Essay: Confucian Culture and Hallyu
Scholars, such as Se-Kyung Yu and Kyung-Sook Lee, who connect Hallyu with Confucian culture pay attention to ‘cultural proximity’. ‘Cultural proximity’ means that consumers tend to prefer a program that contains cultural messages familiar with them. That is, people “tend to prefer a program made in the country which is culturally close to them, to a program made in the country they feel big cultural difference from” (Jang 11). A research and analyzing of TV dramas in three countries of North East Asia namely Japan, Taiwan, and Korea found out that. “American Hollywood products are mainly featured in the international exchange of cultural products, but even in this flow, cultural blocks, which are based on the similarities of cultural roots, languages, races, geography, and religions, have been formed” (Park, J 42).
TV stars in the eastern Asia are generally considered friendly and brotherly. They use their bodily beauty as a tool of attracting their viewers and fans. In the eastern Asia, the young are supposed to be dutiful to the old and this is a tool used by the Koreans to woo fans. Their actors are representing what is expected of the Asian sons and daughters. (Koh and Jang 257 A-newspaper reporter of Vietnam, ‘Tiu Engon’, mentioned the cultural identity between Korea and Vietnam in an interview with a Korean reporter; “There are many similarities between Korea and Vietnam. Korean dramas are good for all the family members to watch together. Vietnamese women like the images of Korean heroes in the dramas who love only one person to the end” (Baek 164). This gives the dramas a fan base of dedicated viewers who are attracted to one of the actors.