New Delhi, Dec 14 (PTI) Popularity of Korean language in India seems to be growing with many youngsters learning it after being fascinated by K-pop, a popular genre of music of that country.
At the sixth anniversary of the Korean Cultural Centre India (KCCI), here, a group of Korean language students graduated, and no sooner the function had ended, another batch of youth were seen submitting application forms for the course beginning next year.
"At KCCI's King Sejong Institute, we offer Korean language courses for students as well as working professionals. Majority of the applicants are college-goers, and some are high school students too," KCCI Director, Kim Kum-pyoung, said.
At the anniversary function, many students sang songs in fluent Korean and performed to K-pop music, lip-synching with the lyrics blasting in the background, as the audience swayed to the tunes.
"Popularity of Korean language in India is growing and many youths in big cities like Delhi are getting fascinated with our language and culture due to K-pop. They are fans of big bands like BTS and Exo, and are enrolling for the course to appreciate their songs and videos better," he told PTI.
Asked as to who were enrolling more among the youths, he said, "Girls, you can see from the graduating batch too. Girls far outnumber the boys."
The KCCI language course has three levels -- Basic (B), Intermediate (I) and Advanced (A). As one moves up, the difficulty level also increases.
"So, about 350-400 enrol for the basic level per semester, but not everyone is able to make it to the advanced level. But, they are eager to learn, and not afraid to make mistakes, so, they learn eventually," the KCCI director said.
Located on the Ring Road in Lajpat Nagar, KCCI is the cultural wing of the South Korean Embassy in New Delhi.
During the course, students also get to learn about Korean cuisine, dance, music and culture of that country.
"Each semester at KCCI is for three months. Students take classes every alternate days on weekdays, while working professionals, take it on weekends. We have nine Korean language teachers as part of the King Sejong Institute here," Kim said.
Monami Gogoi, a journalist with a leading national daily here and an avowed fan of K-pop, aspires to visit South Korea some day.
"I am learning Korean as I got fascinated with K-pop. I am a big fan of Exo, and went to Bangkok early this year just to attend their concert. Learning a new language is like having a key to a new culture. And I get to understand the lyrics," she said.
Chamseul Kim, a senior official at the KCCI, said that besides Delhi, King Sejong Institute language centres are also located in Patna and Chennai.
Gangnam Style, a K-pop single by the South Korean musician Psy, had become a worldwide rage after it was released in 2012, and in India too it enjoyed a massive fan following.
Popular boy band BTS' film 'Burn the Stage: the movie' was also screened in the country last month and saw fans trooping to theatres.
The Indian leg of the Changwon K-Pop World Festival was held in July here, which was attended by South Korean first lad, Kim Jung-sook, when she had visited India along with President Moon Jae-in as part of his first state visit to the country.
"We will witness the strong and enthusiastic fandom of K-pop in India, which will surprise Korean people as well," the KCCI director had then said. PTI KND RT