I’m not sure how many of you have been having a hard time finding motivation to still be productive and creative during this global pandemic. It’s been so hard for me to finish a few blogs that I have written over the last few months. As an essential worker in NYC it has been a literal mental task to go to and from work each and everyday for almost 4 months.
Then, the murder of George Floyd ignited the world to come together and protest the unjust treatment of black and brown people all over the globe. So with so much going on in the world, it felt a bit superficial to write about Kpop and Korean dramas at a time of global hardship and unrest. But then, I saw global unity, especially in the world of Kpop, and it ignited a fire in me again.
Many people were stuck at home during various quarantines and country shutdowns, resulting in people working from home and home schooling. Unfortunately many also lost there jobs, businesses and homes at a time of crisis. Global citizens all over the world felt the need to come together during this global pandemic of Covid-19. They looked out for their neighbors, made financial donations to organizations in need, collected goods for food banks and made masks for medical first responders that were low on supplies.
However what really warmed my heart was the out pouring of support from different K-Pop fandoms towards the protest, not only in the U.S. but all over the world. I found my Twitter timeline overflowing with hashtags and info cards on how to donate to Black Lives Matter Movement, The Bail Project, ACLU, etc. I saw post explaining about what systemic racism is and saw positive dialog discussing these topics. Korean artist took the time to post on social media hashtags of support for BLM movement and made donations to various organizations in U.S. and internationally. Of course the most public and largest of those donations was from BTS and Big Hit Entertainment in the amount of one million dollars to the BLM movement.
Of course all the support did come with a bit of controversy, such as, do Koreans even have the right to speak up and out about the systematic oppression of black and brown people when they have been accused of appropriation and racism. Also should international fans, especially black and brown fans, that have always felt unheard, have the right to ask for support. Should they even expect their favorite idols and artist to speak out when these issues do not affect them directly. In times like these there is no right or wrong answer. What I appreciate more than anything was that it started a global conversation about race and a feeling of responsibility towards each other. Not just as humans, but as mutual fans from all over the world, understanding that some are struggling and need support. Either way, to see the conversations happen and to feel the love and support was heart warming even if just for a moment.
With most of the world on “pause” and socialization at a stand still, people had to find creative ways to stay connected to family and friends. Unsurprisingly it was only a matter of time before Korean Entertainment labels and companies started to have virtual meetups and concents.
KDrama Gear, an online K Drama platform and shop, started doing live-streams of drams so fans all over the world could join in and watch dramas without feeling so alone. Allowing an opportunity for the community to live chat and fan out together. They also just recently started to organize online regional meetups so that fans can connect with one another in a safe space and make new friends in their area.
With concerts postponed or cancelled for the unforeseen future, music artist started becoming more active online, via Vlive and YouTube and started streaming concerts live. BTS started with live streams of past concerts and Musters, then other entertainment companies fell right in line with pay per view live stream concerts. Artist such as G-IDLE, NCT 127, Super Junior, Super-M put on one and half to two hour full stage concerts. Monsta X is taking it a step further and has offered merch bundles and 20 second virtual meet and greets with an member of your choice for their up coming live stream concert.
Until we all have the opportunity to see our favorite idols again in person, we have them virtually to entertain us and lift our spirits and it is so needed right now. Then to be able to contact via social media outlets to fan out about those concerts is just another way to connect, even if it’s just in the comfort of your own homes.
The New Normal
As the world still finds a way to move through a new normal of Covid, I am trying to find new ways to be inspired. That also means finding new places to write, listen to music, socialize more via social media and not let the lows of the world consume me. It means making new friends, even if thousands of miles away, most likely never getting the chance to meet. It means finding joy again in the things that I love, revisiting old stories that I was working on and finishing them, even if a little out dated. Because life goes on.
What I’ve Learned
I’ve learned that it is important to find joy in the small things. For so long my blog was such a great joy to me, to connect to people through this platform, to share not only my thoughts but hopefully educate as well. However I lost that along the way because of hard times and an uncertain future. The best thing to come from all of this is knowing that through the wonderful people I have meant through so many different fandoms and different platforms, that I’m not the only one going through this difficult time. That although we don’t know each other directly or personally, we are still a community, a global family of sorts. We have leaned on each other, found support, shared laughs, and still fanned out. Finding ways to feel connected and normal, in this new normal.
Until next time…….