Members of rookie girl group IVE called out for mocking Desi culture

Not long after their debut, IVE members have been caught up in a controversy. 

IVE is the most viral rookie these days when not only the whole group but also each member often becomes the center of online discussion. In addition to positive reactions to the pretty all-visual lineup, IVE is also entangled in some unwarranted controversies, typically over their outfits or attitude when performing.

Recently, the group came under criticism for an act that was said to mock the dance in Desi culture.

Specifically, on December 11, Starship uploaded a behind-the-scenes video of IVE‘s ELEVEN MV filming. The first half of the video simply shows the good teamwork and cute moments between the members during the shooting of their debut MV.

Behind the scenes of ELEVEN MV (controversial moment starts at 9:43)

However, in the second half of the video, fans notice something that they find “disturbing”. It was when leader Yujin put her hand under Rei‘s chin, and the Japanese member started following the joke by moving her head along to the caption “Dduru dduru ddu”. Yujin and Rei then started laughing together. 

Yujin and Rei initiated it first
Yujin and Rei initiated it first

The next minute, Rei continued to put her hand under the chin of Wonyoung who was standing next to her, to which Wonyoung had a similar reaction. All three members look cheerful while joking around. 

Jang Wonyoung then also took part in the joke
Jang Wonyoung then also took part in the joke

This moment quickly draws netizens’ attention on two social media platforms, Twitter and TikTok. For people from South Asian countries (including India), the head movement to the “dduru” music comes from traditional Indian dances and should be respected, instead of being used as a joke. 

The joke of the 3 IVE members is said to mock the traditional Indian dance
The joke of the 3 IVE members is said to mock the traditional Indian dance

Although some fans feel that IVE did not mean any harm with their joke, some other netizens are irritated because they think that the rookie girl group was disrespecting Desi culture by doing “stereotypical” actions. 

netizens comments
netizens comments

Some other comments:

  • This is not the first time. Why do Kpop idols never learn from others’ mistakes? I bet they know what they’re doing.
  • Outside of India, this head movement is also part of a classical dance. I don’t want to boycott them, but I need them to apologize.
  • Don’t boycott them, just educate them properly. I believe Wonyoung and Yujin are good listeners, and the same goes for Rei. 
Rei - the "center" of this controversy
Rei – the “center” of this controversy
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