Essay: Hallyu Phenomenon
One of the issues surrounding Hallyu is about whether it is a temporary phenomenon, a passing fad or a sustainable cultural reality. It is of paramount importance to note that the people outside the republic of Korea are supporting the Hallyu phenomenon because they buy their products. It is difficult to ascertain that the phenomenon is passing because the pop industry in Korea is more developed than that of the neighboring countries. There is no day that the industry will stop and wait for the other countries’ industries to catch up with them, so it will take time before this phenomenon passes. Scholars who credit the Hallyu as a sustainable cultural reality (i.e., Hallyu substantialism) think that the distinctive cultural characteristics and sentiments expressed in Koreans are accepted as common virtues in East Asia. It is imperative to note that there are people who are of the opinion that the Korean wave is a passing cloud, which is commonly referred to as Hallyu faddism, because fashions have been coming and going.
Those who believe that the Hallyu is here to stay argue that the people around the world and especially the Asians like its products. For example, among the media of the countries who embrace the Hallyu phenomenon, Korean TV dramas are recognized for “subtle combinations of tradition and modernity, sound story lines, elaborate descriptions of feelings, refined beautiful scenes and background music, and the good looks and outstanding performance of actors/actresses starring in them” (Jang 7). In this context, it is said that the driving force behind the Hallyu lies in the excellence of Korean popular culture and its unique attraction.