Wednesday, October 27, 2010

O Korea Re...

Korean sitcoms are a hit in Manipur
I just came across this story in the magazine Caravan about Korean "invasion" of  Manipur. Published in the October issue, the story narrates how the vacuum created by a ban on Hindi-Bollywood TV/Cinema in Manipur is being filled by DVDs of Korean sitcoms and serials. KoreansSouth Koreans, that isare not really surprised about this. Korean popular culture has already made way into countries across Asia, from China to Iran. This success is because Korean movies, serials, etc., are able to combine entertainment with traditional values that are shared by many Asian societies. Now this is quite an intriguing piece in itself. But I perhaps wouldn't have blogged about it if I didn't have another Korea story ruffling in my mind.

We, the FORWARD Press magazine, have just gone to press with our November issue and in it we are carrying an article by Vishal Mangalwadi titled "Moving Forward: Korean Style". It is a short study of a village called Yong Am in South Korea and the spiritual-cultural forces that transformed this impoverished village "hidden in a mountain and covered by snow for more than three months in a year" into one of the richest rural communities where the average annual income of a small farmer is Rs 28 lakh! This Korea story also has an India connection, the people (and the NGO) that brought about this transformation in Yong Am, and many a Korean wasteland, are helping the people in Bihar improve their farming.

When it  comes to Asia, people world over are talking about China and India, but Korea might be the dark horse that will perhaps lead the way in this part of the world. The former two countries have the size and political clout. Korea seems to have the confidence and capability to more than compensate for these pluses its two continental cousins have.

And yes, Korea has been inspiring talented Indian musicians too. Take a look at this song.

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