Realizing I’ve Aged with K-Pop

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(Cr: rinnerain.tumblr)

As most of you would know, I can speak Korean. And yes, the decision to learn it was influenced in part by Korean pop. I started liking Korean music in 2006, which is a startling 10 years back! To commemorate this anniversary-of-sorts this (omg, dare I say it?) noona fan will recap a list of moments where it finally struck me that damn, I’ve aged with Kpop.

  1. When TVXQ celebrated their 12th anniversary

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(Cr: shazzjaejoong)

So in 2006, my first exposure to Kpop was through a fellow Cassiopeian, who introduced me to TVXQ. This later blossomed into a 6-year love affair but I digress. TVXQ back then was a 5-man ensemble, famous for their acapella performances. And they were all the rage. I mean, they’ve been in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the biggest fanclub in the world – and that’s not counting overseas fans, unregistered fans, etc. At one point an unofficial count placed the number somewhere between 1.5mil to 2.2mil, which is half the population of Singapore.

Then they split up. Three of their members, Jaejoong, Junsu and Yoochun broke out from the group after suing their entertainment company in 2009 (SM Entertainment) in a long drawn-out lawsuit, which ended 4 years later. In 2010, the trio formed JYJ, and they were banned from public broadcast for donkey years. All these years I can’t say I’ve remained a faithful Cassiopeian but they were the beginning of this – I practically started learning the Korean language for them. Many Cassiopeians have left the fandom or diverted their attention elsewhere (coughs) like me, but it was heartwarming to see my Twitter timeline come alive with well wishes for the boys, all five of them, on 26th December last year.

2. Abstinence from all Rookies.. Until BTS.

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So after TVXQ’s split, I cut myself of all K-pop rookies, instead favouring the familiar faces like Bigbang (GD, especially) and then BTS dandily came along and spoilt everything. I mean it, they completely wrecked my bias list. And imagine my shock when I realized that Jungkook, BTS’ maknae, is one year younger than me.. and to think that when SHINee debuted, Taemin, their maknae, was 15, making him a good 3 years older than me!

3. iKon’s Arrival

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I didn’t find out iKon’s ages until after WIN, and boy did it shock me – especially Junhoe. And now when they greet the noonas.. it just.. heol.

So.. in the last ten years, K-pop has given me a lot. Including a new language which I’ve come to love not just because of K-pop but because of the rich culture and history it embodies. To another 10 years! 🙂

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