Oppan Gangnam Style! Psy comes home to Korea in triumph.
Park Jae-sang, better known as 'Psy', played a free concert last night in Seoul after his viral hit song 'Gangnam Style' broke YouTube records and shot him to international stardom.
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“People like American culture,” says Han Koo-hyun, director of the Korean Wave Research Institute here. “Then they found similar and friendly culture from Korea. We made the Korean wave from American culture.”Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Gangnam Style Around the World
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Mr. Han acknowledges “some people dislike American culture” but says the relationship between Korean and American styles is unavoidable. “Why not French or Japanese or Chinese?” he asks. “They have their own culture. It’s not familiar to the people of the world. We accepted American culture.”
The Korean wave
At last night’s concert, the Korean wave, or hallyu, lapped up on Korean shores after having washed over audiences from Japan to the US, from China to Europe. Here was the wave’s biggest sensation running through one number after another, responding to shouts in English of “encore, encore” with still more singing and dancing.
“Gangnam Style,” of course, had to be the number the audience wanted most. Psy saved it for rather late in the show, then still later did it again.
“Usually people don’t sing the same thing twice,” he said, imploring the audience to join in. “The first part you will sing, and the second part I will sing.”
The song gives an impression of rich sensuality, of the high life where high-end department stores, coffee shops, restaurants and nightclubs vie for customers, nowhere so much as in the Gangnam district south of the Han River that bisects the capital.
“I am Gangnang style,” begin the lyrics in tough translation. “During the day, I am warm and kind as you. At night my heart bursts, I am such a man.” And then comes the refrain, almost shouted, “Beautiful, lovely, hey it’s you, it’s you,” – “from now, lets take it to the limit, Gangnam style.”
It’s the video, the moves of Psy and the dancers, that complete the song – shots of Psy dancing among smart cars, in a park, by the river, among beautiful women. The most famous shot may be Psy dancing toward the camera in between rows of horses in a stable, all to the high-stepping, arm swinging motion of what’s called the horse dance.
The concert was all free, a gift from Psy and the Seoul metropolitan government, which picked up the tab for the lighting and sound equipment, the towering video screens – and security. Psy and his dancers and crew worked for nothing to show his gratitude to the people of Seoul, and the rest of Korea, watching live on TV.