Meet Daebak! They’re the official K-Pop Club at the University of Alberta, and they just finished their first semester as a club.
On April 28, they hosted their inaugural event — Running Man UAlberta Edition!
The group organized several games inspired from the loved show including Shake Off Post-It Notes, Jump into the Photo Frame, Telepathy Game and more. After lunch, they played the classic Chase and Seek game — with velcro name tags & bells on the shoes too!
Check out my re-cap video of the Running Man Event!
During the lunch hour, I interviewed some of the participants to hear about their experiences with K-Pop and Korea. Some of the people I interviewed are first-generation Canadians, some are Korean, and some were non-Korean international students too.
I filmed all four interviews but due to a mishap with my editing software and my camera, two of the interviews got deleted. However, I did record the audio of all the interviews here and put together the transcriptions for the deleted interviews here.
Meet Team Oscar, made up of Daniel (Kinesiology), Carolyn (Economics), Lillian (Business), and Taekwan (Immunology).
All of the team members (except Taekwan) have been avid Running Man fans for years.
The girls are fans of BTS, Infinite, and DBSK. Daniel said he likes Red Velvet and Taekwan said his favourite artist is Hyukoh. Since Hyukoh isn’t an “idol” but more of an indie band, albeit signed under HIGHGRND (sister company to YG Entertainment), I asked Taekwan if he considers Hyukoh to be part of the K-Pop scene.
“I consider them to be part of K-Pop since they contribute to the mainstream music industry”, he said. Fair enough, and I agree although many would not. To me K-Pop means “popular music in Korea” so if it’s on the TOP 100 charts in Korea, it’s K-Pop to me.
Daniel was introduced to K-Pop 3 or 4 years ago by friends that like K-Pop while Lillian and Carolyn are from China and have liked K-Pop for almost 8 years. Taekwan moved to Edmonton 7 years ago from Seoul and appreciates that people love K-Pop, as it is a part of his culture.
“Sometimes my non-Korean friends know more than me (about what’s going on Korea) and they tell me about it”, he remarked.
Beyond the entertainment business, Daniel would like to learn how to cook Korean cuisine. Him and the girls are taking Korean class at the U of A. They’re also interested in learning about Korean fashion and visiting Busan or Jeju Island. Although Taekwan is from Korea he hasn’t been to Jeju Island before, and would like to go someday!
Team Slay Kids:
Team Slay Kids is made of Justin (Accounting), Shirin (Business), Jecelyn (Sciences), Kevin (Civil Engineering), Alicia (Criminology).
Overall, this team was made up of long time K-Pop fans who have enjoyed Running Man for quite some time. The newest fans were Kevin and Alicia who started liking K-Pop at the beginning of University. Justin, Shirin, and Jecelyn have liked K-Pop for several years and loved groups like B2ST, MBLAQ, DBSK, and SHINee. Thanks to word of mouth from each other and from some of Daebak’s executive members, they got to participate in the Running Man event.
Alicia’s favourite group is MonstaX, because they have a fresh new sound. Kevin’s interest was peaked by the talented and attractive artists. Now he likes the music a lot and all K-Pop is very catchy and the lyrics are meaningful.
Justin has also been a fan of Korean music for a long time, especially slow ballads like On Rainy Days by B2ST and Hello by NU’EST. These days, he likes the meaningful BTS songs like Spring Day, I NEED U, and Butterfly.
Jecelyn has liked K-Pop since she was in Grade 2 but has had phases where she goes in and out of the fandom. BTS made her get into K-Pop again recently because of their lyrics, especially the song “Spring Day”. When she was going through a hard time last year, the lyrics helped her get through it.
“The lyrics helped me a lot during sad times and made me think of happy memories”, she gushed. I could totally relate with this because the song “Spring Day” has a very special place in my heart as well.
Shirin is a case in which she liked Asian music in general, including Mandarin and Japanese music too. What got her into K-Pop was the members’ personalities that you see on reality shows.
“You end up loving the members for their personalities and not just the music,” she confessed.
This team also has interest in travelling to Korea and personally try things they’ve seen online. Alicia would like to invest into more health and beauty products, while Kevin has a friend who is getting married in Korea and would like to use the opportunity to see what Seoul’s clubbing and nightlife is like. Jecelyn would like to see what the food stalls treats are like, and Daniel is also interested in the food plus visiting famous drama filming locations. Shirin just wants to see how advanced things are in Korea as she knows the history of how hard they worked to get to where they are.
You can see the other two interviews I held on my YouTube channel here:
Is there a K-Pop club on your campus? What kind of people participate in their events and initiatives?