I got into K-pop in 2015 or so and perhaps the most difficult thing about it is being an international fan. Now as time passes, things are getting easier for many fans outside South Korea; more artists are expanding their tours and visiting countries they haven’t before. For example G-Dragon embarked on his first ever European solo tour last year, which is a big deal. However for fans in India and many other countries, things still remain tough.
So without further ado, here are some of the struggles of being an international K-pop fan:
1. Buying the albums
I remember how hard it was when I wanted to buy BTS’ WINGS but saw that it wasn’t available on iTunes India. I had to order it all the way from South Korea and spend a bomb on shipping. Now BTS has finally made their discography available on Apple Music in India, but there are many Korean artists (like Seventeen, B.A.P, Jessi, Monsta X, Pristin, Hyuna and Pentagon just to name a few) who still aren’t on the platform (or don’t have their new music available.)
2. When you have to live with the fact that you can’t see them live unless they tour your country
I doubt anyone will tour India soon and I’m too broke from buying the albums anyway to travel and see them. (I did save up and go see G-Dragon in Bangkok last year, but it’s quite a task to save enough cash to head to another country for a concert. Especially if you’re multi-fandom.)
3. You can’t go for fan meetings and hold your bias’ hand
Man it’s hard to see videos of the fan meets. I’m happy for my fellow fans but also jealous, it’s such a tough emotion to explain. Anyway… one day, J-Hope!
4. You can’t understand Korean so you have no idea what they’re saying until a kind soul provides subtitles
I’m learning Korean currently but I’m still nowhere near full comprehension. Most of the time I just try and decipher what’s happening through their facial expressions.
5. When you try to explain your love for K-pop to your friends and family but they just don’t get it
What do you mean you ‘don’t care’?!
6. You try and do everything in your power to get them to notice your country
I swear to God, the amount of times I’ve typed ‘LOVE FROM INDIA’ on V-app/Instagram lives… (I did get responses from GOT7’s Jackson and Seventeen’s Mingyu though and almost died!)
7. But at the end you still love them no matter how far away you are
This got sappy and I apologize, I couldn’t help it.
Any other struggles I’ve missed? Feel free to leave a comment! :)
Note: I originally wrote this post on my ARMY Amino account. This is a slightly updated version!
GIFS used are not mine, all credit goes to their creators.