Indian culture has often been misappropriated in Western media, with white people even taking over typical Indian things and giving them Western identities.
It has also for quite a long time been stereotyped in other Asian countries with South Korea’s K-Pop industry participating often in doing so.
Associating Indians with curry and poverty, using traditional dance moves as a joke, fetishing the Indian culture has frequently been seen in the K-Pop industry.
Which is why, the recent cover by the girl group 3YE (써드아이) on the Bollywood song ‘Dilbar’ is so interesting to see.
3YE is a K-Pop girl group under the agency GH Entertainment and they just made their debut this year in May.
They have also posted other covers like one of Little Mix’s ‘Woman Like Me’ and more.
Why This Cover Is Interesting
The song ‘Dilbar‘ is from the recent Bollywood movie ‘Satyamev Jayate‘ starring John Abraham. Nora Fatehi featured in the song and the choreography with references to Arabic style and belly dancing both seem to be taken from there.
The biggest thing about this cover was how the members actually sang the lyrics in Hindi by themselves. Their pronunciation of the words and the fact that they made the effort to sing it on their own really impressed me.
The members in the cover have also not made fun of the culture or sexualised it too much, instead actually quite nicely doing the dance steps and movements.
It has gotten majorly positive reaction from Indian K-pop fans who are giving it as an example on how to use another culture without insulting or mocking it.
Someone call the fire department 🔥😲🚨#KPOP Girl group @3ye_official covers the #Bollywood song #Dilbar!— KHigh (@kpophighindia) November 8, 2019
The trio not only danced but sang the song in Hindi in their cover, watch here🔻https://t.co/mPqIRyVBH7 pic.twitter.com/kForrIkthC
The bond between South Korea and India seems to be growing even more with music as a vessel. K-pop group @3ye_official just dropped their cover of Bollywood song “Dilbar” by @iAmNehaKakkar, @dhvanivinod and @ikkanomics. They didn’t just do a dance cover, they also sang the song! pic.twitter.com/abhd8AKveH— Riddhi Chakraborty (@thisisridz) November 8, 2019
My fave rookie group just released a dance and singing cover in HINDI AND ARABIC. A korean group…singing hindi and arabic. Really you need to stan these queens. https://t.co/ayByK5F61H— ⚔️Kat Blaque⚔️ (@kat_blaque) November 10, 2019
this is cultural appreciation, they put so much effort to learn the right pronounciation. this gg called 3YE not only sang perfectly but also did such an amazing job at choreography.— 샤지아 (@_btssm) November 10, 2019
why is my timeline not talking about the very talented @3ye_official covering “Dilbar”? they not only put their own spin to the choreography but they also sang and rapped in hindi. desi kpop fans, please give them your love and support! pic.twitter.com/ucPY34F68C— ً (@desiteez) November 8, 2019
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K-Pop Appropriating Indian Culture
K-pop has often been accused of doing cultural appropriation especially of Indian sub-continent.
In 2016 the girl group ‘Oh My Girl’ were tagged as “curry-dols” a mashup of the word curry, generally associated with Indians, and idols that K-pop artists are called in South Korea.
This came about because some fans felt that their song “Windy Day” had certain Indian influences in the music and even labelled their dance as “the Aladdin dance.”
They somehow managed to appropriate two cultures at once since the character ‘Aladdin’ comes from folk tales of Middle-East.
The group then even performed a cover of another problematic and insulting song called ‘Curry‘ by the South Korean duo Norazo.
This particular song had a lot of racist and offensive lyrics like “It’s yellow, spicy, and although it doesn’t smell nice, Taj Mahal,” and “Shanti shanti, yoga fire! I love hot curry!”
The original music video (MV) even had one of the artists doing brownface and mocking Indian traditional dance moves.
Besides this various other K-pop or even Korean solo artists have appropriated Indian culture.
So it is certainly good to see that some group is making an effort and actually appreciating a culture instead of stereotyping it.
Image Credits: Google Images
Sources: Soompi, YouTube
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