Recently there has been a massive influx of cultural norms from western countries and the long-lost Eastern neighbour. Taking cue from Pakistan’s beloved frenemy to the West, Valimas have been replaced by Receptions; the three customary wedding festivals of Mehndi, Barat and Valima have been reduced to one function known as ‘Shendi’ or ‘Shalima’ (Note: this does not include the sangeet nights, mayons, and rang functions). Inspired by India’s budding Bollywood industry, dancing has been infused into every possible activity. Marketing mavens all over Pakistan have rejoiced; for the only fool proof way to make sales is to have a theme song and a team of 30 or so dancers parading around in a haveli or a fort.
However, there is another country, located to Pakistan’s East (way way out to the East) that has been making waves globally.
Hint: It’s northern half is governed by this guy:
Say hello to the North’s non-threatening and culturally rich neighbour, South Korea!
South Korea has some of the best things to offer when it comes to dramas, music and beauty. Let’s take the plunge:
K-Dramas are fresh, culturally appealing and offer lots of eye candy. Another plus: most K-Dramas are G-rated and appropriate for audiences of all ages. The Korean entertainment industry is booming right now. Subtitles make the dramas easy to watch and their availability on Netflix and other popular streaming sites only adds to the appeal. After watching a season or two, it’s easy to get down with the lingo and any newbie can say common phrases such as ‘kam-sa-ham-ni-da’ (thank you) and ‘joesonghaeyo’ (sorry).
A personal favourite is the phrase ‘Ottoke’ which translates to ‘What to do?’; a phrase often used in times of duress.
A few notable mentions:
Boys Over Flowers
Descendants of The Sun
Goblin: The Lonely and Great God
Surprisingly, the ‘K’ in this situation does not stand for Kardashian. In the cosmetic industry dominated by vivid colours, over the top make-up trends and contour kits, K-beauty offers a refreshing alternative. The standards of beauty in Korea are exceptionally high and their make-up and skin-care lines are constantly evolving to stay up to par. Korean beauty products have become a worldwide phenomenon.
Feel like getting your hands on some Korean products?
For those of us who do not reside in South Korea or live within the vicinity of Sephora, MIMO by M, an authorised supplier, brings the creme de la creme of K-beauty products and the latest K-beauty trends to not only Pakistan, but your doorstep.
A few products to get you started on your K-Beauty journey:
Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop and Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask
In the day and age of harsh products and sun damage, Klairs offers a gentle alternative for all skin types especially sensitive skin.
Leegeehaam Tea Tree Mist Toner
Summers are coming and who wouldn’t want a refreshing mist toner formulated with 70% of Tea Tree extract to help soothe blemish-prone skin and help improve skin tone and texture?
Huxley Oil Light and More
Need a luxe cocktail of organic oils with anti-aging benefits? Look no further!
So which K-beauty product will you try first?
Click here to browse the entire product range!
Galbi (marinated short ribs), Bibimbap (rice with beef, vegetables and red chilli paste) and Kimchi jiggae (kimchi stew) are a few popular Korean dishes that have crossed the border and made strongholds worldwide. The Korean cuisine is delicious, healthy and an insta-foodie addict’s dream!
Feel like having some udon noodles? Go on ahead!
Lahore – Udon House has a 4/5 rating on trip adviser and is known to serve authentic Korean cuisine.
Karachi – Spicogetti, Market-Modern Asian Kitchen, Valletta’s Kitchen offer Korean food for delivery via Food Panda.
Islamabad – Sukhi Sushi is a common destination for tourists and locals who are fans of the Korean cuisine.
All things K-Pop
Gangnam Style officially put K-Pop on the global radar. And since then K-Pop has just gotten bigger and bigger. The costumes and colours in the music videos are mesmerising. K-pop gets 10/10 for storytelling, fashion and personality. Not to mention the amazing choreography that makes you wonder if all Koreans are triple jointed.
This song might just be your latest obsession:
And when you need a little bit of motivation, just say “Fighting!!!” like the Koreans do and carry on!