Gauss-Telegraph: South Korea

South Korea: Ballades and Karaoke
What comes to your mind when you think of South Korea? Samsung, LG, Kia? Kimchi? Or maybe plastic surgery? You’re not the only one. But South Korean culture has a lot more to offer…
On 30. January we had South Korea evening at Gauß-Haus, with a special focus on South Korean music.
What kind of music do South Koreans listen to? Many will think ist’s K-Pop, the well known South Korean pop music. But actually the most popular type of music is the ballade. Characteristics: sad melodies, slow tempo and a good amount of heartache. But why do South Koreans like to listen to sad music so much?
The Korean word „hahn“ means as much as sorrow, regret, or resentment and is part of the Korean DNA, according to speaker Dongjin Ko. Sadness and crying are not considered as something negative, but as an expression of caring.
Also in popular karaoke most South Koreans prefer to sing ballades. To give you an idea of the importance of karaoke: In Germany there are 1,470 McDonald’s restaurants, that’s approximately 56,000 inhabitants per restaurant. In South Korea there are 9,484 karaoke bars, that’s about 5,400 inhabitants per bar. If you want to make friends in South Korea, you might want to try karaoke.
At the end of the presentation we got an exclusive live demonstration of a Korean karaoke ballade that would have made a SingStar expert go green with envy: every note was perfect, the voice volume filled the whole Michaelishof, and the audience got goosebumps.
Did we spark your interest? You can listen to some of the South Koreans‘ favorite songs here:

As usual, after the presentation we served a typical meal: vegetable rice and glass noodle salad.
By the way: next Tuesday (06. February) is Ukraine-evening!