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Reflexive Essay- Christina

    When an outsider thinks about K-pop, Gangnam Style is usually the first thing that comes to mind. A quirky, flamboyant, and overall strange song. These are the characteristics they use to classify all the music categorized as “K-Pop”. What they fail to understand is the deep rooted history and the actual variety inside the music. K-pop is increasingly becoming globally spread and exposed to new audiences from all over. It is important for new listeners to understand the roots of K-pop. As this trip comes to a close, I realized how much more complex and intricate K-pop music and industry is.

    Prior to this program I had little to no background knowledge on Korea’s history. K-pop today is integrating more tradition into lyrics, instruments, and more. Korea’s nationalism makes it crucial for fans today to learn more about Korea’s history as a country to have a deeper understanding of how popular music developed into what it is today. Korea under Japanese rule seems to be the most important turning point in changing Korea’s culture. Especially censorship which dictated what exactly was acceptable for Korean consumption. Korea’s strong sense of nationalism not only enabled their country to rebound from the devastating Korean war but also enables them to take certain aspects of western music and integrate it into their own culture and transform it into their own.