Jenelle Capati

Photo Courtesy by AllKPop/Dimitrios Kambouris/GETTY

Ppalli, ppalli (hurry, hurry)! Other fandoms better step up their game because K-pop stans, as well as idols and their hwaiting-spirit, are ahead of the curve when it comes to promoting awareness on important social issues.

K-pop is a part of the growing popularity and consumption of Korean content called the Korean wave, also known as Hallyu, a term popularized since the mid-1990s. The craze originated from the charisma of K-dramas such as Boys Over Flowers (2009), Winter Sonata (2002), What is Love? (1991), and more. Though K-pop, in general, is greatly influenced by the musical texture of hip-hop, dance, jazz, and more. 

Most often, K-pop songs would be performed by groups consisting of a minimum number of four members. Unforgettable groups like Girl’s Generation (2007), EXO (2012), BTS (2013), and Twice (2015) have sparked long-lasting and active fandoms up to this day. As such, these idols arrange concerts not only as a space to perform their art but also for young fans to show their support. One of the many ways they can do so is by buying lightsticks, physical albums, concert tickets, digital downloads, and even something as simple as streaming.

Therefore, it wasn’t a surprise to witness K-pop fans unite under specific causes when the time calls for it. Let us recall the Black Lives Matter movement, a response to the killing of George Floyd. Several racist remarks sprung up on Twitter with #WhiteLivesMatter, which aims to derail and enforce harmful, racist ideologies. K-pop stans then flooded the hashtags with memes and edits of their favorite idols. They eventually drowned out the oppressing discussions that aimed to trend. This phenomenon was even noticed by a popular K-pop boy band, BTS. They applauded.

“We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together,” they said.

Following these events would be the ARMYs raising 1 million dollars to donate to BLM. As well as other teenage K-pop stans uniting to thwart a Trump rally by buying out tickets without any intention of going, skewing Trump’s support and numbers.

Korean culture, in general, is collectivistic and self-sacrificial. It stems from the roots of their tradition being influenced by Confucian values. This is evident with them adopting mentalities like ppalli, ppalli, a capacity for fast-paced decision-making to be mindful of a universally constant but finite resource – time.

But besides this, many K-pop fans, either of Korean descent or foreign, reference their idols' good deeds as inspiration for even more good movements. Some of the best examples of these would be Kang Daniel, donating to coronavirus causes, as well as a singer-songwriter, IU, who was donating millions of won to nonprofit organizations, and many, many more to consider.

That’s why we should ppalli, ppalli!

K-pop fans and their idols’ hwaiting-spirit have greatly influenced the younger generation’s hearts, fanning flames that soar higher than they have ever thought they could reach.