Where the hell is Nagaland, you ask? Well, it’s a hilly state in the far northeast of India, bordering on Burma. It is inhabited by 14 tribes who speak about a variety of languages belonging to the Sino-Tibetan language group. The good people of Nagaland apparently really love Jesus: some 90% of its nearly 2 million inhabitants are Christian, the majority of them Baptists.
There’s something else the people of Nagaland really love: Korean culture. This is causing concern in some quarters, however, that the Naga might be losing their own culture:
Naga youth have now started to adapt Korean culture. Korean television channels, programs, movies, and clothes are popular among Naga youth. Korean companies are looking into investing in Nagaland. The Nagaland State Government has even taken steps to embrace Korean culture: it hosts an annual Indian-Korean cultural festival.
However, this wave of Korean culture threatens traditional Naga customs. Elder Nagas fear the gradual disappearance of Naga customs in the face of globalization. As young people turn toward foreign cultural products and entertainment produced in other languages, this threat becomes ever real.
Somehow, I don’t think Lisa Kelley ever expected to show up on Youtube as the face of Korean cultural imperialism.
On a serious note, though, Arirang TV is reportedly the most watched TV channel in Nagaland:
The most watched TV channel in the state is the Korean channel Arirang TV, the DVD and CD shops are bursting with Korean films, the hottest hair-dos offered by salons are the ones flaunted by popular Korean actors and actresses, shops are selling street fashion that are currently in vogue in Korea, cultural events in the state has special ‘Korean songs’ contests, sport events now have categories like ‘Korean wrestling” and if these are not enough, the entire media is so quiet on this whole issue, as though this wave of Korean culture is the most natural phenomenon to have happened.
Of course, when they’re ready to be truly Korean, they’ll ditch Arirang TV in favor of NCIS and CSI: Miami.
I know nothing about Nagaland, of course, but since ignorance is never a reason not to express an opinion on the Internet, the first thing that pops into mind is that — in addition to the Jesus thing — the Naga might find Korean pop culture attractive because unlike Bollywood, the people in Korean TV shows and movies kinda, sorta look like them?