• http://splashofinspiration.wordpress.com/ Shweta

    I’m a complete weirdo because Empire of Gold is my K-drama crack right now.

    • Min

      Really? I found it a bit boring after the 10 amazing minutes of the first episode, is the second episode any better?

      • http://splashofinspiration.wordpress.com/ Shweta

        Those first ten minutes are honestly the best first ten minutes of a drama I’ve seen in a long time. Yeah, the rest of the episode isn’t all that interesting, but everything picks up in the second and third episodes.

        Keep in mind that this is not really a drama that is easily liked, but I find the main trio of characters really engaging. Choi Seo-yoon (Lee Yo-won) actually has a back bone; something I rarely see in female leads. And Sohn Hyun-joo is good as always. But what keeps me tied to this show is an inexplicable fervor for finding out how those first ten minutes came to be.

        • Min

          That was one of the reason I wanted to keep watching, because those 10 minutes make you wonder how they get there, the relationship between the three and such but then… It got a bit slow but you convince me to finish the second episode. Thank you!

          • http://splashofinspiration.wordpress.com/ Shweta

            No problem :) Let me know what you think!

  • Miss Cephalopod

    Just wondering, is there going to be an actual review of Falling In Love? I adore the song, and I always like SB reviews, so I’d like to hear a more in-depth look at it.

  • bangsstory

    There are still many songs to come dedicated for the summer season but so far, Falling in Love is my summer anthem. Plus, Monstar got me wailing for more Sun-woo and Na-na dates. And Soo-ha is just so vulnerable right now. I want to keep the Lee Jong-suk puppy safe in my pocket right now.

  • Lavlavs

    Dara should NOT be wearing a bindi. That’s all I have to say.

    • Streby

      Actually thought it was cute and way better than her Indian garb in ‘Fire’

      • Lavlavs

        While its not as bad as what she wore in Fire, its still wrong because its cultural appropriation. just because its “cute” doesn’t make it any better. she doesn’t understand what the Bindi means to Indians so she shouldn’t be wearing it at all.

        • Streby

          If you’re looking at things that way then most of kpop should not exist because all they do is copy other cultures styles without really caring about what it stands for. And honestly, most of the Indian women I know, including my mother, wear the bindi just because its tradition, not because it means anything extra.

          I had a serious problem with ‘Fire’ because it was parodying the whole thing but I think this is acceptable because she isn’t making a joke out of it, and I dont see anything wrong in wearing something you think is pretty that is from another culture, the same way people wear tshirts with Ganesha pictures and get ‘Om’ tattoos.

          • Lavlavs

            Well just because most of K-Pop does it doesn’t make it okay. And yes, the Bindi doesn’t have the same significance it used to but in no way makes it acceptable for a non-Indian to wear it. And this is why:

            The bindi is linked to Indian culture. Some wear it linked to religion and others, like your mother, for tradition, and some even wear it just for fashion (I myself would fall into this category). And cultural appropriation is when a more “powerful” culture adopts something from a less “powerful” culture. This doesn’t mean that India is somehow less powerful as a country but it’s in terms of the society where the appropriation is taking place.

            For example, In the US, Indians that wear bindis are often mocked and not given the same amount of respect as white Americans. So if a white American wore a bindi, it’s wrong because a white American doesn’t have to deal with the oppression an Indian does. In addition. when a white American wears it, it automatically becomes “acceptable” even though it is not when Indians wear it which is a highlight of cultural appropriaton.

            And we can apply this to Korea. In Korea, South Koreans hold power. They are the majority, they determine what society deems as acceptable. And South Korea has a problem with racism and prejudice towards foreigners, much less darker skinned foreigners. So if an Indian wore a bindi (religiously or just for fashion) they would NOT be accepted in Korean society. They would probably be mocked and prejudiced even further than they already are.

            Yet somehow, when Dara wears it, it’s okay. Why is that? Because Dara as a South Korean is in a position of power.
            That’s why its completely unacceptable for her to wear it even though its “cute.”

            And lastly, wearing a bindi is in NO way appreciating the culture. Because to appreciate a culture, one should understand the context of the things they are appreciating. And if Dara understood the stigma that comes with wearing a bindi outside of India or Indian gatherings, she would know that its not okay for her to wear it. There are exceptions to foreigners wearing bindis, I agree to that, but this is NOT one of those times.

          • Streby

            Then what about all the things we as Indians copy from the west? We should not be wearing those things because we don’t know what cultural significance they hold, the clothes I wear, the language I speak and even the music I listen to are not technically from my own homeland but that doesn’t mean I am disrespecting my culture or any other culture from which I borrow all these facets of my life.

            Wearing a bindi appreciates as much of Indian culture as does wearing a cross appreciates western culture but as long as I am not disrespecting, I don’t see how it should affect what you wear.

            I don’t see how you are disrespecting by wearing a bindi even though Indians who wear it face discrimination (though I have honestly not come across it blatantly anywhere I have travelled, it probably exists).

            Do I know the suffering a person from a disadvantaged community went through? No, But that doesn’t mean I disrespect them by just thinking something they have as part of their culture looks good. You may call it an ill-effect of globalization but I don’t see it as a problem.

          • Lavlavs

            Because the whole point of appropriation is power. In the West, Indians do not hold ‘power.’ therefore when Indians wear Western clothing and listen to Western music they are doing so because that is what the norm is. They are conforming to Western Culture which is completely different from appropriating so you cant compare to two.
            And speaking English is NOT appropriation because English is considered a language of importance and power. And if youve forgotten, when the British colonized India they FORCED us to speak English so English is a language of oppression as well. Indians were forced to wear western clothing as well which is why a dichotomy exists in India with wearing western and traditional. All this is due to OPPRESSION, even in our own country.

            And just because you dont believe its cultural appropriation doesnt mean its not. Ive explained the definition of appropriation and the why a foreigner wearing a bindi is wrong. You may not be offended but like you said yourself you havent come across indians facing discrimination. It happens A LOT and it is a problem and until Indians are treated equally almost no non-indian should wear a bindi.

          • Streby

            You talk about this alleged “appropriation” of culture as though it’s the most obvious way to look at it. You say it as if everyone who doesn’t see it the same way has been blinded and taken for a ride, just as the so-called powerful cultural forces want; and the talk about racial supremacist complexes, such as that which Dara (or should I say YG?) has displayed by wearing a bindi.

            This appropriation you project on other cultures seems to be your emphasis, except you don’t see the other end of the spectrum. Though I don’t know you and I certainly don’t judge you, it seems like some sort of cultural inferiority complex, in the larger picture of the more media prevalent and popular global cultures.

            There is something along the lines of cultural appreciation. It doesn’t have to have its roots in political powerplay, or in subtle ego clashes. An opinion about a cultural ornament such as a bindi, can be as trivial as an opinion on a colour, i.e. – “I like this bindi, I think I might wear it.” = “I like this red pair of shoes, I think I might wear them.”

            Further, in an increasingly gloabalised world culture, it is awfully inconvenient to have such an outlook about sharing tradition and customs. The very fact that this is a discussion on an international forum which is hosting discussions on contemporary Korean pop culture (which happens to be in itself heavily influenced by the west), by people of other nationalities should tell you enough about how hypocritical your stance is. One cannot take all you wish to from a world of shared ways of life, only to take your strong stance against it when someone else does the same, in their own way. Subjectivity is the core of our current world, and the heart of the prevalent philosophy.

            Anthony Appiah’s philosophy on Cosmopolitanism perfectly echoes my thoughts on this:
            “If we want to preserve a wide range of human conditions because it allows free people the best chance to make their own lives, we can’t enforce diversity by trapping people within the differences they long to escape.” – Kwame Anthony Appiah; ’The Case for Contamination: Multiculturalism as The Norm in Contemporary Africa’ [2006]. [Courtesy, Google]

            Our responsibilities aren’t just to the people we interact with and see, and that’s really the great challenge. You can’t retreat to some moral group and be partial to them. That’s just not possible. But you can’t abandon your local group either. Because that would take you too far away from your humanity. I think what we have to do, is to learn to do both.

            Forgive the length of my rant and please don’t think I have something against you because I really don’t.

          • Streby

            You talk about this alleged “appropriation” of culture as though it’s the most obvious way to look at it. You say it as if everyone who doesn’t see it the same way has been blinded and taken for a ride, just as the so-called powerful cultural forces want; and the talk about racial supremacist complexes, such as that which Dara (or should I say YG?) has displayed by wearing a bindi.

            This appropriation you project on other cultures seems to be your emphasis, except you don’t see the other end of the spectrum. Though I don’t know you and I certainly don’t judge you, it seems like some sort of cultural inferiority complex, in the larger picture of the more media prevalent and popular global cultures.

            There is something along the lines of cultural appreciation. It doesn’t have to have its roots in political powerplay, or in subtle ego clashes. An opinion about a cultural ornament such as a bindi, can be as trivial as an opinion on a colour, i.e. – “I like this bindi, I think I might wear it.” = “I like this red pair of shoes, I think I might wear them.”

            Further, in an increasingly gloabalised world culture, it is awfully inconvenient to have such an outlook about sharing tradition and customs. The very fact that this is a discussion on an international forum which is hosting discussions on contemporary Korean pop culture (which happens to be in itself heavily influenced by the west), by people of other nationalities should tell you enough about how hypocritical your stance is. One cannot take all you wish to from a world of shared ways of life, only to take your strong stance against it when someone else does the same, in their own way. Subjectivity is the core of our current world, and the heart of the prevalent philosophy.

            Anthony Appiah’s philosophy on Cosmopolitanism perfectly echoes my thoughts on this:
            “If we want to preserve a wide range of human conditions because it allows free people the best chance to make their own lives, we can’t enforce diversity by trapping people within the differences they long to escape.” – Kwame Anthony Appiah; ’The Case for Contamination: Multiculturalism as The Norm in Contemporary Africa’ [2006]. [Courtesy, Google]

            Our responsibilities aren’t just to the people we interact with and see, and that’s really the great challenge. You can’t retreat to some moral group and be partial to them. That’s just not possible. But you can’t abandon your local group either. Because that would take you too far away from your humanity. I think what we have to do, is to learn to do both.

            Forgive the length of my rant and please don’t think I have something against you because I really don’t.

          • Lavlavs

            First of all, I in NO way have a “cultural inferiority complex” whatever that is. I am fiercely proud of my people and I acknowledge how wonderful my culture and people are. When I talked about cultural appropriation, everything I stated was fact. You may connect them together differently and come to a different conclusion than me, but you can’t deny that Indians have and continue to face discrimination.

            Now you don’t have to agree with me but please listen with an open mind:
            Indians face discrimination all over the world. You may not have personally experienced or seen it but I’m sure we can both acknowledge it exists. I happen to live in a city with a large percentage of Indians and Indians here are still treated poorly. So when I get defensive talking about oppression, it is a real subject and something I witness a lot. You’re lucky you haven’t, but most Indians aren’t.

            The reason I don’t like Dara wearing a bindi is because in South Korea, Indians are treated like shit. Yes, there are Indians there and the majority of them face immense discrimination. So why is it fair for Dara to wear something “pretty” from a culture that her people looks down upon? I’m not saying she personally does and I’m not saying all Koreans do. But she is wearing the bindi as a fashion statement, not to raise awareness or fight for better treatment for Indians in Korea. THAT is why it bothers me. If Indians were treated better then sure, let her wear it. That would be true appreciation. But calling it appreciation when one society looks down upon the other doesn’t seem like true appreciation to me. So how can you condone someone wearing a bindi when their society continues to put down Indians?

            And you talk about globalization claiming my stance is hypocritical. I never said other people shouldn’t wear bindis. I’m saying that they should understand what it means to people who have been discriminated against. I have bought saris and bindis for my friends and taught them how to wear it. I love to share my culture and I love when other people share their cultures with me. That’s part of globalization. But I don’t see how Dara is “sharing” or “appreciating” Indian culture just by wearing a bindi. Other Indians feel different, like yourself, but you should at least understand (even if you don’t agree) how Indians like myself feel when we have face so much only to have our culture turn into a prop for making money. Yes that’s also globalization but I’m not going to just roll over and allow it to occur without speaking out against it.

            You said “Our responsibilities aren’t just to the people we interact with and see, and that’s really the great challenge.” And I completely agree with you and that’s why I’m trying to educate others about this. I can’t change 2NE1 or even explain to them why I don’t think they should have worn bindis. But what I can do is explain to other why it bothers me and why they should think about what an object means to another culture before donning it, no matter how pretty they think it is.

            I know this is long and I hope it doesn’t feel like a personal attack. But I hope, as one Indian to another, you can at least understand why this bothers me even if it doesn’t bother you.

          • Streby

            I understand the world is not as kind as I’d like it to be and that Indians are treated poorly because we have dark skin in South Korea. When I went for a tournament, the first thing I was asked by a majority of ajummas was how my skin was so light. But I really dont think borrowing from cultures as a fashion statement is wrong. I certainly dont know if I am offending any cultures with my outlook but I really just wear aztec prints because they look nice.

            Again I too have taught many friends how to wear saris and put flowers in their hair and bought them these much debated bindis. It would be a lie to say they understand the bindi is a symbol of hardship to keep one’s cultural identity but they like it for what its worth: its face value.

            And very technically speaking, more than for religious beliefs, the bindi was created to cover some major chakra point on the forehead.

            But I really don’t want to argue on a matter neither of us is willing to concede upon because its no longer an exchange of ideas, just a battle of opinions…

        • Sue

          Whose to say she isn’t interested in Indian Culture. We shouldn’t make assumptions like that. And there is no problem in someone wearing other peoples cultural clothing. As long a they aren’t making racist remarks or making stereotypes.

          • Lavlavs

            There is a BIG problem with people wearing others’ cultural clothes. See my below reply to Streby to see why.

  • Ignis Invictus

    I love Dara’s blonde hair. Where she wears her hair down, it was an OMG for me. The video, in general, is so un-2NE1ish in a lot of ways and I don’t mind one bit. :)

    As for I Hear Your Voice, the court drama/ending was too predictable. There’s was no corpse, ergo…. Ugh… I hate that Wednesdays and Thursdays are slow in coming because of IHYV. I want my Park Soo Ha!