Ruby James

Catching the New Wave

Issue section: 

Cultural flows have proved more multi-directional than commentators could have imagined

The English-speaking world has dominated global pop culture for as long as anyone can remember, but when it comes to the wave of South Korean cultural exports, we suddenly find ourselves two steps behind everyone else. The term Korean Wave, or Hallyu in Korean, was coined from the Chinese characters han liu in the late 1990s, and has since taken off as a description for the increasing popularity of South Korean film, television and pop music.

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