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In The Pursuit Of Gangnam Style

>> Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Unless you have been living under the rock for the past month, you would have definitely heard of the infamous Gangnam Style by now. Well, for the benefit of those who have yet to hear the word, Gangnam Style seems to be the biggest hit on YouTube since its release at the end of July. It has chalked over 84 million hits and millions more parodies and copycats worldwide. The song has been described as "unstoppable" and "one of the greatest videos ever to be uploaded to YouTube" and even earning admiration from major stars like Robbie Williams, Katy Perry and Britney Spears.


There are now hot debates as to the reason behind this phenomenon that is gaining viral success and attracting so much attention world wide. The video’s main star is the 34-year-old Korean rapper, Psy, who has been described as "chubby" and "uncool". Regardless of all the analysis, main take away here for me, is that South Korea has taken the world by storm in a very short time.

This is in the aspect of music, the K-pop culture. Their dramas are keeping viewers glued to their seats and their stars gaining recognition. Their conglomerate, Samsung, is being treated as a threat by the World’s most valuable Company, Apple. Hence, the law suit of copy right infringement. Their airline, Asiana Airlines is the World’s No. 2 airline (by the way, for Singaporeans who are wondering, SIA is not No. 1. Above them at No. 1 is Qatar Airways). Korea is indeed evolving as a force to be reckoned with on the global stage. They have my respect to be able to work within their resources and innovate to deliver such spectacular results. I am already looking into how best I can tap into investing in this country’s potential.

On a separate note, the Gangnam style portrays another lesson. Gangnam is the upscale district in Seoul, its equivalent to Bukit Timah or Orchard in Singapore, and Psy's song is said to have a subtle critique message of Koreans aspiring to the pretentious lifestyle of the rich, i.e. spending to look wealthy. According to reports, the average Korean household debt is 155% of disposable income. This could reflect that many in the society are pursuing materialism to live up to a certain level of pride. This could perhaps be an effect from developing at such a rapid pace.

At our own local front, there was much resentment towards the inaugural Diner en Blanc event when a comment not to permit local food was posted. This led to the organization of retaliating events like Makan Day, Diner en noir as well as Super White. In my opinion, similar to what is happening in Gangnam, these negative feelings are triggered due to the widening income gap of society.

For myself, I have no interest in the hallow pursuit of materialistic luxuries just to show off. Hence, I have no direct resentment towards the arrogant and snobbishly rich. Lesson for me here is that having so much debt just to buy “face” (mian zi in mandarin, or in other words, status) is not worth it. As a Cantonese saying goes, do not wear such a big hat, if you do not have such a big head. I have to stay focus to my pursuit of my own version of success and wealth, to achieve the lifestyle I desire by my own standards based on my own attitude towards money (from my previous post).

Cheers! Oppa Gangnam Style!

1 comments:

Frank Young November 12, 2012 at 8:14 PM  

My name is Frank Young, and I am writing for Weekender, Singapore’s third largest publication. We focus on interesting things to do, see and read about in Singapore. (You can find out more about us on our Facebook page. www.facebook.com/weekendersgp)

We have worked with many bloggers, (many of whom are nominated or won best blogger awards) from food to parenting, helping to build awareness and traffic to their blogs.

In our search for constant talent, we have come across your wonderful site and we are interested in publishing some of your latest blog articles in our print publication featuring your ideas and thoughts on the wealth building for the average Singaporean. Of course, you will be given credits and attribution which of course will help build your site traffic and increase your potential customer leads.

In our collaboration, we would prefer to have upcoming article that can we publish and you can post at the same time. However, to jump start the collaboration, we can also print your recent postings as well. This will increase the buzz for both online and offline.

Is this something you’d be interested in?
frank[at]weekender.com.sg

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