Friday, November 17, 2006

Why I never liked "Pas på den knaldrøde gummibåd" and why my Danish friends don't like K-Pop!

Some 15 years ago at a party I watched grown (drunk but otherwise sane) colleagues at an official get-together/Christmas party transform into a group of "teenagers-on-the-run-over-ecstatic-headbanging-screaming-with-girly-voices-in-one-big-group-hug/jumping-obsessively up-and-down in a bundle to a song, called "Pas På Den Knaldrøde Gummibåd", sung by Birthe Kjær.

(This is another song of hers, which I found on Youtube -

The song to which my colleagues went mad-as-a-hatter is from the early 70'ties and reeks of Danish simpleminded, happy-ding-a-dong enthusiasme and though I consider the singer, Birthe Kjær, to be an awesome artist, since she's been able to maintain succes during several decades - I JUST DIDN'T GET IT! Had they all lost their minds!?

However, some years after this incident I experienced Norae Bang (Korean for Kareoke) and saw with my own eyes how men in suits turned into sweating, heartthrobbing crooners of Korean POP songs where no kudos were given unless the singer really throws open his/her chest and sings sings sings and acts out!

Who'd have thought something so similar to be so different after all!? It seems that pop culture cannot be underestimated as the vessel of cultural connotations of identity.

As a student of Korean language (brushing up ;) to say the least!) - I've found the most helpful ressource (back) into Korean language and culture to be

1. K-POP
2. K-Drama

Why? I get the feel for the tonation of the language, get the feelings of speaking Korean - especially since K-Dramas are about love, food, love, food, nature, love, family, love ;) and same thing goes for the K-POP!!

So - last week my best friend K, who now lives in Stockholm, Sweden visited. He sings well and has a personality and a voice that melts women's (over 40 - ghee) hearts - when he sings, they go "Aahhh! Sigh!"

I was looking forward to sharing my newfound passion FLY TO THE SKY and especially Hwanhee/Fany's voice.. - but - it was a total turnoff! K just didn't get it!

Here's Fly to the Sky - Fany singing (and I admit I go "Aahhhh! Sigh!")

My current conclusion is Birthe Kjær would probably be great company in a norea bang - but Fly to the Sky wouldn't make it in Denmark if they introduced themselves with a song called, "Watch out for the Neon Red Rubberboat".

Some things just don't translate!


Blogger Betsy said...

He has a great voice! Put him on in the background while doing my homework. Thanks! :-)

(Hope you've settled in and your job is going well!)

7:53 AM  

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