This is one of the rare times when a compliment about BTS actually makes many international fans feel ‘uncomfortable’ with Korean netizens.
BTS is becoming more and more famous and their achievements and records have been recorded in the history of Korean music industry and even the world. When the Kpop representative in the international market is mentioned, most people will think of BTS immediately, and because of that, many Koreans also feel proud that the group has helped introduce and promote the music and the cultural identity of Korea to the world.
Receiving compliments from the strict Korean netizens is not easy, even BTS had to go through a hard time to be recognized for their talents and achievements. Because of that, whenever a post praising the Big Hit’s group is seen on forums like Pann, Theqoo, Instiz, etc., ARMYs in other countries feel very happy and proud that their idols’ efforts have been acknowledged. However, there are also rare occasions when the compliments make international fans feel more uncomfortable than happy, and here is a typical case like that.
On July 15, on Theqoo forum, there was a post praising BTS but not because of their achievements, talents or visuals but… the origin of the members. Accordingly, the post was titled: ‘An idol group that I am happy to know all members are Korean’. The OP only wrote two concise sentences: ‘It’s BTS. There are no Chinese members, no Japanese members, only Koreans.’
In fact, the current Kpop has given more opportunities to idols from other countries, especially the overwhelming number of Chinese and Japanese members. However, many Korean netizens don’t show positive attitude toward these members for the following 3 reasons:
First, foreign members are easily caught up in political controversy. They will also not be able to wholeheartedly promote the Korean culture like the Korean members.
Next, troubles would arise when foreign members left the group, most of those who left were Chinese members. After many incidents, Knet learned that it would be better for a group to only have Koreans.
Lastly, Koreans have a list of names that they call “the nation’s pride”. If BTS had foreign members, then being called that way would not be suitable. This is also why many people easily agree to call BTS ‘nation’s pride’ along with powerful names like Kim Yuna, Park Jisung, Son Heungmin, PSY, etc.
Theqoo’s post on the topic of ‘It’s good because all BTS members are Korean’ has attracted over 1300 comments, most are Knetz showing their approval.
Although this is obviously a post praising BTS, when ARMYs from other countries see it, they are not so happy. Many people can understand that Korean netizens have pride in their country, but they also feel these compliments and comments are like being racist. Accordingly, many international fans believe that it is normal to be proud of the fact that all 7 BTS members are Korean, however, to the extent of leaving words that discriminate against other countries to show their pride has indeed crossed the limit.
However, there are also international fans who sympathize with Knetizens’ comments. They believe that if they look at the matter from a Korean’s perspective, they probably also want the top Hallyu group to have members all from their homeland to promote the national culture. Besides, political controversies or ‘pigeons’ (members leaving the group) have gradually led to Knet’s prejudices.
What do you think about Knetz’s opinion? Do their comments make you feel uncomfortable or not because it is normal to have pride in one’s country?