INDIA: K-pop culture has left a global influence on multitude of nations’ youth and entertainment sector. In India, Mizoram gives a tinge of vitality to the K-pop culture by witnessing birth of an all-girls group.
Rise of K-pop culture
Between mid-April and mid-May, applications were received from all around Mizoram, India, and its adjacent district Tahan, Myanmar, in light of the state’s cable TV network Zonet’s initiative to develop the first Mizo girl group as part of a reality show.
Four girls were shortlisted two months later, delivering impressive dance steps in live performances. Later their group, IVY’Z, was formulated, concretizing an endeavor and style that had been a part of the state culture for a couple of decades.
Jacinta Lalawmpuii, the runner-up of the K-pop India contest, which was started by the Korean Cultural Centre, India, in 2012, was created by the 1st Mizo Girl Group Survival Show held last year.
Mizoram had its aesthetics in sync with the K-pop culture as more people got access to the cultural content way before the advent of the OTT platforms.
Full House (2004), the famous Korean Drama that ignited the Korean wave Hallyu across Asia, influenced a lot of people in Aizawl as every millennial expressed their fascination after watching, as the show captured the imagination of a lot of people in the Mizo Entertainment Industry.
Lalawmpuii currently manages the four-member group, simultaneously leading a dance group, 5feet, significantly making its place at the K-pop contest in 2015.
Lalawmpuii said, “The Korean thing was so systematic, from albums to merchandise. I found they were very advanced. You’d think they would stop somewhere, but they became even more innovative as time passed.”
“They started having these reality survival shows, like Produce 101, Idol School, and Girls Planet. The whole concept (of our show) definitely came from there, it was an inspiration,” Lalawmpuii concluded.
IVY’Z first music video came out in 2022. The attractive pastel palette, the hybrid of the English and Mizo lyrics coupled with a rap segment, denotes the influence K-pop had in providing a new dawn of K-pop aesthetics in this Indian state.
Lalawmpuii is aware of the influence of media in unfurling fame and dismantling the language barrier. Her favourite idols were the first-generation stars Lee Hyori, BoA, Rain, and groups like Fin.K.L and S.E.S.
There are a couple of shops in Aizawl where one can go and buy K-pop merchandise. The 26-year-old Annie Vl Hriati wished to set up a Cookie KShop after her online Instagram store got a lot of attention.
Moreover, Korean businesses have sprouted in the state with cafes like Dongne The Town and Kori’s in Aizawl.