K-Pop has grown into a unique culture of its own that many new fans find hard to follow. That’s because most of the time, no one else is doing it quite like us! These are just 10 aspects of K-Pop that would make non-fans scratch their heads.
1. Photocards And The Insane Amount Of Money We’ll Pay For Them
Most other countries don’t really give their fans a photocard with their album, let alone a photobook! Many times, we also go to online stores and trading to get the card we want. We’ll pay a lot for that forehead picture on a piece of cardboard; thank you very much!
2. Fan Chants
Often at concerts or award shows, fans either scream or sing the lyrics of the song. South Korea has created a unique event where the fans shout a coordinated chant, often including the members’ names and maybe a few lyrics. We admit, on the outside, it could look a little cult-y.
3. Their Quick Comebacks
Many Western artists take years to make a comeback. For example, Harry Styles had 2 years apart between his first and second solo album. Lady Gaga did double that with 4 years between Joanne and Chromatica. Meanwhile, K-Pop groups often have several comebacks a year. Typically they come back twice, but occasionally it can be more or less. This baffles non-fans as they usually wait a minimum of a year for their faves to come back.
4. Birthday Party/Cupholder Events For Idols
Western artists’ fans will occasionally donate to charity for their birthday or something of the like, but it’s nothing like Korea. For K-Pop, we often hold entire birthday parties for the idol by renting out a small coffee shop or handing out custom cupholders. It’s unheard of!
Aegyo is something that surprises every new fan when they enter the world of K-Pop. While celebrities could do as they please in the West and could certainly do aegyo if they wished, you will most likely never see it. Acting cute and childish to the camera is certainly a specialty of Korea.
6. Training/Agencies Creating The Group
Although sometimes other artists can be trained, more often than not, Western artists just form their groups out of nowhere. Oftentimes, Western artists are friends or co-workers or simply solo and ask a company to take them in. The thought of training for several years and being placed in a group with random people is pretty uncommon outside of K-Pop.
7. Buying Multiple Of The Same Album For A Small Chance To Win A Fan Sign Event
Most people just buy one album, and they’re done with their collection. K-Pop fans usually always buy multiples of an album either because it has different versions, or the more they buy, the more of a chance they have to meet their idol in person. No one else does it quite like that!
8. Music Shows
Sure, practically every country has an award show of some sort, but not many having it like South Korea. K-Pop fans can expect an award won practically every week as there are weekly music shows. The West usually only has one annual show.
9. Idol Dorms
Roommates aren’t an unheard-of concept; however, most Westerners typically associate dorms with school and small spaces (instead of apartments). It can be hard for Westerners to see 7 grown men in a small dorm together in bunk beds, as none of our artists really do that.
10. Streaming Parties
Although this has been picking up in the West in recent years, it could definitely be argued that K-Pop fans began the trend of holding streaming parties. We have to get those views up somehow!