OH MY GIRL cultural appropriation controversy explained amid recent Desi culture drama

The K-pop girl group has come under fire recently (Image via wm_ohmygirl/Instagram)
The K-pop girl group has come under fire recently (Image via wm_ohmygirl/Instagram)

K-pop girl group OH MY GIRL has come under fire after appearing on the popular Korean variety show Amazing Saturday and again being accused of cultural appropriation.

After the episode surfaced on the internet, fans noticed group member Hyojung singing the song Curry by Norazo. They stated that while karaoking, the idol can also be seen making some stereotypical dance moves, thus mocking Indian/Desi culture. In the video, Hyojung can be heard singing:

"Shanti, Shanti, curry, curry, yah."

What is cultural appropriation?

According to studies, cultural appropriation is the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of some aspects of a culture by a different cultural group. It can include forms of dressing, personal adornment, music, art, religion, social behavior, or language.

This can become controversial when members or people of a dominant culture inappropriately adopt elements from minority cultures and cause havoc in the social system. The practice is often received negatively.

Fans virtually lambaste OH MY GIRL for cultural appropriation

On April 28, a snippet from the Korean television show Amazing Saturday surfaced on the internet that left several K-pop enthusiasts upset and disgruntled. Apparently, K-pop idol Hyojung was seen disrespecting Desi culture once again after mimicking certain Indian dance moves while singing the song Curry by Norazo.

Many second-generation girl groups reunited on Amazing Saturday to celebrate the television show’s 200th episode. Other second-generation K-pop idols like Taeyeon were present as well.

Guests must partake in several games in the show, such as finishing lyrics, quizzes, and tasting food from various Korean traditional markets.

However, during the karaoke session, OH MY GIRL member Hyojung received backlash for her perceived not-so-clever moves.

Soon after seeing the video, thousands of K-pop fans took to various social media platforms to call out the girl group for cultural appropriation. Fans stated that they were utterly disappointed at the members’ inappropriate behavior and reasoned why Desi voices are not heard or taken seriously when idols insult Indian culture.

Others state that this behavior isn’t something new and that OH MY GIRL has disrespected Desi culture multiple times. Many K-pop enthusiasts are not having it this time and are demanding an apology from the group members.

They also blame the band’s agency for its misguidance and lack of response.

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