When I first moved back to Canada I went through reverse culture shock much worse than I ever experienced by moving to Korea. Perhaps because I thought of moving to Korea as a wonderful adventure (and it was) or because I expected it to be different; whatever the reason, I really didn’t notice too much culture shock moving to Korea. But moving home after three years in Korea, three years during which I fell in love with Korean culture, was hard. I expected to miss my friends in Korea of course, but I didn’t expect to miss Korea itself.
So not long after I returned I started to surround myself with some of the elements I missed. I joined a language exchange group to practice and improve my Korean (and meet new friends). I found a Korean grocery store so I could continue learning how to cook Korean food and explored Koreatown in Toronto for good restaurants.
And I found places where I could watch, listen to, and buy Korean movies, dramas and music. Recently, this has become easier as iTunes Canada is carrying more and more K-pop (although I still order from YesAsia.com too). But I knew the Hallyu wave had finally arrived in Canada when Korean movies started playing in theatres here, and not just at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival). Sunny (써니), a Korean movie, is now playing in theatres and this hasn’t been the first example. I really hope the trend continues as Korea makes some fabulous movies! And speaking of TIFF, the last I heard there were two Korean movies in this year’s lineup.
We’ve also had some dancing flash mobs to try to lure some K-pop stars to perform in Toronto. And it looks like it’s working as I recently read on Soompi that U-KISS is planning to perform in Canada at the end of 2011 or in early 2012 (along with other countries). Hopefully, this is just the first of many announcements!! Big Bang, please come to Toronto too!!!!
Toronto still has a little further to go until the Hallyu Wave has truly arrived but recent signs are definitely encouraging. And I’m certainly not the only lover of Hallyu, as I mentioned above, many young Canadians have been performing K-pop dances in flash mobs to try to entice the K-pop stars (and their companies) to stage concerts in Toronto. So YG Entertainment, JYP Entertainment and SM Entertainment… come to Toronto!!!
P.S. A great site in spreading the Korean Wave or Hallyu to English speaking countries is Korea.com as can be seen in this article by The Korean Herald. And I’m not just saying that because my blog appears on the site 🙂 It’s a great resource! Other great site for Hallyu news and gossip are Soompi and AllKpop.