Impact And The Socioeconomic Changes Media

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Korean programs attribute the Korean nationalism of showing the unique of Korean way of thinking and mode of living. The Korean programs are based on global universalism which can acceptable for anyone despite of gender, race or religion. Due to the Korean culture have great impact towards Malaysians, they may have been attracted to the nice view of the Korea landscape, unique Korean ways of thinking and living, snow in winter, foliage in autumn, traditional costume and foods, which they have never seen these kinds of things in Malaysia (Cho, 2010).

The Korean Wave trend in Malaysia has brought sociocultural and economic changes that are different from the changes occurring before the introduction of the trend. First of all, sociocultural changes include more favourable views of Korea, greater interest in South Korea's society and culture, including the Korean language and Korean studies, and Malaysians' changed way of thinking and mode of living. Next, economic changes include Malaysians' higher preference of Korean food, more Malaysians' visit to South Korea for tourist purposes, and more Malaysians' purchase of South Korean goods.

Sociocultural Changes:More favorable views of Korea

The Korean Wave trend in Malaysia has led Malaysians to have a better understanding of Korea's society and culture, helping them to have more favorable views of Korea. (Ha, Bongjoon, 2006).

As there are no available data on the Malaysians' views of Korea that were compiled before the introduction of the Korean Wave, it is not proper to say that Malaysians' positive views of Korea as seen in the 2006 survey are the outcome of the Korean Wave in Malaysia. However, it is possible to conclude that Malaysia's acceptance of the Korean Wave has not given Malaysians negative images of Korea.

Greater interest in Korea's society and culture

The Korean Wave trend in Malaysia has led Malaysians to take greater interest in Korea's society and culture and therefore stimulated curiosity about the Korean language and Korean studies. Such a high interest in Korea's society and culture will lead to an academic curiosity of the Korean language and Korean studies (Ha, Bongjoon, 2006).

Currently, the Korean language education is being conducted at several Malaysian universities, including UM, UKM, UPM, UiTM, and SNU, with about 200 to 300 students taking the course at each university. Unfortunately, teacher shortage is becoming a problem. As such, private tutoring institutes have opened Korean language courses. The number of Korean language students is smaller in Malaysia than in any other Southeast Asian nation. In other Southeast Asian countries, people's enthusiasm about the Korean language runs high. Hence high fever of the Korean language study and a large number of students, as good command of the Korean language is directly linked to finding jobs. In contrast to other Southeast Asian nations, Malaysia maintains relatively stable economic growth rates. As such,

Malaysia has a smaller number of Korean language students and their relatively lower enthusiasm. But Malaysians' enthusiasm about the Korean language is quite a different case of Korean Wave trend, as it is based on their interest in the Korean culture and their academic curiosity.

At the present, UM is the only Malaysian learning institution that offers Korean studies. The university began Korean studies education by opening the Korean

Studies Program within the framework of the Department of Asian Studies in 1997.

In the early days, there were only three or four students attending Korean studies.

In the academic years 2002/2003 and 2003/2004, there was no student at all. But 10 students were enrolled in Korean studies in the academic year 2004/2005, with 8 students in the year 2005/2006. Now in the academic year 2006/2007, 11 students are enrolled in Korean studies. We can now say that Korean studies programs in Malaysia are in a stable status. The Korean Wave trend in Malaysia may have an indirect relationship with the increasing interest in Korean studies.

The current and future Korean-Malaysian relations need more experts in

Korean language and Korean studies and in Malay and the Malaysian studies. Both countries should pay more attention and give more support to the development of the Malay language and Malaysian studies programs, as well as Korean language and Korean studies programs.

Changes in Malaysians' way of thinking and mode of living

The Korean Wave trend in Malaysia may have the possibility of bringing changes to Malaysians' way of thinking and mode of living by allowing them to have access to the Korean way of thinking and living. The most immediate changes include efforts of Malaysian people and students to gather information on South Korean TV dramas, films, and entertainers, and to form fraternities to share this information. Teoh Chit Hwa, a Malaysian resident who has caused a stir by announcing his donation of internal organs after death, was reportedly influenced by a South Korean TV drama. Health Ministry parliamentary secretary Datuk Lee Kah Choon said superstitious beliefs had been hampering efforts to get people to donate their organs. When the media highlighted Chit Hwa's noble act, it created a lot of public awareness on organ donation (The Star, Jan. 5, 2006).

The Korean people's sense of community, diligence and good manners as seen in South Korean TV dramas and movies can give positive influence to the Malaysian society. In this sense, the Korean Wave trend is a new type of "East Look Policy" that has come into shape from down below in a civic society. As everything has double sides, South Korea and Malaysia should join hands to ensure that the Korean Wave trend gives affirmative impact to the Malaysian society.

Economic Changes:Preference of Korean food

The Korean Wave trend in Malaysia has helped Malaysians take greater interest in Korean food by allowing them a glimpse of Korean traditions and food. Among other things, A Jewel in the Palace featuring traditional Korean food played a major role in bringing these changes to Malaysia. In actuality, five new Korean restaurants named "Daejanggeum" (A Jewel in the Palace) have opened in Kuala Lumpur. Thanks to the boom of the Korean Wave trend, exports of kimchi to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia have largely increased, with the volume of kimchi export to Malaysia increasing 150 percent (Joongang Daily, Nov. 10, 2005). This tells us that we should make efforts to develop Korean food palatable to Malaysians.

The Korean Wave in Malaysia has led many Malaysians to visit South Korea for tourist purposes. According to Ham Kyung-joon, director of the Korea National Tourism Organization's Kuala Lumpur Office, the KNTO has recently successfully persuaded a group of 2,700 tourists-from "Great Eastern," Malaysia's largest life insurance company, and "Elken Group"-to visit South Korea for tourist purposes. He said he was able to persuade them to visit South Korea by actively publicizing tourist themes: traditional Korean food, including "samgyetang" (chicken broth with ginseng and other ingredients) introduced by "A Jewel in the Palace," a "Nanta" percussion performance, and ski resorts (Joongang Daily, Mar. 29, 2006). In this sense, the Korean Wave trend in Malaysia is closely related to tours of South Korea.

In order to remove Malaysians' inconvenience in terms of food and language barrier, Muslim restaurants have opened at major tourist resorts and the Malaysia culture wave has arisen in South Korea to understand the Malaysian society and culture (Joongang Daily, Mar. 29, 2006). The Korean Wave in Malaysia is reversely giving rise to the Malaysia wave in South Korea and is contributing to strengthening bilateral ties.

Promotion of Korean audio/visual products

The Korean Wave in Malaysia may encourage Malaysians to purchase Korean goods by allowing them a glimpse of Korean society and culture. The popularity of South Korean TV dramas has greatly influenced the sale of IT-related goods such as cellular phones and MP3 players, as well as videos and CDs. CD shops at large shopping malls operate separate corners named "corners of the original sound tracks of Korean TV dramas." South Korean music CDs and DVDs and copies of South Korean celebrities' photos are selling like hot cakes.

On the back of the booming Korean Wave trend, South Korean IT goods are also expanding their market in Malaysia. Personal computers sold over 10 percent more in November 2005 than 37 billion dollar-worth of computers sold in 2004. The sale of cellular phones posted 241.29 million dollars, up about 5 percent year-on-year. The sale of MP3P exceeded 260,000 dollars as of November 2005, up 70 percent from the previous year (Segye Daily, Feb. 1, 2006).

According to the Samsung Economic Research Institute's report entitled "Ways to Maintain the Korean Wave and Corporate Strategies," the expansion process of the Korean Wave is categorized into four stages - spread of pop culture purchase of derivatives (cultural content, tourism, cosmetics) purchase of South Korean goods ® preference of South Korean goods (Joongang Daily, Jul. 7, 2005). Based on this categorization, the Korean Wave in Malaysia is currently at a transition period between the purchase of derivatives and that of South Korean goods.

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