@VKpopfanboy I probably have a different opinion than you since I stopped actively following Kpop a long time ago and wouldn’t classify myself as a koreaboo. That said, I understand some of your frustrations. However, I don’t believe restricting Kpop in Vietnam is any sort of solution.
Is Vietnam being influence by Korean culture today? Yes, but I don’t think that Korean culture is going to take over Vietnamese culture in Vietnam. Are there a lot of Viet Kieu’s who are more interested in Korean culture than Vietnamese culture today? Sure, but that is an entirely different issue.
Yes, Korean culture is popular in Vietnam, but I don’t see how that is any different from how Western cultures (i.e. American pop culture) have had a heavy hand in shaping Vietnam today. Look at the popularity of American pop music in the past 40-50 years. And it’s not just music – it’s music, fashion, movies, TV shows, food, etc.
I don’t believe restricting Kpop solves anything, and I am not sure what having a Vietnam-born Kpop idol accomplishes. If the ultimate goal is to showcase Vietnam and Vietnamese identity to the world, then the best way is to do it our own way through Vpop in my opinion.
Here’s a quote from the great martial artist and philosopher Bruce Lee that comes to mind…
“…we have more faith in what we imitate than in what we originate. We cannot derive a sense of absolute certitude from anything which has its roots in us. The most poignant sense of insecurity comes from standing alone and we are not alone when we imitate. It is thus with most of us; we are what other people say we are. We know ourselves chiefly by hearsay.”
Back when I started getting into Kpop (this was before YouTube was a thing), Kpop was a counter culture movement for myself and other Asian Americans, kind of like how hip-hop was for African Americans. Back then, it was all about saying fuck you to mainstream media. Asians are nerdy and uncool? Well, fuck you then. We’ll just do our own thing, and we don’t give a fuck about what anyone thinks. That is what Kpop was all about to me. Somewhere down the line, Kpop went from being counter culture to being mainstream just like how hip-hop did.
Being a Kpop fan today doesn’t have the same meaning that it did back in the day. It used to be all about AZN pride and not about being part of the cool crowd. With social media being such a huge part of society today, it definitely worries me when I see today’s youth obsessed with seeking validation from strangers (through direct likes or through shared fandom). Sometimes, it saddens me when I see young fans get into Kpop just because it’s the popular thing right now. What happened to listening to what you like even if it isn’t popular?
Bruce Lee once said, “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” This is something that I agree with. For me, I am not a fan of having Vietnamese trainees as Kpop idols. I don’t think Vietnam needs Korea to showcase ourselves. I am not sure where you are hearing that Vietnamese people aren’t good enough, but I do believe in the potential of the Vietnamese people. That’s why I do this shit.
I think the real issue here is that you have been either hanging around Kpop centric communities and/or Viet Kieu communities where Vietnamese culture isn’t regarded as highly as Korean culture. If so, don’t sweat it. Don’t worry too much about what others thinks. I can assure you that Kpop is not going takeover the Vietnamese music industry, so there’s no reason to restrict it. If you’re talking about having stricter rules on Korean companies training Vietnamese citizens, then there’s nothing that you can really do about that. Businesses and companies take advantage of everyday folk all the time. Young artists getting screwed over by their management company? That happens in Korea too.