Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hallyu Wave Locally: Hallyu in Hawaii

In the United States, Hawaii is without a doubt one of the oldest and most supportive Hallyu fan bases and in fact Hawaii was one of the first states in the US to start a Korean Drama Fan Clubs. Listed below discusses Hallyu in Hawaii:

1) KBFD (Local Korean Television Station)
Hawaii is one of the only states that offers several subbed Korean dramas every night of the week and practically 24/7. Unlike many other states that although have Korean drama stations, the Korean drama do not have english subtitles and therefore many of the Korean drama fans cannot watch Korean dramas on their local Korean station. In addition, Jeff Chung, the general manager at KBFD puts out weekly synposis' and a special Hallyu article every Sunday in the Honolulu Advertiser which don't only talk about Korean dramas or relate to Korean dramas. For example, this week Jeff Chung talked about his study abroad trip to Korea and a summer Korean study abroad program.

{Sample of Jeff Chung's Article in the Honolulu Advertiser from this past Sunday:}

2) Korean Drama Fan Clubs (ex. Bae Young Joon's Ohana, Ryu Si Won Fan Club, Hallyu Friends)
Hawaii doesn't only have one Korean Drama Fan Club but MANY Korean drama Fan Clubs for specialized interests. I myself belong to Hallyu Friends and the Ryu Si Won Fan Club, but in Hawaii there's probably more than ten different Korean drama fan clubs that support certain actors or singers. These clubs aren't only important because they support a certain star, but they're also important because they help to support Hallyu overall and keep the spirits of Hallyu fans alive with their enthusiasm. Their support also helps to bring Hallyu stars to Hawaii like Fly to the Sky most recently, Kim Bum Soo, Lee Jun Ki, Han Ji Won, Lee Byung Hun, etc. Many of the ladies in these Korean Drama Fan Clubs pay hundreds of dollars every time Hallyu stars to come in order to show their support and of course to meet these up close in person.

3) Beauty Touch Store
There are two Beauty Touch stores located in Hawaii, and probably the most popular one is located at the Don Quijote store near Ala Moana. Half of the store sells beauty products from Korea, and the other half of the store more importantly sells Korean dramas, CDs, Korean movies, and perhaps in some instances most importantly Korean Actors/Actresses memrobilia. For a Korean drama fan it's easy to walk into the store and spend almost a hundred dollars on korean drama memrobilia. However, in my opinion the Beauty Touch Store most importantly supports and at times host Hallyu events including a Hallyu Stars Basketball game where raised went to the Boys and Girls Club of Honolulu, Fly to the Sky Concert, Kim Bum Soo Concert, and several other events. These events that the Beauty Touch store hosts definetely helps to keep the Hallyu Spirit alive in Hawaii.

{Video Clip: From the Hawaii Fly to the Sky Concert}

4) Other forms of Support (ex. Korean Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival)
As I mentioned in a previous post the Korean Festival and the Hawaii International Festival is definetely one of the major supporters of Hallyu in Hawaii. Hawaii International Film Festival almost always annually brings in at least one Hallyu star every year, and at the Korean Festival there's always several booths related to Hallyu specifically but of course just the Korean Festival general which best demonstrates the best of Korean culture in Hawaii through it's food, entertainment, and many other culture booths like hanbok dressing and picture taking.

No comments: