You can find them all in one place right here in San Diego.
Last week I learned of a Korean Culture event at The Sejong Institute of Language and Culture (SILC) of the California International Business University (CIBU) through a group posting on Facebook and some online advertisement. Though I had other plans set aside for that Tuesday, I was not able to attend to them. This became an ideal opportunity to inquire about the event. I hadn't heard of SILC or CIBU and was eager to learn more about it and the events/programs it had to offer. Don't forget I'm quite busy volunteering my time, but in my few moments of free time I do try to keep an open ear for Korea related events. I also discovered that my new Korean friend was going to be attending the event with her English tutor. The title of the event was K-Pop. By attending the event I thought I would learn a little bit about kpop. After calling the receptionist at SILC, I was told the agenda consisted of a presentation on K-Pop and Hallyu (Korean wave), a dance performance and some light refreshments to follow. I envisioned I might hear an interesting lecture on history and culture. What did I have to lose? I figured this would be a great opportunity to network with some professors and or other young professionals or students in the area interested in Korean culture and history.
I was pleasantly surprised to see a young eclectic crowd of high school-aged somethings, fun individuals in their early 20s intermixed with a few international students, professors and Koreans that run the SILC. We listened to a presentation about Kpop and the Korean hallyu. Korea's pop music has rapidly picked up popularity all over the world. Hallyu refers to the rapid spread of Korean culture and popularity across the world. The term originated in China after journalists observed the rapid growth and popularity of Korean culture in China. Many Kpop groups travel to put on shows and meet their loyal and dedicated fans halfway across the globe. I was surprised to hear that a kpop channel has received over 700 million hits! However, after briefly thinking about it, many loyal fans are probably responsible for multiple clicks! Everyone can use a little kpop in their life! Popular groups such as 2PM, Big Bang, SNSD, and 2NE1 were named.
After the brief history of Kpop and short video, the real hoppin' fun began. We were introduced to the San Diego Kpop Flash Mob group started by young individuals with a new found interest in Kpop and love for dance. The group of individuals goes by the acronym SDKFM. They're definitely an interesting crowd of individuals as we can see by their Facebook page description: "SDKFM is a group of crazy (borderline clinically insane) San Diegan individuals who love Kpop and dance. We aim to spread the love of Korean pop culture in our city and have fun." As their opening statement suggests, they know how to do just that: have fun! I admire the group for their passion and desire to share their love of Korean pop and culture. They're doing their part to spread hallyu and make it even bigger right here in San Diego. Wherever you go, you're bound to find a Korean loving soul somewhere. Check out SDKFM's Facebook page here. SDKFM definitely got their dance on in their performances! I only got a brief video from the "sidelines" on my cell phone, but you can hear and see the crowd joining in with a rhythmic clapping.
Fortunately, some of the videos from members went up on youtube last night. You can get a clearer picture of their moves and popping beat. Here is one of the videos I found:
Following SDKFM's performance to a few Kpop mixes, members of the crowd came up to show off a few of their own moves. The crowd went a little wild for an extended period of laughter and dancing.
The evening was an informative and interesting night. I learned something and met an enthusiast group of Kpop loving individuals. We were quickly pushed out of the room due to building policies and I was not able to meet any of the Sejong Institute's staff personally, but I know that I will return for the next event in May and maybe even before then for a little tour. I have a feeling I'll walk into the next event with no expectations because they'll probably be blown away by exposure to more fun local San Diegans!
If you missed any of the links above check them out again here below:
California International Business University (CIBU) : http://cibu.edu/
The Sejong Institute of Language and Culture (SILC): http://cibu.edu/category/sejong-institute-of-language-and-culture-events/
San Diego Kpop Flash Mob (SDKFM): https://www.facebook.com/SanDiegoKpopFlashMob