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Girls' Generation Captivates Hearts of Russian Youth

2009/08/03 Source

Interest in Korean pop culture has been on the rise among young Russians. In the photo is a fan cafe of Girls' Generation on the Russian networking site "V Kontakte".

The popularity of Girls' Generation has skyrocketed among Russian young people. A growing number of young Russians has become interested in Korean pop culture these days. More than 100 fan cafes dedicated to Korean pop culture have opened on the Russian networking site "V Kontakte" as of July 31. Their membership rosters range from as little as hundreds to as many as thousands of members, as more and more Russians are becoming the fans of Lee Hyo-ri, Rain, Wonder Girls, Girls' Generation, 2NE1, 2PM, 2AM and SHINee.

Each cafe features the latest video materials about their favorite singers. Russian fans even vote on K-pop cafe charts every month to pick the best K-pop song.

Many Russians are also big fans of Korean TV shows and movies. They also vote for their favorite shows. Some cafes even offer access to illegal downloads. Cafes dedicated to actors Lee Joon-gi, Kong Yoo, Gang Dong-won, Kim Ah-joong and Song Hye-kyo have hundreds of members. The latest Korean TV shows, such as "Boys over Flowers", as well as shows that aired years ago enjoy enormous popularity in Russia.

Many Russian Internet users laud Korean TV shows for their original soundtracks, while others give credit to actors and actresses for their pretty looks. Fans of Korean movies have set up cafes dedicated to directors Park Chan-wook and Kim Ki-duk.

It has been only two years since the Russian youth, who are big fans of Samsung mobile phones, began taking interest in Korean pop culture. Once, many Russians admired Japanese culture, with Japanese sushi being all the rage among affluent Russians. Young Russian women imitated Japanese hairstyles and watched famous Japanese anime films. But recently the popularity of Japanese culture has been on the decline, giving way to Korean pop culture.

College student Anastasya Petuhova, 20, said, "Korean songs are very exciting. The choreography is also unique and stylish. The music industry in Korea is highly advanced because many groups compete for popularity".

One Korean professor who teaches Korean in Moscow said, "A growing number of students want to study Korean. The popularity of Korean culture in Russia will contribute to the development of both nations".

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