K-pop is kind of a big deal in Myanmar. How big?
Since 2013, the majority of international artists to have played concerts here have been K-pop stars – 2NE1 in 2014, BTS in 2015, and EXO in 2017 (we know, they’re all about the acronyms) – and they’ve packed out stadiums with adoring fans.
But if you want a real sense of just how dedicated Burmese fans are to K-pop, look no further than this epic viral video shared over 6,000 times that came out yesterday and features about 200 K-pop fans dancing their K-pop-loving butts off at a Mandalay supermarket flash mob for 40 minutes on Tuesday as the music rapidly bounced between songs in a “random play” format.
What’s random play? Glad you asked.
Apparently, a countdown from five begins before 30 seconds of the chorus of a popular K-pop song is played. If you know the dance, you can jump in the middle of the square like our friends here at Mingalar Mandalay and join in the fun.
The songs ranged all the way from rising stars like BLACKPINK (who saw their TV ad in Indonesia get nixed this week for sexiness) and MOMOLAND to legends like 2NE1.
Sometimes, practically the entire group joined in. On less-familiar songs, maybe only one or two of the flash mobbers were showing off their dance abilities as the crowd cheered them on.
Although the video lasts 40 minutes, the energy is so contagious that you just might end up watching the whole thing.
The flash mob organizers, a group calling themselves Anonymous Dance Skool, told Coconuts Yangon (anonymously, of course) that they’d been eyeing a chance to highlight the country’s K-pop dancing skills for awhile now.
“It takes years of practice to be able to hold a successful random play, and we were proud to show it off,” they told us.
K-dramas, of course, have been a staple of Myanmar’s entertainment scene long before K-pop captured the imaginations of Myanmar’s youth, often appearing on state-run channels with Burmese subtitles.
According to Yonhap, an English-language Korean news agency, Myanmar showed more than 10 Korean programs per day in 2016.