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2. The impact of Korean wave in terms of globalization
One of the results of globalization is the Korean wave – a phenomenon penetration of the Korean mass pop culture into other countries, primarily of South-East Asia. The first country swept by this wave was China. The term “Korean Wave” is widely known as “Hallyu” introduced in China in mid-1999 by the Beijing journalists describing the fast popularization of South Korean pop-culture and goods in China (Jeongmee 2007, pp. 47-48). It all began with a huge success of TV show “What is love”, after which many more shows and songs were a huge success in the Chinese public (Kaori 2009, 341-43).
Currently, the Korean wave has spread to more than 60 countries, mostly in South-East Asia: Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Philippines, etc. Gradually the Korean culture goes further and begins to gain popularity in the Middle East and even parts of Africa. Korean TV shows, such as Autumn in My Heart and Winter Sonata, Korean cuisine, taekwondo, and even the interior of apartments in the Korean style are gaining increasing popularity in these countries (Kaori 2009, 341-43). South Korea is in the top ten cultural exporters in the world. In the streets you can often see Korean cars, and many people use Korean cell phones. Many Korean actors are becoming popular outside Korea; some of them (e.g., Pi) even appear on the screens of Hollywood.
Korean Culture and information Service (KOCIS) under the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism of the Republic of Korea holds festivals of Korean culture in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan in order to improve the image of Korea by promoting its traditional culture. With its rich natural resources and high growth potential, the Central Asian region is becoming increasingly important in the international arena (Lee, & Hobday 2003, pp. 503-5). This region also has close ties with Korea, because 320 000 Korean immigrants live there.
Central Asia is an important region for the spreading of the Korean wave. It is believed that the Silk Road, passing through the Asian continent, plays an important role in spreading popular East Asian cultural trends to Europe (Lee, & Hobday 2003, pp. 503-5; Jeongmee 2007, pp. 49-53). According to KOCIS, the Central Asian region would be a great place to connect the Korean culture with the cultures of the Middle East (Ghani & Anand 2009, pp.24-27). New research confirms that the popularity of Korean cinema and music in other Asian countries has a positive effect on the image of the country in general and opens the way for cooperation not only in culture but also in many other areas, particularly in the economic sector (Jeongmee 2007, pp. 49-52).
The report of the Korean-Thai center of communications states that since 2002 the three largest TV channels in Thailand have broadcasted over 180 Korean TV shows. And 118 of them were shown in the period from 2006 to 2009. Asked about the image of the Republic of Korea, 97% of the interviewed citizens of Thailand noted that in recent years it improved greatly, and 62.2% believed that the positive impact was made by the TV shows in the first place. Another 20% suggested that it became possible due to the promotion of Korean quality products on the market. The number of tourists from Thailand arriving in the Republic of Korea increased from 73,900 people in 2002 to 190,000 in 2009. During the first half of 2010 more than 120.000 Thais visited Korea (Sang-Yeon 2010, pp. 25-45).
The 2010 work plan of the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism of Korea provides further efforts aimed at reviving the popularity of Korean culture in foreign countries. In particular, it was decided to establish by 2013 at least 30 high-value contents, each bringing the $ 100 million revenue and competing in the global market with contents from other countries (Sang-Yeon 2010, pp. 25-45). By content we mean popular TV shows, movies, software and games. Until now, only three South Korean cultural contents brought such an income: the TV show Winter Sonata, a cartoon character Pororo and online game Lineage (Dator & Seo 2004, p. 33).
To perform this task, the government plans to provide financial support to relevant sectors of the economy and optimize the legal framework. Therefore, attracting interest to Korean culture in foreign countries is one of the main tasks of the Korean Government (Dator & Seo 2004, p. 36-40). Cultural contents are the intangible values, but their producers can get virtually unlimited incomes. This can be possible in the case of a successful combination of technology with creativity. The Republic of Korea possesses advanced information technologies and unique cultural traditions, both attracting the attention of the world (Jeongmee 2007, pp.52-59). Consequently, the revival of “Hallyu” or Korean Wave is an achievable goal.