Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Are Koreans Offended Because They Are “Educated”? Blackpink’s cultural appropriation, Ateez is causing a stir

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After Hongjoong asked Ateez fans to hold them accountable if they ever did anything wrong, fans are looking for better ways to reach Yunho

There has been a growing number of incidents regarding insensitive and racist comments, fat-shaming, and cultural appropriation in K-pop that have sparked debate among fandoms. Enhypens Sunoo has been shamed by his own group on numerous occasions, while racism-aware English-speaking idols pronounce the N-word, as seen in the case of aespa Giselle. On July 17, Blackpink’s Jennie was slammed within hours for wearing cornrows on HBO’s The Idol, while Ateez’s Yunho joked that wearing a pirate costume was perfect for playing Indian Poker.

A cultural scholar then shared that it was the lack of ethnic diversity in South Korea and the lack of interest that led to continued cultural appropriation in K-pop. Fans sent mass emails to Ateez’s label to enlighten Yunho, leading Koreans to speculate as to why idols continue to make ignorant remarks despite the internet calling them. This follows the Blackpink incident, in which Lisa apologized for wearing box braids just months before Jennie’s stylistic decision. Koreans believe the term “educate” and the way international fans try to teach idols has something to do with it.

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Canadian-Korean YouTubers Danny and David Kim of the DKDKTV channel, who cover K-pop news with a Western approach, shared that the term “educate” has a negative connotation in Korean. Ateez fans brought back the clip while addressing Yuno’s situation. The YouTubers brought back Japanese imperialism in Korea and how it influenced certain words: “For Korean culture [‘educate’ and ‘ignorance’]Yes indeed [it is offensive]. I’m not educating you… that comes from a place of authority and superiority. This word [‘educate’] is a very triggering word.”

During Japanese rule, Koreans were not allowed to use their native language and were forced to learn Japanese. Many testimonies share that they were treated like second-class citizens and forced to do physical labor. The emperor tried to wipe out Korean culture and impose their Japanese culture by teaching it to Koreans. Aside from this forced education of the Japanese lifestyle, DKDTV has also delved into the literal translation of “educate” and why another word would be better.

Why “educate” is a keyword for Koreans

Fans made tweets like, “In general, we ask that you avoid using Korean unless you fully understand the language. There are many nuances that can easily get lost in translation. A sentence that may not be disrespectful in one language may be in another. Please keep an open mind again. Thank you.” Another shared, “By the way, don’t use the word ‘educate’ when you’re talking about telling Korean idols what they did wrong or what’s wrong and not doing it again… This one Word contains a lot of history of Japanese imperialism. Please use other variants of the word or something. Just not that.”

A non-Korean fan pointed out, “First of all, I think we should respect her historical trauma, or we’re just making the same mistake by blaming her.” Another said, “I’m sorry but can you stop, to use the word “educate”? That means you hold a “higher position” in many Asian countries, as well as Korea.” One pointed out the irony of calling out idols who were simply ignorant: “Well, locals or not, OP is right, people can relate to that Be unaware of things and should not be offended and labeled racist for causing harm they did not intend. For example, you used a word ‘educate’ which is very offensive in Korea due to its imperialist, dehumanizing connotations…”

This article contains comments made by individuals and organizations on the Internet. Latestpagenews cannot independently verify them and does not endorse any claims or opinions made online.

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