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The K-Wave in Udupi—Hallyu Fest 2019

The Kpop/Kdrama wave has recently washed over the world and Manipal and Udupi are no exception to this rising phenomenon with a major increase in its following in the last year.  In August, Udupi saw the organization of its first Korean culture festival—Hallyu Fest, in reference to the word Hallyuthe name given to the spread of South Korea’s art and culture in other nations around the world. The fest was held on Sunday, 25th August at the Hindi Prachara Samiti Hall in Thenkpete, Udupi. The gates opened at around 11 AM with the event eventually going on till 5 PM.

Those passionate about Kpop and Kdrama found a welcoming and cheerful atmosphere at the fest, where they interacted with new people and shared their common interests.  “It was my first time at an event like this so I was very curious as to how it would be. I was really happy to meet so many people who were strangers but were united by their taste in music and the culture”, said Madhulika Kanchi, one of the participants. There was also unofficial merchandise being sold, which had been provided by the organisers of the event. Photocards, posters, badges, key chains, albums and more were available for fans to buy. The fest took an interactive turn with games such as Guess the Song/Drama and Random Dance Challenge being played during the event. Although there were a few technical issues regarding sound and video, these were resolved as quickly as possible. Soon enough, participants sang along to their favourite songs and some even showed off their skills on stage.  The attendees looked overjoyed at meeting other people who shared their interests. “It was really nice.  A gathering of such a kind on something like this feels very welcoming, warm and close to home. Not a lot of people understand me when it comes to this and not a lot try to. So, an event of this sort hits all the right chords for me”, said Disha G K, a local resident.

Through their common taste in music, the participants of the fest came together to support each other and enjoy the event that was dedicated to fans. After a group picture to commemorate the event, the fest came to an end with many left asking when the next fest would be held and promising to attend. They took home new merchandise, new contacts, and many new memories of the great experience they enjoyed.

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