This study is about the premise and the direction of Koreanisation, i.e. adopting Korean culture, due to the media presentation in the globalized world among the people, particularly the young people of North Eastern Part of India (mainly in Manipur). Manipur is situated in the North Eastern part of India sharing an international boundary with Myanmar in the east. People of Manipur are originated from Tibetan-Burmese groups of Mongoloid. This study examines the popularization of Korean culture in the Northeastern part of India, which is commonly known as the Korean wave across the world, focusing on its origin, nature of hybridity and cultural proximity.
RQ1: To examine the process of Korean wave in Manipur as people contact through mass media exposure with the new dynamic culture that appears to be of greater attractive than their inherent culture.
RQ2: To examine the process in relation with their social, cultural and behavioral factors of the people of Manipur to Korean cultural orientation.
RQ3: To analyze and understand the similarities of both the cultures.
RQ4: To understand the psychology of the Manipuri youth in adapting to the Korean Culture.
Origin of Korean Wave
Anything that is connected with Korean cultures, like its movies, dramas, music, soap operas, styles, food habits and video games, is popularly referred to as Hanryu or Hallyu, the other terms for Korean wave. Hallyu is an intensive and extensive wave of popular Korean culture (Yecies 2008). It is described as the rising popularity of popular Korean culture (Shim 2006 and Lee 2011).The Korean wave is known as Hallyu or Hanryu in Korean (Shim 2006; Park 2006) or Hanliyu (in Chinese) was initially started in Beijing, the capital city of China, in the mid 1990s as South Korean films, soaps, and pop music became popular (Lee, 2011; Ravina, 2009; Shim, 2006). The famous idol group H.O.T.’s concert held in Beijing gave the opportunity coin the term “Hallyu or Hanliyu” for Chinese press. The outburst of Hallyu can be traced back to 1997, when the Korean TV drama, “What Is Love All About” broadcasted on Chinese television named CCTV, set the phase for Hallyu in China, following an MBC-Television drama, “Jealous” which was imported as the first popular cultural product from South Korea in 1993 (Kim, 2007). Since then, the boom of Korean popular culture in neighboring Asian countries has expanded significantly in the last several years, and in the years 2000 through 2002, according to one source, “the Korean wave moved forward to diverse parts of Asia, including Southeast and Central Asia, and therefore this wave achieved an active penetration stage” (Hyejung, 2007).
Koreanisation in Manipur
The introduction of cable television network has played an important role in the spreading of culture to other communities. Manipur has been experiencing this process of cultural diffusion mainly through this medium. The Korean satellite channel “Arirang” is the harbinger of Korean wave in Manipur(Longjam Angana, 2013). Its popularity began largely due to the ban on Hindi satellite channels, which used to be the favorite channels of the Manipuris. They began to search for an alternative channel, which could give them healthy leisure. The search was productive. Bollywood Hindi movies have been replaced by the Hallyuwood the South Korean movies in Manipur. Hallyuwood is a combined word of Hallyu in Korean and the wood in English (Yecies 2008). Many hit Korean movies in Korea are also popular in Manipur. Top Korean movies which are as popular in Manipur as Korea, includes Shiri (1999), My Sassy Girl (2001), My Tutor Friend (2003), The Classic (2003), A Tale Of Two Sisters (2003), Oldboy (2003), The Brotherhood of War (2004), Love So Devine (2004), Windstruck (2004), A Moment to Remember (2004),200 Pounds Beauty (2006), My Boss My Teacher (2006), Voice of a Murderer (2007), The Chaser (2008), The Divine Weapon (2008), The Good, the Bad, the Weird (2008), A Frozen Flower (2008), Running Turtle (2009), My Girlfriend Is an Agent (2009), Tidal Wave (2009), Secret Reunion (2010), Chilling Romance (2011), War of the Arrows (2011), Architecture 101 (2012), The Grand Heist (2012), Miracle in Cell No.7 (2013). Popular Korean dramas such as Autumn Fairy Tale (2000), Winter Sonata (2002), Full House (2004), Dae Jang Geum (2005), Coffee Prince (2007), Golden Bride (2007), Smile You (2009), Full House Take 2 (2012) etc are largely available in the DVDs and also broadcasted through the Arirang and KBS TV channel in Manipur. With the entrance of Arirang and KBS TV channel, its impact upon the Manipuris, particularly among the youth has been felt in many ways. For instance, after watching the many Korean serials, there is a deep desire among the youngsters to imitate and copy everything from language to dressing style, to food habit , even the body language and some Korean etiquettes by youth. They have started using some common sentences used by serial stars in everyday life. They have become very familiar with the Korean actors, actresses, and singers. This could be considered as the Koreanisation in Manipur.
Prohibition of Hindi Movie
Something that is peculiar with Manipur is a sweeping prohibition on the screening of Hindi motion pictures and Hindi satellite stations since 2000 by Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF), which made the way for the popularization of Korean films, dramas and music as a means to fill the space (Kshetrimayum & Chanu, 2008). Bollywood movie and Hindi satellite channels are prohibited as part of the armed rebel group’s strategy to liberate Manipur. Hindi entertainment market and Bollywood culture are seen as an agent of the state to perpetuate neo-colonialism and hegemonic domination. With the prohibiting of Hindi motion picture and Hindi satellites television, Manipuri/Meitei actors started to copy the styles of the Korean in Manipuri films. It might be appropriate to note that when Bollywood was forced out, Korean culture moved in (Sunita, 2010). Around the similar time, Hindi based local cable channel is also restricted in Mizoram on the fact that it promotes foreign culture and offends religious sensibilities (Koutsu, 2013, p. 587). The difference is that in Mizoram restriction is forced by social associations like Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) and Young Mizo Association (YMA) unlike by the activist in Manipur.
The success of adoption of Korean culture represents the rebirth of an ancient and traditional Asian society. Its social roots can be followed back to both Indian and Chinese civilization (Mahbubani, 2006). What influenced Korean pop culture to blast in Manipur can be clarified from the perspective of cultural proximity theory. The hypothesis shows that media productions from socially or culturally affiliated nations have more reception than those from the culturally separated countries. According to J D Straubhaar (one of the famous cited author dealing with Cultural Proximity), Cultural proximity is a trademark that is predominately reflected in “nationally or regionally produced material that is closer to and more strengthening of traditional identities, based in regional, ethnic, religious, dialect/language and different components”. Additionally, he argued that if the inclination for national programming cannot be satisfied, likewise products from the similar region can be relatively culturally proximate. In this manner, the author characterizes distinctive levels of cultural proximity.
Straubhaar depicts shared “cultural-linguistic markets” or “geo-cultural markets” (Straubhaar, Fuentes, Giraud & Campbell, 2002) as an introduction for cultural proximity. Cultural linguistic markets “are bound together by dialect. However, they go past dialect to include history, ethnicity, religion, and culture in few senses, shared personality, gestural communication, what is considered as amusing or genuine or even holy, apparel techniques, living patterns; climate impacts different relationships with the environment. Geocultural markets are regularly focused on a geographic area, however, they have additionally been spread universally by colonization, bondage, and movement. It is assumed that populations having a place with one market select TV programs, that can reflect the attributes of this market.
Keeping in perspective of the above hypothetical framework, the cultural proximity amongst Manipuri and Korean societies can be perceived. Manipur can follow its history back 2000 years. It is one out of the seven North-Eastern states of India and having about 2.2 million population. Manipur is surrounded by Assam from the west, by Burma (Myanmar) from the east, and by Nagaland and the hills of Chin of Burma on the north. Meiteilon (Manipuri), which belongs to Tibet-Burman language family, is the state language. Manipuri society is not homogenous. The Meiteis, Kukis, and Nagas are the main three tribes, Out of which Meities are more than 60 percent of the total populace (Wikipedia).
The Koreans are accepted as a descendant of a few Mongol clans that relocated onto the Korean Promontory from Central Asia (KOIS, 2003). Meiteis are ethnic- etymologically Tibeto-Burman group of Mongoloid stock (O. K. Singh, 1988; Kamei, 1991). Sir Jhonstone additionally stated, “Meiteis or Manipuris are a fine reliable race descended from an Indo-Chinese stock, with some admixture of Aryan blood, derived from the successive wave of Aryan invaders that went through the valley in pre-historic days (Johnstone, 1971: 97).” In this way, the general population of these two societies belongs to the Mongoloid stock.
Moreover, likewise Koreans, the family name comes first in conventional Manipuri names. Similarly to the Koreans, they do not allude to others by their given names except among very close ones. Indeed, even among siblings, the younger ones should not address their elders by given names yet rather eche (uuni in Korean) meaning elder sister, or enau (oppa in Korean) meaning elder brother (KOIS, 2003).
Shamanism in Korea and Sanamahism in Manipur are equivalent. Sanamahism or Sanamahi Laining allude to the customary Meitei beliefs and religion found in the northeastern states of India nearby Myanmar. The term is obtained from Sanamahi, one of the essential Meitei Gods. The Maiba (priest) and Maibi (priestess) are the custom functionaries of this religion. Their major roles as priests are as providers of prophets, and preservers of the oral convention. They are similar to the shaman in Korean. Shamanism and Sanamahism both incorporate the glory of souls that are believed to reside in everything related to nature, including rivers, stones, hills, trees and also celestial bodies. Till now, both religions have prevailed a latent religion of the people of Manipur and Korea and also a crucial facet of their culture (KOIS, 2003).
In Manipur, there is the close relationship of religion with music and dance. The particular way to deal with Manipuri culture is best found in the way that dance is religious and its point a profound experience. Dance is not only a medium of worship and delight or a way to the divine but also the key for many functions like a birth of child, marriage, death, so on (M. Kirti Singh, 1988) Similarly, the customary music of Korea is dependably a particular Korean voice, a voice that emerges from the character of the Korean individuals, identified with Korea’s atmosphere and indigenous habitat and furthermore to religion and belief system. Maibi’s traditional dance is the establishment of the many dance forms of Manipur like that of the shaman’s traditional dance in Korea.
There is likewise comparative social characteristic in traditional games. “Ssireum” in Korea or “Mukna” in Manipur is a folk wrestling game, in which in which two players, holding to a cloth tied around waist and thigh, use their strength and different strategies to wager each other on the ground (KTO, 2005
These traditional social relations have demonstrated, there is a social closeness between Korean and Manipuri societies. Hallyu is the spirit of a conventional culture. Traditional culture, or social legacy, befits modern community and guarantees its future. Traditional culture shows their natural importance as the wellspring of power, which enables a connection between the past, present, and future in the reality of everyday life.