By Gwen Soriano, May 2, 2023
Korean-pop fanatics danced the night away to their favorite songs during K-Pop Night, a collaborative event hosted by ASI and the Everything Hallyu club on campus.
With the rising popularization of K-pop media in the United States, fans from diverse backgrounds came together to appreciate music from Korean artists New Jeans, EXO, BTS and BlackPink.
The night was promoted to attendees as a fun, cultural get-together for students to enjoy Korean food, crafts and popular Korean music.
When first entering Ursa Minor, students were greeted by a dim room with neon lights flashing and dance music blasting. Many participants joined the dance floor and were even able to mimic routines they’ve learned from K-pop music videos.
The catering was provided by Mochinut, with different versions of Korean corn dogs served, including their fried potato and Hot-Cheeto dogs. For dessert, mochi-filled donuts were a hit amongst guests, with flavors such as strawberry funnel cake, passionfruit and churro.
Next to the catering table, a vendor was offering exclusive Squishmallows, the popular and collectible plush toy brand. They were also selling BT21 plush toys from Line Friends, a plush collection designed by the worldwide popularized K-pop group, BTS.
When asked about how her journey with K-pop began, student Stephanie Ramsey shared her life-changing introduction to BTS, one of the most popular K-pop groups, during her time in the military.
“I was stationed in Korea in 2018. It was BTS that drew me in,” said Ramsey. “I was mind blown. I’ve been to five concerts now. They’re on a whole other level. There’s just so much they do that we don’t get from performers and pop artists here in the U.S.”
Most of the guests were found sitting and participating in crafts. Each table at the event was decked out with small goodies and scrapbook essentials. Clear photo card holders and piles of stickers were provided at the event for participants to decorate their holders.
Throughout the night, it was made clear those in the K-pop community consisted of friendly and open-minded individuals. Students who seemed like they’d just met were helping each other with their photo-card decorations and recommending new songs.
“The people in the K-pop community are really calm and inviting and it’s really nice to talk to everyone,” said student Karis Adams.
The Everything Hallyu club hosted a raffle for students to win K-pop albums and posters. Everything Hallyu is a Korean cultural club on campus where students can meet new people and attend fun events such as K-pop dance workshops and karaoke nights.
Despite K-pop being the main focus, the night brought students together who were fans of all music genres. Participants such as Ramsey pointed out a notable shift toward K-pop within American media.
“I think most people now are kinda open to (K-pop). I see people on social media who post K-pop songs, but don’t even realize it’s by a K-pop artist,” said Ramsey.
Attendees included long-time K-pop fans and students who weren’t familiar with the genre but were interested in listening to new music, like ASI Marketing Department team member Richard Corvera.
“I’m not really a K-pop fan, but I’m out here to explore new music,” said Corvera. “As a musician, it’s my job to go out and open my mind to new genres.”
Even those who weren’t as familiar with K-pop music couldn’t deny the urge to dance along to the catchy beats.
Students who are interested in the many aspects of Korean culture can visit the CPP Everything Hallyu Instagram page. The club meets every Friday and remains eager for new recruits.
Feature image courtesy of ASI
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