THE IMPACT OF KOREAN DRAMAS ON DISTRIBUTING KOREAN CULTURE
Television programs always have huge connection with different cultural backgrounds. Therefore, people’s opinion on understanding a culture can be influenced by those TV programs. Especially for Korean dramas, which refers to the televised dramas made in Korean and use Korean language. These years, Korean dramas are being popular worldwide as there is a lot of people are watching Korean dramas from all over the world. By watching Korean dramas, people start understanding Korean custom, the popular places in Korea, Korean food and Korean language. Moreover, people get interested in Korean culture from receiving the information of those Korean dramas. Therefore, some of them they begin to learn Korean language, travel to Korean and even introduce Korean culture to the people around them. As a result, Korean culture has been distributed by Korean dramas. Drama has the aspect of both culture and economy and thus Korean drama is intended to promote exchange of culture globally and to make it an export industry. The Korean drama on TV has led to a lot of reactions from different diverse communities. And since the TV dramas in Korea show a detailed reflection on their industry, thoughts and lifestyles, Korean culture has been distributed by Korean dramas to all over the world.
To discuss the impact of drama in distributing Korean culture, the generation of Korean Wave was powered by the Korean drama. As Korean culture start getting more and more popular across Southeast Asia and all around the world, this spread of Korean popular culture is referred as Korean wave. In addition, “hallyu” is another term of Korean wave, which means “flow of Korean” (Shim, 2006). Korean wave includes the popularities of Korean pop music, products, films and dramas. The Korean Wave was started back in 1997 at a time when the Korean drama, What Love is All About, was the program being aired on China Television Station. The program got a high ranking during that time by being mentioned the second best in terms of views in the whole of Asia. What is Love All About had a setting of an extended family setup living under one roof. By that time, China had a strong belief on nuclear family setup coupled with individualism that was deeply rooted as a culture, and thus the story on extended family left the people nostalgic. The story resulted to deeper understanding of the Korean culture about the family life to the people of China. Later in 1999, a Youth Daily in Beijing mentioned the term “Hallyu” to mean the Korean Wave describing the success achieved by a Korean pop group’s concert performed in Beijing. Since then, Korean Wave has been used in describing the celebrity of Korean culture worldwide.