Gangnam's serious side!


By Hindustan Times

New Delhi, Oct. 19 -- While YouTube has more than 48crore hits and counting - making the song Gangnam Style a kind of an anthem for its generation - many are unaware of the fact, that it also acts as a veiled satire of a certain section of South Korean contemporary society.


In an interesting study reported on, the conceptual psyche behind Park Jae-sang (who performs as Psy) and his music tells the tale of Starbucks-obsessed lavish spenders of Gangnam.

"The video lampoons (Gangnam neighbourhood's) self-importance and ostentatious wealth, with Psy playing a clownish caricature of a Gangnam man. Subtle references that, along with the song itself, suggest a subtext with a surprising message about class and wealth in contemporary South Korean society," says the story.

It goes on to carry the comments of Adrian Hong, a Korean-American consultant and an observer of issues in Korea. Hong explains that the video is actually a satirical take on South Korea's steep credit card debt rate. He further adds statistics that say that in 2010, the average household carried credit card debt was worth a shocking 155% of the residents' income. "The neighborhood in Gangnam is not just a nice town or nice neighborhood. The kids that he's (Psy) talking about are not Silicon Valley self-made millionaires. They're overwhelmingly trust-fund babies and princelings. Koreans have been kind of caught up in this spending to look wealthy and Gangnam has really been the leading edge of that," Hong is is quoted as saying.

He further adds, "The video is about the character in the video thinking that he's a hotshot, but realising he's just at a children's playground, or thinking he's playing polo or something and realising he's on a merry-go-round." Quoting Korean blogger Jea Kim, the article further explains "The video is a satire about Gangnam itself but also, it's about how people outside Gangnam pursue their dream to be one of those Gangnam residents without even realising what it really means.