The rise of Eat Your Kimchi

See on Scoop.itKorean Wave

James Little gives in-depth insight into Simon and Martina, the couple behind the internet phenonemon, Eat Your Kimchi.  Soon after this story was posted, the couple began fundraising for their Eat Your Kimchi business through a video posted on YouTube on September 5, 2012, which also ran on their website.


By providing more details about the couple’s motives for doing what they do, the article does provide more context for the fundraiser. While the fundraiser video, post on EYK and description on Indiegogo all suggest that the couple needed the funds to support their business venture by renting a studio and paying for full-time video editor, the article quotes the couple as suggesting they are in fact financially set: “Simon and Martina freely admit that the website, and the businesses associated with the website, are now successful enough that they do not have to worry about the security of their livelihoods.”    Such discrepencies relate to comments on YouTube and in an allkpop forum, as well as posts on Tumblr and blogs (including a post on House of Hallyu, written by a colleague of mine), all of which question the manner in which the couple fundraised for the business. 


The inteview covers the development of the popularity of the couple, but overstates their importance to the international K-pop fandom.  EYK features humorous videos about K-pop, but it is far from being “the top source of information on K-pop in English.”  That would be Soompi, the oldest source of information about K-pop in English (the site began in the 1990s, concurrent with the rise of Hallyu K-pop).  allkpop would be a close second for the source from which English speakers receive news about K-pop. EYK do humorous skits, critique K-pop videos and provide informative insights into getting around Korea as a non-Korean. They do not provide a steady stream of information about K-pop.


Also, the piece participates in the misrepresentation of K-pop fandoms as crazed groups of teenagers who blindly follow their favorite groups and attack those who do not.   While there are numerous sites dedicated to individual K-pop groups, a cursory glance at the rules for many forums and sites explicity state that bashing of other groups are not tolerated.  


Moreover, there are several site in English that do what EYK claims to only do: criticize K-pop.  For example, Asian Junkie bills itself “as a place for a collection of individuals to mock, analyze, and satirize the comings and goings of the Asian entertainment world.”  





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