Korea Wave Washes Over Indian Region

Manipur, India has fallen in love with Korean pop culture.

In Manipur, India, Bollywood is illegal, but Korean culture is all the rage. 

This installment of the BBC's Close Up series documents the suprising popularity of all things Korean in one tiny region in northeast India. When separatists banned Bollywood films, Korean exports quickly filled the void. Now Manipuris are interested in all things Korean, from movies and TV dramas to hairstyles. 

One man interviewed by the BBC explains that he enjoys the simple love stories in Korean dramas. Indeed, many have attributed the universality and simple plots of many Korean soap operas as one reason they have gained popularity around the world. Largely due to the export of its TV shows and movies, Korea has become a top exporter of cultural products, a phenomenon dubbed the "Korea Wave."

Besides the appeal of the plot lines, the BBC reports that people in Manipur feel an affinity for Korean culture—something that they don't feel about Indian culture. Manipuris even allege they feel they look more East Asian than South Asian.

Why do you think Manipuris have responded so strongly to Korean culture? Feel free to leave your comments below.