Tag Archives: korean wave


The Huffington Post

January 21, 2013

Congratulations on Your Monster-Hit Gangnam Style, Psy!

Now It Is Time to Become a Vegetarian and Ride a Bicycle


Emanuel Pastreich

The Asia Institute

Mr. Psy
YG Entertainment
397-5 Hapjeong-dong Mapo-gu
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Dear Psy,

Congratulations on your monster hit “Gangnam Style!” Your music video is the first in history to reach one billion hits on the Internet and it has shaken the world to its core. You have seized the zeitgeist by the horns, channeling the vitality and the contradictions of Seoul’s nouveau-riche south end into some of the most stunning dance routines and biting parodies of life in the fast lane I have ever seen. Bravo! Read more of this post

Pastreich Talk at KBS about the power of Korean Media.

I gave a talk at KBS’s education center in Suwon on the topic of the Korean Wave and the future of KBS on July 24, 2012. The talk was intended for new employees of KBS and there were perhaps 150 young people, fresh out of college, who represent the future of Korean media.

The talk stressed the importance of Korean youth to take advantage of their remarkable cultural influence in the world to create a better future for us all. I gave examples of the impact that Korea can have in either a positive or negative manner, and drew attention to the great depth of the Korean cultural tradition, far beyond current K Pop, to inspire people around Asia and around the world to reach for something greater than consumerism and self-gratification.

The talk encouraged the next generation at KBS to imagine a unique global KBS that reaches beyond its limits, a medium that can go beyond CNN, BBC and Al Jazeera.

The response of the young KBS employees was quite enthusiastic and one even came up to me to tell me about her plans to learn more about China.

Girls Generation gets its own postage stamps

I don’t know what your thoughts about the Korean pop group  Girl’s Generation receiving its own set of stamps from the Korean Postal service. I suppose it is great for the Korean Wave, but personally, I fear that we are

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“The Korean Dream” (article in the Hangyoreh, June, 24, 2012)

The Hangyoreh


June 24, 2012


The Korean Dream


Emanuel Pastreich

 The United States became the major cultural force in the world during the 1950s and 1960s, putting forth through its media and its cultural institutions an image of a better life in a free society. The United States offered a powerful vision of a society wherein the individual could realize his or her dreams without the terrible institutional and cultural limits that hold back so many. That image of a good life in the United States was known as the “American Dream.” The American Dream was accompanied by significant intellectual and ethical content such as democratic process, social responsibility, the rule of law and excellence in scholarship and the arts that inspired the world to strive for something greater.

Not everything in the United States was as perfect as the vision given to the world. There were dark aspects of the United States such the hypocrisy of racial discrimination in a nation that spoke of equality and the ruthless pursuit of national interest in a nation that spoke of universal values. Nevertheless, the American Dream inspired people around the world to strive for something greater, to raise their standards for education, for fairness and for democracy to a new level. They stepped forward to demand changes in their countries, to innovate and to create a new society in every corner of the world. Read more of this post