Since coming to Banjarmasin, what I have been repeatedly reminded of was how different my lifestyle was in Sydney in comparison to Indonesia, as well as how deeply rooted they are into their traditional culture. However, interestingly, I discovered through my interview with a young girl named Dipa, who is currently studying a Mathematics course, was the surprising similarity that we shared in terms of music in Indonesia.
While chatting with Dipa, I learned that modern music in Indonesia is actually greatly influenced by mostly outside cultures. In particular, for people in Dipa’s age group and younger (around 20 years old), the most prevalent and popular music is known as ‘Korean pop’. Dipa informed me that Korean pop (known colloquially as ‘k-pop’) is hugely popular in Indonesia, especially amongst young girls. Historically, the pop industry in Indonesia has always been influenced by foreign music (Shim & Jung 2014) and that “Since the mid 2000s, K-pop has become a ‘cool’ and ‘modern’ sensation in the local pop market, a phenomenon driven in large part by the power of youth fan networks on social media” (Shim & Jung 2014). Furthermore, “Indonesia has been identified as the fastest-growing K-pop market in Southeast Asia” (Jung 2011). Judging from this, it is clear that k-pop is hugely popular and widespread in Indonesia.
Dipa also informed me that she found that girls in high school especially were very dedicated to their idols. Their huge popularity is highlighted in Samantha Hawley’s article, where Indonesian girls believe that Koreans are “very cute in terms of appearance, the colour of their skin, the colour of their eyes…” (Hawley 2016) and so Dipa’s social media would be completely full of posts relating to k-pop idols. She mentioned how heavily influenced they were by this phenomenon better known as the ‘Hallyu Wave’ and how abundant this was across mass media. This is further reinforced by Sun Jung who discovered that “Indonesian media, including television programs, pop music, books, and magazines is heavily influenced by the world beyond its borders…in the last two decades of the twentieth century, satellite and digital technologies, and the related financial integration of the world have made it infinitely more difficult to keep foreign cultural products outside national media borders” (Jung 2011).
Mashtia 2016 | The Fandom for Idols – A Survey Report on Kpop Fans in Indonesia
Notably, as I researched further into this topic, I discovered that “one of the key attractions of K-pop, according to many Indonesian fans, is its modern, cool attributes” and that it is a “carefully manufactured hybridized pop product that combines both East and West as well as global and local cultural aspects.” (Jung 2011) Dipa also mentioned that due to the massive fanbase in Indonesia that is following K-pop, concerts that are performed in Indonesia have also been drawing huge fans from all across Indonesia. As such, it “is clear that the new form of Korean Wave is adding significant cultural experiences to young Indonesian and creative industry in the country.” (Anwar, P. R & Anwar W.W 2014)
After discussing with Dipa and hearing her opinions on the influence of k-pop on modern music in Indonesia, I have discovered just how much Indonesia is continuously influenced by foreign music and styles. Through this interview and research, I have learned that the foreign music scene plays a dominant role in Indonesia’s music scene and how much mass media is able to create such a cultural globalisation. Judging from this, to what extent will this cultural globalisation affect Indonesian youths and their traditional lifestyles?
Anwar, P.R. & Anwar, W.W. 2014, ‘The Effect of Korean Wave on Young Generation and Creative Industry in Indonesia’, Modern Society and Multiculturalism, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 65-89.
Hawley, S. 2016, Music, fashion, drama: Indonesians ‘falling in love’ with South Korea, ABC News, viewed 25 January 2018, <http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-04/indonesians-in-love-with-south-korea/7899628>
Jung, S. 2011, ‘K-pop, Indonesian fandom, and social media’, Transformative Works and Cultures, vol. 8, no. 1
Mashita, F. 2016, The Fandom for Idols – A Survey Report on Kpop Fans in Indonesia, Jajak Pendapat App Blog, viewed 25 January 2018, <https://blog.jakpat.net/the-fandom-for-idols-a-survey-report-on-kpop-fans-in-indonesia/>
Shim, D & Jung, S. 2014, ‘Social distribution: K-pop fan practices in Indonesia and the ‘Gangnam Style’ phenomenon’, International Cultural Studies, vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 485-501.