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.

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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

Find the blogger @chirali_08

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