Origin of Oppa and Army
K-Pop fan history repeats itself
안녕하세요, it’s Ari, your friendly Korean source and your weekend reminder🎉 Today’s newsletter is about an important change of plans, origin of oppa and army, and a spicy high-carb Korean food recipe. Let’s start!
🍔 Weekly virtual Korean McDonald’s is opening on Feb 21st!
I have a new update for my virtual Korean café & restaurant. Due to technical issues, I had to cancel rehearsal days last week 🙏 While I was searching how to solve the issues, I found a much easier way to run my virtual café & restaurant: Instagram live. My original plan was to use Zoom & YouTube but it takes many software and complicated streaming works. But if I use Instagram live, all I need is my phone and participants don’t have to schedule visit in advance. Also I don’t need to collect a fee for scheduling a visit since I don’t need to use paid software!
Another important change is that it’s gonna be a weekly virtual McDonald’s where you can order in Korean, not just an imaginary café or restaurant. I thought it would be much easier to order since many of you already know the menu. Just come to my live, make a request to join, and after your request is accepted, order your favorite McDonald’s menu and have a small talk with me in Korean. If you don’t want your face to be shown, you can always show me your bias instead :D You can make it as a mini Korean speaking test or a hangout with me or a real-life burger time? (though you should prepare a ‘real’ burger for yourself;). Our goal is to be able to order like Chae Song-hwa in Hospital Playlist. (Kidding! Even Koreans can’t do this 😅) See you on Monday (probably Sunday in your time zone) 👋
Opening hours: 6:30 - 7:30 am Monday KST starting from February 21st
📢 P.S. Now my new project is ready, The Legit Korean is back to weekly newsletter/podcast from next week (with a new mini Korean lesson)!
🎵 Origin of Oppa and Army
If you've been listening to my podcast, you might know that my new year's resolution is to move out of my parent's house. But as much as I want to live by myself, I love living with my family, especially when watching YouTube on TV together. Our current obsession is watching videos of old legendary Korean singers who were popular during 80's. They were idols of my parent's generation. Their style is very different from current K-Pop idols. They're mostly solo and lyrics are 100% Korean.
Jo Yong-pil ☝ is a legendary Korean singer who championed almost all music awards during 80's and has a record of the largest concert attendance of about 100,000. He's 71 years old now and still goes on tour all over the country. I dare say every single Korean, except for infants, knows at least three or more of his songs. He's one of the first singers who had a group of fans following him everywhere he sings. This group was called 오빠부대 which means “Oppa Army.” (So we had another Army 💜 about 40 years ago!) Before him, 오빠 (oppa) only meant “an older brother/man” for girls. After him, girls started to use the word for calling their favorite male star. 오빠부대 is even listed in Standard Korean Language Dictionary.
Decades has passed from since. The girls who followed Jo Yong-pil is now in their fifties and sixties. They now have daughters who are following K-Pop idols. They must’ve thought their time as a fan has gone until a recent audition TV program reignited their old passion. Mr. Trot ☝, a male trot singer audition program, was the biggest-hit show in 2020 with whopping 35% rating. Trot is a kind of Korean folk music that old Koreans love. The program was basically Produce 101 for old Koreans. Many handsome and young trot singers performed on the stage asking for fans’ vote to be Mr. Trot, the first prize.
Their fans who are mostly 50 or 60 something Korean women worked hard to give the prize to their favorite singer. They learned how to vote on Internet and how to stream songs from their K-Pop fan children. Even though the program has ended, the singers are still super popular and they’re being called, “Trot idols.” Recently, a mom who is a trot idol’s fan and her daughter who is a fan of NCT, a K-Pop boy group, was on TV. They showed their house. The living room was decorated with a trot singer’s pictures and merch while the daughter’s room was filled with NCT’s pics and albums. They had a (kind-of staged) argument over their idols, “NCT members are very handsome,” the daughter said, “Jang Min-ho (a trot idol) is much more handsome than NCT,” the mom argued. 😅 Despite of the cute argument, it looked like they deeply understand each other as a fan.
It’s interesting to see moms who were “Oppa Army” becoming fangirls again after many years with the help of their K-Pop fan daughters. Moms used to not like their daughters following K-Pop idols and spending money on them. But now daughters are helping them to book a concert ticket (I did too for my mom and mom’s friends) and even they go to a concert together (A daughter lined up to buy merch while her mom enjoys a trot idol's concert). K-Pop fan history repeats itself and, while doing so, it’s helping the relationship between Korean moms and daughters 👩👧
🍜 Tteokbokki + Ramyeon = Rabokki
Today’s super-easy-to-make Korean food is rabokki which is a combined word of tteokbokki and ramyeon. It’s basically tteokbokki with ramyeon noodle. It’s one of the most popular variations of the Korean spicy food along with cheese tteokbokki and rose tteokbokki. Since it’s so popular, you can easily find it on almost every tteokbokki restaurant’s menu in the country. I found a cooking video for this food ☝ (You can find the list of ingredients in English in the description of the video.) Watch the video and try for yourself!
😋 Pro tips: I recommend you to eat this food with a boiled egg. It will add some protein to this high-carb food. You can also add a teaspoon of curry powder when cooking. Curry flavor goes very well with tteokbokki.
Thanks for reading! If you liked my newsletter, ❤ or share it to make my day :D Leave a question or what you want to know about my country in comments. See you next week, Monday (virtual McDonald’s on Instagram) and Friday as usual! 안녕👋