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[Exclusive] Interview with Taehoon Kim, themed ‘Korean Culture’!

18 Agu kim taehoon

K-pop, K-dramas, and Korean variety shows are really popular nowadays. And their popularity increased even more, promoting Korean modern and traditional culture around the world. They changed many people, and they also contributing global development. And here we are, sharing what Korean people do think about this wave, through Taehoon Kim’s point of view, who likes to travel around the world and exploring other cultures. Let me introduce!

kim taehoon

So, tell me about image of Korea in international from your point of view, as Korean people :)

Hmm… Our country is small but powerful. We have enormous soft power like K-pop, K-drama. But around Korea, like China, Japan, Russia, they have hard power like military or economy. We are locked by those countries, therefore Korea have our own national identity. So I think that K-pop, K-drama, are Korean powerful point which makes Korea’s image is better in international.


Do you think Korean modern culture in which you said K-pop, K-dramas, can represent Korea in international?

Well, not international. I think only in Asia. In international, Samsung or LG or Hyundai, like Korean industries, can represent Korea. It’s a good point of Korea in international. Before 10 years ago, many Asian countries are not interested in Korea. But now, many Asians know K-pop and our industries. I’m proud of it. And appreciate to all people who like Korea. Korean wave invaded and has great impact for many people, but for now I think it’s only in Asia and South America.


Did you know that in many countries, there are websites, blogs, and SNS that provided every single news from Korea. Basically everything; politics, economy, language, history, and culture. And it is not only in Asia, but around the world! What do you think about that?

Uhh.. I didn’t know about that. It makes me feel good. But we should be nervous. Because this wave can be gone. So Korean shouldn’t be arrogant and always be modesty. And it also makes us keep our own culture.


Then which one do you prefer, to be seen on those websites and SNS, Korean traditional culture, or modern culture? And how, what is Korean people contributes to keep their culture as powerful point of your own country?

I prefer traditional culture. Modern culture is not ours. It’s from America. And In fact, Korean people are not interested in traditional culture. They like modern culture more. Because when we were colony of Japan, they vanished many traditional cultures. And after 1970’s other culture comes to Korea. Their culture is strong. That’s why.


How do you think Korean traditional culture can be a new image of Korea? Beside kpop that very popular nowadays, which mixed with American pop culture.

It’s a dilema. I think Korean food can be a popular thing. But other traditional things can’t be like that. So I think K-drama should announce more traditional things. Which can developing more Korean traditional culture.


So do you think traditional culture would not have a great power like moderns culture, to improve image of Korea globally?

Yeah I think so. Government and civils are not interested in traditional things. So modern culture should also promoting traditional culture. We should appreciate it and proud of it. However they will appreciate modern culture more. Because modern culture makes it popular.


Now, would you tell me places or country you have visited?

Canada, China, Hong Kong, USA, and Japan.. Japan is just for transfer haha. And will be going to Vietnam and Thailand. Next time I will also go to Indonesia to see safari!


About Canada and USA, it has similar culture. Why do you wanted to visit there?

Because my friend lives in Canada. And I really like to see the nature. So I wanted to visit Rocky Mountain. That’s why I visited Canada 2 times. And my cousin lives in USA. So I went there but that’s 10 years ago. So I don’t remember many things.


Do you find any similarities and differences between Korean and American culture? And as a foreign tourist, is it a good or bad image of America?

All things are different. Not the same thing. As I said, I don’t remember much about my USA travel.. But Canada is safer than USA, and Canadians are kind. They always say thank you or sorry, But in Korea, we don’t usually say that. So I’m trying to speak that here. Also, Canadians don’t discriminate other races. But in Korea, some people discriminate other races. So I hope they don’t do that.


What about you, as tourist, bring Korean culture and introduce it to them?

Never haha. I don’t like to say “Korean culture is the best!” When I traveling. I respect their culture and don’t bother it.


So what about China and Hong Kong?

Because Hong Kong was UK colony for 100 years and their politic also different from China, Hong Kong is more like western culture. When I was in Hong Kong, Lankwaifung, I could hear many K-pop songs like Bigbang haha. For China, we have same culture like Confucianism, yet I think they don’t want to accept western culture. They are really proud of their culture. And they are also affected our traditional culture. For history, Chinese gave us their culture. We thought that their traditional culture is good. But don’t think it developed our modern culture.


What about Japan? J-rocks and J-pop have already invaded the world before K-pop aroused. Do you think K-pop similar with J-pop? Are there any differences and similarities between Korean and Japanese culture, modern or even traditional?

Their traditional things are really close to Korea, also modern things. But they are more shy than Korean, I think. They always say sumimasen, which means sorry.


Is it all, the differences and similarities, make you feel challenged to explore more about your own culture?

I want to do that but getting a job is the first thing to do, haha after that maybe I will do that.


What do you think, ways to improve the image of Korea abroad?

Hmm government’s support is necessary. They do only small things now. But it should be more.


At last but not least, give us your message for Korean fans in Indonesia and the world :)

Thank you everybody who loves Korean and Korean culture. I really appreciate it haha. When you come to Korea, I hope you will have a wonderful day in here. Also if I can, I will help you^^. But when I go to your country, you should also help me haha thanks!

Interviewed by @afi__ for @KoreanChingu | ALL CREDITS RESERVED

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Translate by @SBayugiri


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