NOTE: This was recorded before the demise of our little friend up nawth.

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Letter from a fan:
Hi guys,

I’ve been listening to your podcast since 2009 and it’s my first time to write.  I love you guys.  Please keep up the great work.

I just finished listening to your November 7th podcast.  In regards to the Korean concert at Madison Square Gardens you were wondering who actually went there and what kind of people watch it.  Yes, there are a lot of Korean Americans in USA, but there were a lot of non-Koreans at the concert supporting the Korean trend.  I was one of the lucky few that had the chance to attend the concert.  I booked a flight from Vancouver, Canada and stayed only 2 blocks away from the the venue.  I’m born and raised in Vancouver, Canada and have been to Korea more than my actual age.  There were teenagers to young professionals in the lineup.  There were Chinese, Filipinos, Vietnamese, French, Singaporeans, Indonesians, Caucasians and even a few African American girls screaming their hearts out for Shinee and Super Junior.

In fact, KPOP and Korean drama are very popular in North America.  There is a growing market here in Canada because most of the immigrants in Canada are from Asia.  Vancouver, and Toronto are hubs for ESL students and when they come over to Canada, they bring Korean culture with them.  Not only are there a growing group of language exchange social clubs in the city, but you will find Korean immigrants making their way in the mainstream economy in larger cities.  For example, when you take a stroll on Robson street in Vancouver, you’ll see ESL Korean students left, right and center.  You’ll find them in Korean restaurants in a radius of 5 blocks.  Outside of downtown Vancouver, there is an area called Coquitlam where it is unofficially known as Korean town.  There are people as young as teen boppers to thirty-something working professionals that listen to Kpop and watch Korean drama on a daily basis.  There are first generation Korean Canadians and non-Koreans (that learned how to read, write and speak Korean) who help translate and transpose subtitles for the many Korean dramas and movies that get downloaded over the internet.

At the end of August and just before the start of school, there was a Korean flash mob held in the busiest entertainment district in downtown.  I heard it took 3 months to organize and there is another one in the works.

I help organize a Korean language exchange social club and our members consist of English teachers (that have returned from Korea), Indonesians, Chinese and Caucasians to name a few.  We create basic lessons for learning Korean and provide an environment to learn about Korean culture.  Every now and then we’ll even organize a Korean cooking class and follow Maangchi’s recipes.

The Korean wave is not going away…

Kevin Kwok

 

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