[Bangkok Post] K-Pop confidential: Super fans and the craze that consumes them.


Bangkok Post, Lifestyle 5/12/2013 — written by Sithikorn Wongwudthianun

K-Pop confidential: Super fans and the craze that consumes them

‘Tings’, Thai supporters of South Korean popular culture, are derided as frivolous by some and borderline stalkers by others. But a meeting of one fan club attended by ‘Brunch’ reveals a diverse group who say they’re in it for the love

[Rain excerpt]

CLICKED WITH HER: A Girls’ Generation member posts a pic of the Thai display on her Facebook page.

CLICKED WITH HER: A Girls’ Generation member posts a pic of the Thai display on her Facebook page.


Before there was any K-Pop connection, “ting” was the word used to refer to what used to be the regulation haircuts that girls in high school had to have, no longer than the earlobe (“ting is short for “ting hu”, or earlobe).

When K-Pop first took off in Thailand, the majority of those who came out to shriek at the singers were high school girls, who were dubbed “ting Kaw-ree [Korean]”. The abbreviated ting now refers to anyone who loves South Korean pop culture, including TV shows and movies, though mainly K-Pop.

Music from South Korea has long been popular in Thailand; Rain, for example, has been unloading albums in the tens of thousands and selling out concert venues here for more than a decade.

However, the craze hit a fever pitch in 2009 when the Wonder Girls released their hit Nobody, with its seemingly inescapable _ at least if you were in clubs, then _ chorus, “I want nobody but you, I want nobody but you.”

Whereas songs by Rain and his contemporaries were hugely popular in Thailand, singing along proved difficult for Thai fans. Not so with Nobody, which was the first to crystalise what has become K-Pop’s formula for success: a catchy chorus, dance moves that are easy to mimic and a sophisticated marketing effort online and off to get the word out and bring fans together.

That song became the first South Korean song to enter Billboard’s Top 100 and K-Pop successes have come fast and frequent ever since. A sampling: Girls’ Generation’s I Got a Boy, Super Junior’s Sorry Sorry, 2NE1’s I Am the Best, K Will’s My Heart is Beating and Sistar19’s Ma Boy. And, as a peek at most screens at Bangkok internet shops would reveal, the hits are still coming.

A massive online network underpins the ting movement in Thailand. Tings communicate through online portals to watch multimedia content (music, videos and TV programmes with Thai subtitles), get information on fan club projects and keep up with the latest news on their favourite acts…

» You can read this article in its entirety and take the “Ting Test” on the Bangkok Post news site HERE. 🙂

~ by Cloud USA on May 19, 2013.

2 Responses to “[Bangkok Post] K-Pop confidential: Super fans and the craze that consumes them.”

  1. Interesting information about “ting hu” hairstyle. Isn’t that what we in USA call the “bowl” cut?


  2. I’ve noticed when looking at videos of fan groups from different countries that for some kpop is almost a religion. Some groups are just that serious about it.


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