To be real honest, I’m really amazed by myself for being a kpop fan for ten years. That’s like almost half of my life (as of today LOL). It has been a decade omg.
I started to know about kpop since 2005 or 2006 I guess. Back then there were ten times MUCH LESSER groups. The hit group was only TVXQ (Dong Bang Shin Ki / 동방신기 / 東方神起). You see every schools have their own group of “TVXQ dance group”. The hit song was Rising Sun.
This was way before Sorry Sorry, Nobody, and Gee released. Not many people knows about kpop back then. I don’t think this “kpop” term even exist in 2006.
I started to be a kpop fan in 2007, when my all-time-favorite kpop boy band debut. Note, BOY BAND, not a boy dance group. They are FTISLAND. I believe friends who know me since secondary school or uni days would know how much I love them lol but if you don’t know who are they it’s okay, they are not mainstream boy band now lolol.
2007 was the year when Wonder Girls, Girls’ Generation and KARA debut. The good WonSoKa days. That was the time where kpop were spread to more places. More people from all over the world started to know about Kpop. All the shops in the malls were blasting “I want nobody nobody but you” and in 2008 or 2009 the shops started to blast “Sorry Sorry” and “Gee gee gee gee baby baby baby“. Even until now, I still hear shops playing Nobody, Gee and Sorry Sorry.
When kpop was not popular, those artistes don’t even have an official Facebook page. They started with things like Me2day. Me2day is something like China’s Weibo. Mainly only Koreans are using it. And it took me so long to translate word by word to registered for an account. (Seriously those who knows about Me2day are as old as me. Me2day shut down a few years back probably due to the rise of all kinds of social media)
After that we see artistes slowly created their own twitter account and be super excited about it. And then company set up an official Facebook page for them. Official YouTube channel. Talking about YouTube, back then there is no such thing as HD. Most of the videos released before 2010 were all 480P THE HIGHEST.
Yes, so as a Kpop fan for 10 years, what is my thought in this 10 years?
Ask: How to maintain as a fan of FTISLAND for 10 years?
To be real honest, I have no idea. Because I’m already a fan, so each time when they comeback with new album, I will still listen to them. Of course, in the past ten years, I do (or I did) got attracted by other groups too. SHINee, Girls’ Generation, f(x), CNBLUE, KARA, Girl’s Day etc etc etc. But feels. The feels is different. To me, if I didn’t start to be a fan of a group since they debut. No matter how much I love the group, it will never be the same feel as compared to group that you stan since their debut days. I guess that’s what makes me a fan of FTISLAND, until today.
Ask: Do you stan any other groups?
Yes, I do. AOA (Ace of Angels) and SF9 (Sensational Feeling 9). AOA is a 7 person girl group and SF9, a 9 person boy group. These 2 groups are also under the same company as FTISLAND, which is FNC Entertainment. If FTISLAND is the first boy band that debut under FNC Ent, then AOA and SF9 are the first girl group and the first boy group. Well, I guess I owed the CEO of FNC Ent some money in my past life so now he is back with these 3 groups sucking my money. LOL. Joking. But you get what I mean.
Ask: Have you met any of them or attend any of their concert/fanmeeting?
A yes, and no. Yes for FTISLAND. I attended their fanmeeting and concert in Malaysia on 2012. And also, just two weeks ago, I attended their concert in Singapore. No for AOA and SF9. Thought of attending AOA’s first ever concert in Seoul in March 2017, but the date is too near to my Japan trip 😦 Well it’s ok. Next time.
Ask: Why you like them so much? It’s not like they know who are you.
Erm, ask yourself? Do your favorite artiste knows your existence? If yes, congrats. It means you attends many events. If no, then please read the question again 🙂
Ask: Do you understand Korean? Why are you listening to Korean why you don’t understand?
I do not understand a single thing. I probably only understand “Saranghaeyo, means I Love You” because of JJ Lin’s song. Me, same with each and every kpop fans who started to know about kpop during that 2007-2009 era. We want to get to know more about our idol. What they said, what they tweet, what the posted. And not to forgot, to know how to sing their Korean songs.
I was only 14 when FTISLAND debut in 2007, not much resource to learn Korean when I can’t even go online anytime I want. Only started to learn when I was 16 or 17 I guess. How? Look for the list of Korean vocals and consonant sheet, and then memorize. The best way to remember all the vocals and consonant is to learn to write your oppa’s name and to romanized the lyrics. Slowly combine and read one by one. Before you even bother to know what does it means, just focus on how to read first.
The “reading” is actually not that hard. It is like malay where you combine the “suku kata” and just read it. If you can remember the vowels and consonant, then reading shouldn’t be a problem already, minus some exceptional pronunciation, you can still read 85% of it.
Ask: Can you fully understand Korean now?
Of course, NO. Maybe only 30%. Self learning is not really an effective way to me. When you don’t understand the grammar but there is no one you can ask. Korean grammar is not like English or Chinese or Malay, they have their own ways. Freaking hard. I personally think that my vocab is not bad, but forming sentences is damn horrible, that’s why even until now, I can understand some simple conversation but I don’t know how to reply.
Do read my friend’s post about self-learning Korean HERE 🙂
Ask: What are the other things you gained as a kpop fan?
A stronger heart? LOL. Korean medias are always like this. They will report about dating scandals of 2 popular artistes, to cover up their politics scandal. Dispatch media did it best. Every time when Dispatch reported about a new couple, fans are hoping it will not be their favorite artiste, because Dispatch’s report is always right and accurate LMAO. (Their most failed report was Lee Jong Suk – Park Shin Hye because both of them denied lol)
Artiste dating is one thing, there’s also thing like fanwar. Fanwar is the most horrible thing ever. (roll eyes) There are a few fandoms who are very horribly behave and they are also very popular in creating fanwar. They can fight for the most ridiculous thing. For example: selca of 2 idols of different groups. I used to hate some fandom too (aiya 誰沒有過去) but now I’m like ?!?!?! Just FTS 老娘 don’t have time for these childish war -.-
Member quitting group and/or adding a new member to the group also train the fans to have a stronger heart. So many groups out there had a change of member before, including FTISLAND and AOA. How to not have a strong heart you tell me? 강심장 it is!
Other than a stronger heart, of course I do make friends with kpop fans and meet great people in life. I joined K-Gen because of Kpop and I had good 3 years of uni life with the K-Genians. Friend that I know online when I was 17, now in Taylor’s as my juniors. 3 friends from Penang whom I went FTISLAND concert with, are now all working in Singapore and we just met up a few hours ago. 1 Taiwan kpop friend that i know, happened to be my friend’s senior when she went study in Taiwan. Another kpop fan that I know, have a friend that was in the same class with me during uni days. The travel partners to Taiwan and Japan, are kpop fans too. How small can the world be?
Ask: Are you going to attend Korean class?
Yes, of course. But Korean class in Singapore is really not cheap, in fact it is freaking expensive laaaa !!! But I think I should spend more time (
and money at the same time) doing sometime more productive and meaningful rather than rotting in my bed during my off day (although sometimes, you know, it is damn 幸福 to have time to rot in the bed all day err day !!! 너무 행복해 !!)
Thinking that Korean is my all time favorite foreign language. I really want to master it. Yes, it is a long way to go. But I wish to go as far as I can. At least to the point where I can watch dramas and variety shows without subtitle. The feeling of being able to understand a foreign language without subtitle is incredible.