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09 September 2008 @ 04:53 pm
I just have a very sensitive issue up for debate. I do not intend any sort of discrimination whatsoever.

As a non-asian here - white girl here -, I accept that I'm out of the ordinary in Super Junior or even DBSK's group of fans. I never really thought about it how odd it is. However I met this girl today (she had just come from Korea a few years ago) and we started chatting about music and I casually mentioned K-Pop and Super Junior, wondering if she'd know them.

She looked absolutely shocked that I listened to them or how I ever heard of them. I acknowledge I do not know Korean but I research the translations and use subtitles for everything but I wonder if I am looked down upon for listening or even trying. I felt embarassed from her expression and felt judged. Can't everyone enjoy their music? I'm wondering what everyone thinks.

EDIT: I would like to thank everyone for their opinions and input! I read every single one thoroughly and appreciated. I'm sorry my homework does not allow me to reply to every single one tonight so I thought it would be just be fair to post one massive thank you here. Thank you everyone, it was much appreciated and gave my heart little warm fuzzies, hehe. 

I realize how silly and insignificant my little question could seem but I never realized how much others could feel the same way. It goes two ways- I also gained understanding from an asian person's point of view and both the industry- it's very true how K-Pop and SM aren't as large as they seem to be so it should be surprising they've reached America so quickly. We all have opinions and anyone should be able to like whatever music they like, regardless of who you are, right?

If you'd like to chat some more with me, I'm very friendly and always open to friend requests, just add me on my main account- drunk_shadow . :D


Second edit, I'm replying to everyone, I love all your comments!
Third edit: Wow guys, over 100 comments! I'm trying to keep up with them all, give me time. I don't want to regurgitate comments over and over again but it's good music is so diverse otherwise it'd all be boring and nobody would have anything in common, even if it's just a thread in a song.
racetrackd on September 9th, 2008 10:07 pm (UTC)
My cousins give me sooooooooooo much crap for listening to asian music period.
I think, people think I'm strange that I do listen to asian music because *shock* I'm not asian.

I dunno, I don't care what people think, I'm my own person.

keythebells on September 10th, 2008 12:40 am (UTC)
Kudos to you for still keeping your opinion in place no matter what people think :D.
(no subject) - laley3 on March 12th, 2009 11:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
kaorutakarai on September 9th, 2008 10:07 pm (UTC)
I met a Korean girl and she was very surprised my friends and me knew SuJu, TRAX and other K-bands, but she was happy we knew them.
I'm Spanish and most of the music I listen is in English, Japanese, Finnish and Korean. What's the matter? I enjoy the music as much as native listeners. Language shouldn't be a problem.
keythebells on September 10th, 2008 12:41 am (UTC)
You're right, language should and is universal :)
(no subject) - kaorutakarai on September 10th, 2008 07:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - busha69 on September 10th, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
haru_no_keeki on September 9th, 2008 10:08 pm (UTC)
happened to me as well....

even years ago when someone asked me what music I´m listening to and I say "Japanese Rock" (and now korean pop) they went like O.o...wha?? isn´t that just like flute and stuff??
the next question usually is like "Do you understand any of what they´re singing?"

usually I say that I´m learning japanese as well as there are translations on the internet. And well, Music´s something international. Even if you don´t udnerstand a word but if you love the music and the feeling you get from it - it´s okay and it´s okay to love it.

People really should look a little more for something "new" and ....I dunno if there´s a term for that in english but in germany we say "etwas über den Tellerrand schauen". (lit. more like " to look over the dishes´ end." )

but it´s not just with asian music. Stuff like that also happened to friend of mine who is addicted to reggae. (though that´s not even as "uncommon" as asian music)
keythebells on September 10th, 2008 12:42 am (UTC)
I think people are just afraid to try anything new S: while we know it's not gonna hurt! I mean, people listen to Italian (Il Divo has become mega popular so has Andre Bocelli) so what's the big difference if it comes from Asia?
(no subject) - crazy_giggles on September 10th, 2008 06:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
unmyeong on September 9th, 2008 10:08 pm (UTC)
LOL, I still get surprised when the other Asians at my school mention K-pop because everyone (Asian, that is) and their moms listen to J-pop/C-pop so K-pop is totally ignored and I get strange looks when I'm like "LOL SUJU".
keythebells on September 10th, 2008 12:43 am (UTC)
Lawl! So whatever the parents listen to automatically makes it uncool xD. I guess Suju the same thing as Backstreet Boys anyways if you think of it on that perspective as well.
(no subject) - unmyeong on September 10th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
squippo on September 9th, 2008 10:12 pm (UTC)
I am Caucasian and oftten receive the same reaction when I mention that I listen to Asian music. I'm an Asian Studies major so I'm slowly getting used to the funny looks, but I completely agree. Has no-one ever heard of the language of music? So what if you're not Korean? If you like the music, that's your business. More power to us white girls!
keythebells on September 10th, 2008 12:39 am (UTC)
I like your attitude and more power to you for taking that course (which sounds really, really cool), I'm impressed. I'm still trying to be my own person but find myself still conforming to the American mainstream.
(no subject) - 4evr_and_ever on November 27th, 2008 04:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
duno88 on September 9th, 2008 10:13 pm (UTC)
I think maybe she's just surprised that the boys' popularity has traveled as far as to Canada (I just checked your location =p). So, I don't think you need to worry about anything. You're definitely not looked down upon! =)

I'm an Asian but not a Korean nor a Japanese. And I'm very into the entertainment field of Japan and Korea. So I think I might understand how you feel. It's like you're not even a Korean/Japanese so why bother listening to our musics or watch our dramas right? I don't think they really mean that. Don't take it too seriously! Cheers! =)
keythebells on September 10th, 2008 12:44 am (UTC)
Thanks for your input! =) It's hard feeling like an outsider but in the end, it's about what each induvidual likes.
komm_mit on September 9th, 2008 10:14 pm (UTC)
Hey, I'm white and I usually get the shocked "omg no way!" expression from Koreans too. But, it's usually just because it's rare for Koreans to hear about their music getting all the way to the US - and of course for non-Asians to actually listen to it. I actually talked to a boy from my school a few days ago about it and he was just surprised to hear that non-Asian Americans were interested in Korean music - since our music scene is dominated by music in English.

I don't know, I don't really ever feel judged. I think it's just hard to be as up to date on artists and as well informed if you don't speak Korean (or Chinese, since Chinese fans are very knowledgeable too). But, I think that enjoying the music has nothing to do with being Asian! It's just the exposure - few non-Asian Americans have heard of Korean pop, so few people can enjoy it. And I love surprising Koreans by talking about their favorite artist with them and showing them that (despite stereotypes) Americans can enjoy other cultures!

feyla on September 9th, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC)
I agree! They're always so surprised that we're over here and listening to/or watching anything that isn't American or whatever.
(no subject) - keythebells on September 10th, 2008 12:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
percievedfate on September 9th, 2008 10:15 pm (UTC)
I'm pure British baby, I don't speak a work of Japanese, Chinese or Korean and I listen to the lot.

I've never really expressed it to anyone though because very few people know ho any of them are. I can have a shockingly small conversation about Dir en grey in college with the 3 people that listen to them, but that's it.

Yeah, I get a lot of 'Oooh, let's look at what you've got on your ipod...okay I have no idea who these bands are and i can't even READ that...'
andersenmom on September 9th, 2008 11:23 pm (UTC)
That last comment made me laugh. How fun!
(no subject) - dizzy_grace on September 9th, 2008 11:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - keythebells on September 10th, 2008 12:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
feyla on September 9th, 2008 10:15 pm (UTC)
I usually don't bother telling people what I listen to because then they're just like why???? But I do have some friends who also listen to Kpop and all, so I don't care. It's kind of cool when we find each other because then we're like no way, you like it too? what do you listen to? and a million other questions. It was kind of funny because I did that to a guy friend of mine last night who actually listens to SuJu some. I thought it was quite interesting because not only is he a guy but he's also non-asian. Of course, I was rather shocked when a Korean guy I know had some music playing and SuJu came on.

But yeah, I've gotten those reactions. I was in Korea a few weeks ago and everyone was always so surprised. it got rather annoying for all of us non-Koreans I think (I was in a big int'l summer school program). Especially since most of the people we were talking to were Korean-american. So yeah, it's kind of annoying, but at the same time I had people who were rather amazed. There was this one guy who just could not get over the fact that I liked Korean music and drama and all. He thought it was really cool. Most of them did, after they got over their shock.

I think in all, the reaction varies person to person. yeah most of the time I don't like to talk about it with others because they don't like k-pop or whatever, but it also leads to some good friendships.
keythebells on September 10th, 2008 12:50 am (UTC)
Some people's reactions make it worth while in the end, you discover new friends :) It's awesome you got to talking with people about it, hope the same happens for me.
(no subject) - feyla on September 10th, 2008 02:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
haldir on September 9th, 2008 10:18 pm (UTC)
i'm scottish, and for the most i don't even bother to tell people what i listen to because i'm so sick of the weird reactions. now if someone asks, i'm just like "oh, nothing," but it does bother me because why should i be in that position? i don't even use translations anymore, i just enjoy the language and the vocals, and i think that's all that should matter.
keythebells on September 10th, 2008 12:51 am (UTC)
And the beats, oh those beats. I find myself not bothering to look up the translations for Suju M's CD, the beats make it totally worthwhile.
arksky on September 9th, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC)
Dude,I'm Latino and like SuJu,and since I live in a place where crappy black rap (it's offensive 90% of the time) seems to be everything,I can never fangirl with anyone about SuJu.
I know how it feels,except I have noone to even MENTION SuJu to,because they think it's crap :)
duno88 on September 9th, 2008 10:34 pm (UTC)
Somehow I find Asian musics much better than western ones. People around me just don't get it. For them, everything American is cool and I'm always like "Why don't you people try something different and in fact MUCH MUCH BETTER????" But sadly, they just don't give a damn -.- So I give up. But it makes me treasure my good taste more! XD XD
(no subject) - arksky on September 10th, 2008 01:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - keythebells on September 10th, 2008 12:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arksky on September 10th, 2008 01:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lovepiggiie on September 10th, 2008 06:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
crypticbluerose on September 9th, 2008 10:24 pm (UTC)
I can feel what you are saying. Though I haven't really experienced that kind of thing yet, because that never came up in a conversation with an asian person (in person) lol

I'm african american btw

I think maybe there would be mixed reactions depending on who you talk to. i think some people would be delighted while others may be a bit surprised.

Besides they should be happy because it's actually a big compliment. Don't feel embarrassed. :)
keythebells on September 10th, 2008 12:54 am (UTC)
Aw thank you :) I agree, I think once people get over the initial shock, they'd be pleased that their entertainment industry has reached over here!
oldwillow_brook on September 9th, 2008 10:24 pm (UTC)
I completely understand where you're coming from. I'm not asian and when random people I meet ask me the type of music I listen to, I appropriately say,"Everything." But their minds tend not to expand to other countries. It's not that I'm embarassed but that I don't know how they are to react.

Girls are more likely to accept you because they now have a fan-buddy. They can come to you and say,"OMFG DID YOU SEE KANTEUK THE OTHER DAY?!". But for guys (in America and the guys who don't listen to that type of music) it's more like N'Sync for them. Boy Bands? Asians rapping? It just doesn't make any sense. (Guys like Big Bang, and Trax more then they like Super Junior and DBSK, whether they want to admit it or not.)

I was at orientation for my college and the girl (Korean) asked me what music I liked, and I decided to test it out on her (to just say it bluntly), and I said,"Does the name Dong Bang Shin Ki ring a bell?" And she socked me. Really hard in the arm. It was pretty funny. But she thought it was soo cool that I had taken a Korean class (even though she thought that Korean isn't that cool of a language) and that I loved Super Junior as well.

It's not that they look down upon you but if you were to go to Korea (lets say) and you walked up to some teenage person and asked them who're their favorite singer was and they said,"Britney Spears." Isn't that kind of wierd? (Well not really, she did perform there, like 4 years ago with BoA) But it's just that they don't expect it.

Let me tell you, I went to the Super Junior HB concert a year ago and I actually blended in. There was an equal amount of Asians as there were white people (actually it was more Asians because of all the old ladies and they LOOOOVE their ahjusshi's. xD)

And also, if you notice how Super Junior (for example) is spreading around to different countries (China, Thailand, Japan) because Korean Entertainment, as large as it may seem is actually really really puny. SM takes their biggest assets and ships them to different countries so Korean Entertainment can be as well known as the Japanese. (Japanese Entertainment is MASSIVE, it beats China and almost rivals America (not quite but almost))

I say, out of personal experience, if people "judge" you and say,"OMG YOU LISTEN TO GHEI ASIAN BOYS?" Then their not worth your time. I say listen to whatever you want too, don't let anyone else decide for you. It's easier and lets you know how much of a friend they will be. (I hate it when people diss the music I listen too. It just irritates me). Listen to whatever makes you feel good, not what makes you fit in.

oldwillow_brook on September 9th, 2008 10:25 pm (UTC)
^Sheesh. Sorry this is so long. xD
(no subject) - dailysky on September 9th, 2008 11:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - oldwillow_brook on September 10th, 2008 12:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dailysky on September 10th, 2008 12:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - oldwillow_brook on September 10th, 2008 12:54 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - keythebells on September 10th, 2008 12:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - oldwillow_brook on September 10th, 2008 12:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - keythebells on September 10th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - oldwillow_brook on September 10th, 2008 02:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
mansexual on September 9th, 2008 10:24 pm (UTC)
Music shouldn't be intended specifically for certain nations or whatever. People should be able to listen to whatever they want regardless of where it comes from or what language it's in. I guess there are probably some people who might not be impressed by nonKoreans listening to Suju or something but we already know that there are some wild people in their fanbase, so.
keythebells on September 10th, 2008 12:55 am (UTC)
Ohman, many wild people in the fanbase, you never know which ones you might encounter, who might be unimpressed with it.
But musical taste is so diverse which is a good thing, otherwise it'd all be boring!
renichifreak on September 9th, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC)
...I doubt that you're looked down upon, per se. I think it's the fact that it's a bit odd considering the fact that it's foreign music from a band or group that has never(with the exception of the Korean Music Festival) appeared in the US before, and also doesn't speak the language. (Well, for the most part, anyway...)

It's not as odd to us, who have so many types of music at our disposal, but it may be to people from other countries...I dunno...

I think we can definitely enjoy their music. Don't let it get you down. Just keep doing what you're doing!!

keythebells on September 10th, 2008 12:57 am (UTC)
I can't even remember how I got interested in Suju- it may have been a friend from a long while ago but I somehow stumbled across them on youtube. One thing for sure is that they haven't been in the US media which is probably a major shock factor that they've reached us here.
(no subject) - renichifreak on September 10th, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
tokyolights on September 9th, 2008 10:27 pm (UTC)
I think it's just the "shock" that idols from her country are well-known in others as well- a thing she would've probably never thought of. It's already normal for non-Asians to hear that stars from the US, England, Spain, etc. are conquering the charts all over the world, but it's very, very different with regard to countries like Japan or Korea.
keythebells on September 10th, 2008 12:57 am (UTC)
Thanks! :)
dongbang_sarang on September 9th, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)
could you please maybe (if it's allowed) open this post???
it's a REALLY sensitive matter... for ALL of us, i bet...
i wanted my friends to see the discussion..

as for me: everything from above ^___^ only doubled... coz my nation (Ukraine that is) is VERY much conservative... so i suffer a lot... even at home... it took me half of a year to make my sister stop "ARGH"ing all the time...
keythebells on September 10th, 2008 12:57 am (UTC)
I was glad for your comment, I opened the post publicly for you :D.
evilsupergirl on September 9th, 2008 10:31 pm (UTC)
People around me just think it's weird/crazy/silly. According to my bother it's not crazy to love music where they scream into the microphone, while wearing masks and hitting fellow members with bats (Slipknot). Yeah, I'm the one with funky tastes in music O.o
keythebells on September 10th, 2008 12:58 am (UTC)
Mn, Slipknot, ah yes.. I won't even try to begin to understand what they're screaming about. But tell him it's the same thing in just an odd way xD.
luliss on September 9th, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC)
I'm a teenager in Brazil (I'm only 15 years old), and last year a had a hard time making everybody accept I like japanese and korean music.
They made fun of me(they still do), and I was a little hurt, but I got used to it.
I thought "Kpop fans must be really close since between them there are not these judgements." I was wrong, there is. If you want to like "different things", you have to get used to being judged, and it'll be okay.
keythebells on September 10th, 2008 12:59 am (UTC)
You're totally right about the whole getting used to being judged, no matter where you go, they'll always be opinions.
(no subject) - summercello on September 10th, 2008 02:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
squippo on September 10th, 2008 12:30 am (UTC)
Ottawa represent! Hahaha, go us frozen people.
(no subject) - keythebells on September 10th, 2008 12:32 am (UTC) (Expand)
ivy_snowe on September 9th, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC)
I was wondering if anyone would ever ask this.

Let me describe myself to you: I'm avg height and weight. I have long black hair, wear thick black eyeliner, painted black nails and earrings up and down my entire ear. My cd's tend to consist of Marylin Manson, Zeppelin, AC/DC, System of a Down, Rammstein, Ozzy. Black is my wardrobe color of choice. I am half white half mexican and as pale as the paper I write on at work.

However, if you look at my mp3 player, the shelves in my room, or even messenger bag I drag with me everywhere you will find the wonderful, beautiful, sparkly ghei that is Super Junior.

In my town (I live in the US), it's full of latino's and black's. Everyone's music? Rap, hip hop, r&b. Stuff like that. Stuff I never liked, even as a kid. So, when someone asks what I'm listening to? I tell them: a korean boy band.

I get the stares, the weird looks, the 'wtf are you listening to that crap for?' comments. I stay strong in my love. The people I work with know what I listen to, hell, I converted one of the girls to SuJu after she realized that the beats were crazy good. She burned the CD and listens to it constantly, and takes pleasure in torturing her boyfriend with it. My family knows, but they kind of just smile and nod. My mom is sure that I must be on some govt watch list because I get CD's and other things to fangirl over, from S.Korea. Sadly, I probably am.

I'm proud of Super Junior and my love of their music. Kpop, Jrock. I love that stuff and the weird looks and comments, while annoying ad a little hurtful, aren't going to stop me from staying a fan. Everyone else can just piss off.
aounabarasug_oi on September 9th, 2008 11:50 pm (UTC)
Wow, your comment about the govt watch list reminded me of when I bought a JRock CD with my mom's debit card for my birthday...her bank called her at work and told her there was a suspicious order on her card and they wanted to confirm that she actually wanted to buy it...I almost died of laughter that day...
(no subject) - ivy_snowe on September 10th, 2008 01:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on September 10th, 2008 01:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - keythebells on September 10th, 2008 01:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ivy_snowe on September 10th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - busha69 on September 10th, 2008 08:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
kuchiutsushi on September 9th, 2008 10:55 pm (UTC)
I'm constantly made fun of for liking Asian stuff since I'm white. Both Asians and non-Asians alike at school call me an "Asian wannabe". It pisses me off a lot, but I try my best to just ignore it. When people ask me about it ("Do you wish you were Asian?") or make a comment to me, I tell them that I'm perfectly happy with the way I am. I'm a white girl, I like Asian stuff, and I wouldn't want to be any other way.
keythebells on September 10th, 2008 01:37 am (UTC)
Ahww yeah, the worst thing to hear is the whole 'wannabe thing'. It's really discouraging and kind of upsetting that people jump to conclusions.
sirigorn on September 9th, 2008 11:07 pm (UTC)
I don't usually tell people - not cause I'm ashamed of it, it's just so much of a bother to keep having to explain it.

My school has a strong connection with Japan, so a lot of people come here for that. Which means there are quite a few people who listen to Asian music, so it's not as weird.

In the group of friends I had in high school who listened to Asian music, I was the only white one. There was one African-American girl, but everyone else was Asian (though they were all Chinese or Tibetan, none were Japanese or Korean).
keythebells on September 10th, 2008 01:38 am (UTC)
Explaining over and over again would get tiring I imagine;;
jrockboogie123 on September 9th, 2008 11:10 pm (UTC)
I'm Black and I would get so much crap coming from my MOTHER when I was obsessed with Jrock and in a way that felt worse than when other people would ask me why I listened to asian music. Now that I'm obsessed with Korean stuff more than Japanese things, my moms already used to it so shes just like "Yeah whatever do what you want".
But whats worse is for a few months now I've been learning Korean, right now I'm at the point where I can read and write Hangul I just don't know that many Korean words yet. You would think that that's something a mother would be proud of but my mother could care less. Oh well at least I'm proud of myself for being different XD.
keythebells on September 10th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC)
Argh, the parents! I get the flak from my dad, he was like.. A KOREAN BOYBAND?! My mom doesn't really care- she thinks it's strange but doesn't put me down.

Wow, kudos to you for learning Korean! I really want to but I don't know where to start.. D: have any online things you reccomend?
(no subject) - czarny on September 10th, 2008 12:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
galidor on September 9th, 2008 11:12 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't worry too much about it. I'm black. Imagine how rare a black person who likes Asian music, to the point of learning Chinese and eventually Korean, is. So break free of the sterotype! FIGHTING!! JIA YOU!
keythebells on September 10th, 2008 01:41 am (UTC)
(no subject) - summercello on September 10th, 2008 02:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)