Interestingly, this video on its own has opened up the Korean culture to mainstream. As a middle-aged woman, I first heard about this song at the ChuSeok celebration this past September. At which time, my twelve-year-old son gave me the “Seriously, Mom, you haven’t heard this?” look.
So now, it has finally reached my sphere and entered Glee. This week, the Glee cast will perform their version of this song.
The question this brings to my mind is “How does Jenna Ushkowitz feel in all this?” The actress is a Korean adoptee, like myself. From this snippet, it appears that she feels somewhat out of place trying to learn the correct Korean pronunciation.
Here is a glimpse of what we all as Asian adoptees feel at some point in our lives. We desperately feel that we are just like any other American. Yet, we are lumped in the Asian category, and in Ushkowitz case, we are typecast as the Asian student … overachiever, dating within our race, going to “Asian” camp.
We aren’t as simplified as that, but the media portrays us all as stereotypes to some degree. To be fair, Glee works in these stereotypes for all its characters.
I’ll sit back this week and enjoy the Glee version of Gangnam Style with Jenna Ushkowitz giving it her best Korean performance! Perhaps we will see more character development as well.
So, it’s hip to be Korean, at least to dance to Gangnam Style!