.

one of the officers repeatedly told him to ‘get down’ after the suspect told them he had a gun. An officer replied with ‘i don’t care get down’ the suspect was then arrested and no shots were fired.

Chief Saunders said ‘The investigation is in its infancy and nothing has been ruled out’.

At 1:26pm police recieved a call for a personal injury collision near Yonge st. and Finch Ave.

An officer was praised by many after holding back and not shooting the suspect.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the “tragic and senseless attack” had brought him “great sadness”. He took to twitter to express his feelings and to thank the officers.

Also many were expressing their anger all over twitter as people suspected it to be a terrorist attack.

 

He will appear in court on Tuesday April 24th.

 

Suspect in custody following Forest Gate murder

An arrest has been made following the death of Forest gate resident 18 year old Sami Sidhom.

On Monday 23rd April, a 22 year old man was arrested on suspicion of murder. He remains in custody at a local London police station.

On the evening of April 23rd, Officers from the Homicide and Major Crime Command will be in Chestnut Avenue to appeal for any witnesses and information.

Police were called to a stabbing on Monday 16th April at 22:50 in Chestnut Grove. Officers arrived with the paramedics and London air ambulance.

At 23:27 Sami was pronounced dead at the scene.

His cause of death was determined as multiple stab wounds after a post-mortem took place on Tuesday April 17th.

It was also established that Sami had been stabbed by numerous suspects outside of his home.

Sami had just finished watching West Ham United play and was returning home. He was attacked when he was walking the last leg of his journey home.

Officers are hoping that anyone who can assist them with any information about this fatal attack to come forward. Particularly anyone who saw a car fleeing the scene after the attack.

Mark Wrigley, Detective Chief Inspector, who led the investigation said  “Sami was returning home having been to watch West Ham when he was set upon by an unknown number of suspects, leaving him with multiple stab wounds.”

He also said “although there is no clear motive we are still continuing to make progress and appeal to anyone in the community who is responsible to step forward and give Sami’s family justice.”

Sami’s family also spoke out and said “he was a model son, student and dedicated West Ham fan who was studying to be a lawyer.”

“We would like to thank everyone who came to Sami’s aid and comforted him in his final hour. We are deeply grateful for the incredible kindness and bravery that our neighbours, regardless of their creed or colour have shown to Sami.

Enquires continue.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information is asked to contact the incident room on 020 8345 3715 or via Twitter @MetCC.

Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Wanted for drug offences

Images of three men have been released to the public in relation to drug offences.

Emile Dover 29, Andre Williams 29 and Shawn Shaw 37 are wanted in connection of a controlled drug supply in Brixton.

So far 19 people have been arrested and charged with drug offences, as police officers have been targeting street dealing in the area of Brixton.

If anyone sees or know the whereabouts of these 3 men you can contact the Problem Solving Team in Brixton on 020 8649 2062. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.