Riding the Korean Wave

Incredible and unstoppable, the Korean Wave has made its way across the world, bringing with it all the sparkle and pop of Korean pop culture. Known as hallyu in Korean, the Korean Wave started out small in the 1990s, as the popularity of K-Pop and K-Drama spread throughout East, South and Southeast Asia.

From there, Korean culture became a global phenomenon that spread far and wide through social media, blogging and video sharing on sites such as YouTube. Korean culture has become so popular, in fact, that exporting its pop culture has become an important aspect of South Korea’s economy, encouraging tourism exports.



A genre of music that has found a place in homes and commercial spaces around the world, K-Pop was one of the most important components triggering the rise of the Korean Wave. Packed with awesome audio-visual elements, K-Pop ranges over musical styles that include dance-pop, electropop, ballad, R&B and hip-hop. Remember PSY? Remember Gangnam Style? That was K-Pop at its most popular.


Another early contributor to the building of the Korean Wave was K-Drama. Popular forms of KDrama include sageuk – historical dramas, and makgang – soap opera-style dramas. Unlike their foreign counterparts, Korean dramas are generally shot on a tight schedule, using just one director and one writer. Screenplays may change according to viewers’ feedback, with filming sometimes wrapping up just a few hours before the actual broadcast.

Shopping bags

Korean Fashion

The rising popularity of K-Pop and K-Drama put Korean culture at the forefront of people’s attentions around the world, which led to a knock-on effect in the world of fashion. Fans of K-Pop and K-Drama now want to dress and look like their idols, as such, Korean fashion now see a lot more fans and followers.

From Korean fashion to Korean makeup, it all became part of that unrelenting Korean Wave. Some fans even go so far as to get plastic surgery to look more ‘Korean’.

Getting Amongst It

For fans of K-Pop and K-Drama, for followers of Korean fashion and lovers of the Korean ‘look’, travelling to South Korea can be a dream come true. There, fans can see where their favourite KDramas were filmed, they can buy Korean fashion right from the source, and they can enjoy delicious Korean food. Yup, even Korean cuisine is emerging in popularity as the Korean Wave swells around the world.

What are you waiting for? Pack your bags now and don’t forget to purchase travel insurance from Chubb Insurance Singapore Limited!