What gets K-pop fans interested in Korean culture? Take this survey and help find out

“Why does the consumption of K-pop music often trigger a passion for the South Korean language and for traditional Korean culture?”

It’s an interesting question that we here at Beyond Hallyu like many others often ponder.

Unfortunately there is a lack of data in this area and so the answers we come to often amounts to little more than a mix of personal experience and wild speculation.

So when we got an email yesterday from Maur-Anne Griffonnet-Barge who is currently researching exactlty this topic for her Master’s thesis asking for our help, we were more than happy to oblige.

As part of her thesis, she’s trying to get as many K-pop fans as possible to complete a survey about their K-pop and Korea-related habits.


It only takes 5 or so minutes to complete and you can take part on Maur-Anne’s website. Over 850 people have taken part so far.

She’s also tracking participants favourite K-pop groups so you can help your favourites win, if that’s your kind of thing, and track their popularity in real-time. Big Bang are currently in the lead but EXO and BTS are close behind so its all to play for.

It looks like it will be a really interesting piece of research and Beyond Hallyu will be bring you some of the results when they are published later in the year.

  • Catherine

    I answered the survey, even though I’m not a big fan of K-pop. I like a few bands and solo artists but that’s about it. I mostly listen to metal. (I know it’s kind of weird that I like a few K-pop artists, but that’s what happens when a few of your friends are obsessed by K-pop I guess haha!)

    If you want information and data on that subject, I think you should look into studies that looked into the fact that many metalheads all over the world try to learn a Scandinavian language (Finnish, Norwegian or Swedish most of the times). In case you are wondering why is there a specific interest towards Scandinavian bands, it’s because the majority of the best recent metal bands are Scandinavian (Nightwish, Children of Bodom, the list is very long). The other reason for that is Scandinavia as a whole has the most quantity of metal bands per capita than any other places in the world : http://www.thewire.com/entertainment/2012/03/world-map-metal-band-population-density/50521/

    When I was 14 years old, I tried to learn Finnish on my own. Of course, I failed miserably because there is no way to have Finnish classes in Canada and that Finnish is spoken by less than 6 million of people. But I still tried and I learned as much as I could about Finnish culture. I still dream of travelling to Finland one day. :) Such a beautiful language and a beautiful country!

    I’ll leave some interesting reads and references in case you’re interested to pursue on that subject. I know that K-pop and metal are two complete different worlds, but there are many similarities when it comes to the correlation between music and the development of interest towards Korean / Scandinavian culture. I’m pretty sure most K-pop fans can recognize themselves :




    Another interesting aspect about metal music and culture is that many folk metal bands’ lyrics talk about their country’s mythology and history (e.g. Eluveitie with Celtic mythology, Ensiferum with Finnish mythology, Arkona with Slavic mythology, etc.). The popularity of metal music in Finland has even led to a revival of Finnish mythology to the younger people (the Kalevala is Finnish mythology’s bible if we can put it that way) :




    If you’re actually reading into it, I’ll leave some musical references to listen to during your readings 😉 :

    Pidä Kädestä – Indica
    Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan – Nightwish (that violin solo is amazing)
    Huomenna – Uniklubi
    Tumman Virran Taa – Ensiferum
    Virvatulen Laulu – Amberian Dawn (yes, this is a metal band who did an operatic song with a famous Finnish opera singer, believe it or not! [the band’s singer is the girl])
    Metsämies – Korpiklaani
    Galgasång – Finntroll (that one’s in Swedish even though the band is Finnish)

    • Maur-Anne Griffonnet-Barge

      Hi Catherine!
      Actually, I listen to metal myself too 😉 with a preference for french bands though… but COB and Nightwish are quite awesome indeed. I was aware of this phenomenon but not of its wideness.
      I checked all the materials and I’ll see how useful it can be for my thesis.
      Thank you very much for your time and ressources!