Mexico Hallyu (Korean Wave), already on the rise
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Posted 24 February 2007 - 09:15 AM
'I'll give you everything, Jang Dong Geon Oppa(older brother)'
'I love you, Bae Yong Joon Oppa'
The Korean Wave in Mexico is on the rise.
According to the Korea Association of Mexico City in a report on the 22nd, at least 13 fan clubs of Jang Dong Geon, Ahn Jae Wook, and other Korean stars are running official websites and holding regular meetings.
Especially notable is that Hallyu fans of Mexico are playing a major role in spreading the Korean Wave across borders in South America.
The name of the fan club, 'Adonis,' representing a beautiful boy or man, is gathering people from Mexico and further the entire American continent.
Monica Hernandez who is the president of the fan club that claimed Jang Dong Geon as the Korean representative of Adonis, said in an interview, "There are approximately 1,500 members in our club and more than half live outside of Mexico." In other words, the fan club members are from Peru, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Venezuela, and other South American countries as well as the U.S. and Canada, covering the entire American conteinent.
Wendy Rodriguez who the president of the group of fan clubs and is fluent in Korean commented, "There are 13 fan clubs and approximately more than 5,000 members who participate actively. The clubs range from fan clubs of Bae Yong Joon, Chae Rim, Kwon Sang Woo, Bi, Shinhwa, and others. And thanks to passionate female fans, the fan base has been spread to the middle-aged men and women as well."
New clubs that are less than a year old actually consist 9 of the clubs compared to the Jang Dong Geon and Ahn Jae Wook fan clubs which have been around for four years, signifying the rapid expansion of the Korean Wave.
There are many fan club members who learned the Korean language through the Korean Culture Center, and use rather difficult words such as MECVAC(maek-bak: pulse) as their website title The story behind the title of MECVAC is also interesting. It is an anagram of 'Mexico-Corea Vinculos A travez de Cultura,' meaning the exchange between Korea and Mexico through culture.
Another notable aspect is that the person running the website is Elva Rodriguez a diplomat of Mexico.
Rodriguez commented, "I realize the importance of cultural exchange as a diplomat. If Korean culture can be better understood, then exchange between the two countries will naturally expand."
President Kim Young Hwi commented, "With the increasing number of fan clubs, communication between the Koreans living in Mexico has also gotten better."
On the 20th, a festival was held for the first time to bring together the people of both countries where more than 1,000 Hallyu fans gathered.
The event also featured young people of Mexico singing in advanced Korean, gathering much attention from the local Koreans as well.
The Korean Wave in Mexico started with the airing of 'All About Eve,' 'Star in My Heart,' and other drama series in October of 2002. Currently eight local public broadcasters air Korean drama series.
Meanwhile, there remains criticism while the number of active fan clubs are increasing, the effort to support them is still lacking. President Wendy Rodriguez commented, "There was an event in December that brought together Mexico and Korea under the theme of culture but the Korean embassy was not actively involved. The only thing we ask for are simple things such as news of the celebrities we like and having access to one more picture. We are not asking for monetary support, but rather encouragement for having interest in the culture."
Jung Gab Hwan, head of the Korean Culture Center, responded, "We are starting another Korean class in mid-March for the fan clubs and will put more effort into supporting the fan clubs by offering meeting places in the center amongst other efforts."
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