Consumption of Korean media among young and middle age people in India has functioned as a catalyst for acculturation to Korean culture, which is a recent development.
Adoption of Korean culture is widespread, regardless of household economic status, educational level, religion, occupation, or ethnic group. These folks are extremely passionate about Korean culture, which includes everything from food to hairstyle, make-up, movies, dress, and language. However, many of them are unaware of their origin nation, South Korea.
The research investigates the dynamics of acculturation as people interact with a new dynamic culture that arises to be more appealing than the underlying culture. The role of information and communication technology, such as media, CD/DVDs, internet, mobile, and other ways, i.e. mass media exposure, in the procedure of acculturation to Korean cultural orientation among young and middle-aged Indians is investigated. These people are progressively adopting South Korean culture, referred to as Korean culture, a blend of original Korean and modern cultures, which is viewed as the study’s difficulty. Consumption of Korean media is seen as a stimulant for acculturation to Korean culture.
Geert (1984) defines culture as communal programming of the mind that comprises knowledge, belief, law, custom, art, morals, and any other talents and habits acquired by a person as a part of society.
It has an impact on individual behavior as well as social and economic growth. Culture has no geographical limits in the age of globalization. It is less about locales and more about creolized and hybrid cultural meanings and practices that traverse global space. It is the result of cross-space interactions and is increasingly viewed as carving paths rather than having roots. They are clusters of transient coherence or knots in the sphere of social space that are the result of local-to-global links and interconnections, Culture evolves as individuals engage with one another.
In our country, there is a growing interest in Korean culture. It all began with Korean drama. The gentle romance, the elegant cinematography, and the emphasis on small details are a winning mix. Certainly, K-pop has had an impact on our country’s youth, but soap operas have done a better job of marketing Korean items. And, before anyone else, Seo Young-doo moved in with his internet venture Korikart to seize this potential in India. He came to India in 2004 to study international relations at (JNU) Jawaharlal Nehru University and was fascinated by Indians’ rising interest in all things Korean. Young-doo has been in India for nearly a decade and a half.
He used to come for standalone Korean projects at first, but after seeing the opportunities India had to offer, he decided to set up his own venture here. Launched in 2018, this Delhi-based e-tailer for Korean skincare, beauty, fashion and food, kitchen, and home products has seen an overwhelming response. In fact, the company claims to have witnessed 300% growth in sales since March 2020 and is currently reporting over 40% month-on-month growth.
“Noodles were the most popular item during that time,” Young-doo explains.
Aside from that, the boycott of Chinese goods favored them. “There is a steadily growing demand in the population that wants to use products made from natural ingredients that are both affordable and healthier.” “Korean products tick all of these boxes,” adds the Korean merchant. Young-doo tells THE WEEK about his effort to bring Korea to India, with a permanent smile on his face and a passion for his Korean culture.
The Korean language has established itself as the fifth most popular language taught in the country. According to the language learning patterns, attitudes, and perceptions report released by Duolingo, a popular language learning app, Indian millennials, and Gen-Z – particularly those between the ages of 17 and 25 – are influenced by pop culture increasingly learning Korean, making it the fastest-growing language in India.
According to the research, Korean has ascended the ladder of most popular languages, trailing traditional heavyweights like French, English, Hindi, and Spanish, and has easily established itself as the fifth most popular language being learned in the country.
According to the corporation, the growth in popularity of Korea can be traced in part to the 2021 release of the popular TV series Squid Games.
Language education has been reframed to support interests and as something that complements other activities, rather than something required in a classroom, as India leans into more Korean entertainment and listens to more K-pop, according to the report.
In response to the 2021 edition of the Duolingo Language Report, Karandeep Singh Kapany, Country Marketing Manager in India, stated, “With a young India wanting to stay connected to the global and local culture, we have seen most traction on Duolingo from the 17 to 25 age bracket, across languages.” We look forward to further personalizing courses for the Indian learner and satisfying their language learning demands as Indians increasingly shift to entertaining and effective virtual learning platforms.”
The field survey included 150 Korean-used people in India, with 33% being men and 67% being girls.7 The sample population was made up of people ranging in age from 14 to 30 years old, with a mean age of 20 years. According to the findings of the study, young people are extremely interested in Korean culture. Imitating or adopting Korean culture is an exotic life for them.
Clothing, hairstyle, facial appearance, food, films, and language are all part of the vibrant activities that surround Korean culture. According to the study, as teenagers enter their adolescent years, they tend to practice or embrace the Korean style. However, it appears that they gradually relinquish as they age. It makes no difference to whom young Indians adopt Korean culture. It shows that Indian society is liberal and willing to accept whatever is deemed to be the best match.
They typically acquire Korean culture on their own accord, and in some circumstances, despite their parents’ wishes. Religion is not a big motivator for adopting Korean culture. They formed a group of young people who are either not interested in marriage or are predominantly single. All males and females are fascinated by Korean culture; nevertheless, the extent of their curiosity varies among individuals. Young people, regardless of marital status, are enthralled by Korean culture.
However, the level of keen curiosity differs from person to person. All of the married respondents adore Korean culture. Also, 40% of single people choose Korean culture entirely, while the remainder prefers a blend of Korean and other cultures such as Western, Japanese, Chinese, and even Indian. There does not appear to be a substantial gender difference in the preference for Korean traditions. For example, approximately 45% of guys seek a Korean culture against 41% of ladies, indicating that young boys are equally enamored with Korean culture as females are.
Indian youth, regardless of socioeconomic background, are adopting the so-called Korean culture, which is a hybridized form of Western and Korean culture. It is inspired by Korean media, particularly films and dramas. Aside from that, the peer group forms the network by accepting it; nonetheless, they have little influence on one another. They are captivated by it from different perspectives and with diverse intentions.
They adapt certain aspects of Korean culture that suit and intrigue them, regardless of their physical characteristics, particularly their face look. Despite disparities in physical attributes, particularly skin color, between Koreans, as shown in the media, and those from all over India, as seen in field observations, the young people of India are embracing the Korean style.
It is a synthesis of traditional Korean culture and modern, mainly Western society. Korean culture is the culture of South Korea. Indian inherent culture, which is diversified in nature, is radically distinct from Korean culture. However, the modern or Western culture adopted by the people of India is similar to Korean practice. The media and other related technological forms are recognized as the primary drivers of acculturation to Korean culture. In a globalized society, the desire to embrace Korean culture emerges with an increase in the consumption of Korean media among Indian people. Its rise is due in part to the militants’ ban on Hindi TV channels and films in the state.
This has resulted in the growth of Asian films, notably Korean films, and Korean television networks. Acculturation to Korean culture has been occurring in India for over a decade. According to the findings of the field study, some parts of Indian young people are following the overall trajectory of acculturation to Korean culture. Youth are disproportionately affected by the process of acculturation to Korean culture because they have a lot of enthusiasm, energy, and time to copy and pursue any activity without knowing its true cultural values.
Acculturation to Korean culture occurs as people in India come into contact with the new dynamic Korean culture via information and communication technology such as CD/DVDD, media, internet, and mobile, as well as peer groups. Acculturation to Korean culture shows that Korean cultures are more appealing than India’s intrinsic culture.
The adoption of Korean culture is related to the social, economic, cultural, behavioral, and psychological components of the people of India. The idea and prevalence of Korean culture adoption among people, particularly teenagers, are being validated. Liberalization and globalization have greatly aided media access and visibility. India’s people are, indeed, a culturally open society. As a result, individuals tend to adapt to new or modern cultures while retaining their native culture in terms of clothing, eating habits, socializing, or language.