K-Pop goes solo to follow social distancing: No group rule leaves some happy, some sad
India is among the few countries participating in the K-Pop world contest this year, and only solo entries are allowed to follow social distancing.Updated: Jun 15, 2020 21:07 IST
The craze of K-Pop among youngsters can only be seen to be believed! Those who have attended the previous years’ contest would know about the huge fan following it commands. But, though last year 75 countries participated in the world K-Pop contest, this year it will be different since the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted this genre of Korean pop music and dance, as well.
Among the few counties that are enrolling for the festival this year, India is one. And the fans here are kicked to be part of the gala yet again. To them, what has come as a surprise is the fact that only solo entries will be allowed this year.
“The enthusiasm and vibrant energy of K-Pop fans in India drove us to pursue the contest even in this time of pandemic... The festival has changed its rules and ways due to the coronavirus scare.”— Kim Kum-Pyoung, director, Korean Cultural Centre India
“The enthusiasm and vibrant energy of K-Pop fans in India drove us to pursue the contest even in this time of pandemic... The festival has changed its rules and ways due to the coronavirus scare,” says Kim Kum-Pyoung, director, Korean Cultural Centre India, informing, “Participants cannot participate as a group but only perform solo to avoid any kind of gatherings and chances of infection. And it is for the very first time that we will be hosting the regional round on an online platform. We have made this decision owing to the current, exceptional and extreme situation that people are facing. We believe that well-being of the community is much more important to flourish and explore one’s potential.”
The news has excited some fans and aspiring finalists. Jasmine Kaur, a school student from Delhi’s Ramesh Nagar, and a diehard fan of K-Pop boy band BTS, says, “I love K-pop! The best part about their songs is the lyrics. I have recently recorded a song for the competition, and the good thing was I didn’t feel any (stage) fear. Otherwise I used to feel so under confident while performing on the stage; but when I recorded my participating video while in the comfort of my living room, I was like wow, this is so easy! So, I recorded Whistle, a song by girl group Blackpink. Wish me luck so that I get through to the finale!”
Another Delhi-based participant, Aranya, 17, who lives in Kalkaji, emphasises on the importance of getting a first hand experience of stage performances. She says, “For an artist, stage appearance counts and it’s one of my strongest points. I will be missing that since recording at home is no fun; it’s like practising since the vibes are very casual.”
There are some youngsters who are not happy about this new decision, which is lowering their chances of a win. Pooja Mishra, a fan of the popular boy band EXO, is a participant from Mumbai this year, who was supposed to perform in a group initially. She shares, “I felt this is a missed opportunity for me... We were presenting our best in the group, but now with the rule of only solo performances, our chances of presenting something extraordinary have reduced drastically. I will still try to perform in the best possible way.”
The ‘single entry only’ rule has acted as a boon for a few others like Harshita Goyal, a college student from Noida. A fan of K-Pop girl group, Twice, Goyal adds, “I’m one of the biggest fans of K-Pop, and have been trying their dance style for a while now. I thought I can’t participate because I’m not associated with any group or fan club, and performing solo while others are in group also reduces your chances. But this time, there are only solo entries and I’m super excited! I’m preparing my dance performances on bhangra beats and will submit my entry soon. I just hope ki regional round mein toh select ho jaun.”
Author tweets @ruchikagarg271