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Rome Hall #411 (Dean's Conference Room)

801 22nd Street Northwest

Washington, DC 20052

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This talk is the first lecture of Kim-Renaud East Asian Humanities Lecture Series in the academic year of 2016-2017, and is organized by the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures. The speaker, Dr. Ravikesh Mishra, is Associate Professor of Korean Language and Literature and Chairperson of Centre for Korean Studies, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He is the author of a number of books, including the most recent one entitled “Towards Asian Poetics (Inter-Cultural Space of India, Korea, China and Japan) (co-authored)” in 2016.

'Hallyu' in India and South Asia

Asia’s phenomenal rise as an emerging global player has made the ‘elephant’, ‘dragons’ and ‘tigers’ ( India, China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong) come closer. Mutual understanding and regional co-operation is gaining momentum across the whole continent. With growing sense of cooperation among these Asian countries, there is also a growing concern over the need to preserve the identity through promotion and assertion of national culture and ethos. In order to understand the matrix of the issues that are contributing in enhancing the relationship among the Asian countries, it is desired to look into the cultural ethos of the people which can best explain the national character of the country and ways and scope for further improvement in bilateral relationships. Among South Asian countries, there has been a marked increase in the number of people interested in knowing about Korea. India is one of the fastest growing market for the Korean products. Over the years, Korea and India being one of the major players in Asia have developed close and mutually beneficial relations in the diverse areas like trade, tourism and culture. Both countries sharing the common relationship with Buddhism have come a long way of development in the contemporary world. Buddhism entered Korea in the fourth century and it got integrated in the every facet of life of the Korean people. In the present context the sustainability of the long term relationship with another country could only be possible through developing better understanding about the culture and ethos of the society.

Comparatively recent phenomenon of globalization in many of the Asian countries has been widely perceived as a ‘threat’ that may have adverse effect on people rather than a ‘thread’ which ensures the world as a family (“Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam” in Sanskrit). In this context, promoting intercultural relations and maintaining cordial communication among the neighboring countries becomes important.

The emergence and popularity of ‘Korean wave’ (Hallyu) as ‘soft power’, as many scholars believe, in South Asian countries can be found though the various cultural products like pop songs, movie and drama. Cutting across the language barriers, the popularity of ‘Hallyu’ owe to various reasons that include the sentimental appeal of Korean popular culture which incorporates and reflects elements such as mystic beauty, sensuousness and fast moving plots that are somewhat similar to the dynamic social and economic situations in East Asian countries such as China, Japan, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam and to some extent India now. The cultural artifacts may have economic implications These factors have its own influences cultural, religious, economic and political factors, apart from economic implications, that have been directly or indirectly influencing the course of international relation.

The discussion focuses on the importance of promotion of Korean Studies as one of the effective component of ‘Hallyu’ in the South Asian countries in general and India in particular. It also recapitulates the process of reception, adoption and assimilation of ‘Asian’ element that ‘Hallyu’ intrinsically possess.

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Rome Hall #411 (Dean's Conference Room)

801 22nd Street Northwest

Washington, DC 20052

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