Kristin Schwab, South Korea, Manager Winnie discussed on Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal

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Somehow escaped your notice, Korean culture is the new new thing in this country. The Netflix drama squid game crazy popular. It's creator, by the way, says there is going to be a season two. Last year, parasite became the first non English language film to take home the Oscar for best picture. There's KPop, of course, also kimchi also crazy popular. Korean culture has made such an impression that 26 Korean words have been added to the Oxford English dictionary. One of which is how you, which translates roughly high and told to Korean wave used to describe global interest in that country. Marketplace is Kristin Schwab, looks at South Korea's growing cultural power and the economic engine behind it. At a tiny storefront in downtown Manhattan, lives a skin care lovers Paradise, called OO 35 millimeter. The shop is the size of a hallway, stalked floor to ceiling with Korean lotions and potions. Manager Winnie's ong shows off her favorites. I really like on the circle, vegan kombucha tea essence. With real kombucha tea, you know, snail mucin, actual snails lime. So this is actually something we created. The angel shark. So it's completely shark free. No sharks harmed in the process. No sharks. Song says when the store opened a decade ago, most customers were of Asian descent. Now shoppers of all backgrounds stop in. Kate arena is looking for a cleanser and sheet masks. She got into Korean skin care after watching K dramas. That kind of like sparked interest right to once you have like a peek, I think into the culture. You can expand and so many ways. This is what South Korea is betting on that a little bit of western curiosity will snowball into a cultural obsession. And this bet is decades in the making. Is the author of transnational how you? Starting in the middle 99 days the Korean government made the effort to bring the cultural industries education in the national economy. South Korea's economy at the time relied mostly on conglomerates like Samsung and Hyundai. Brands, the government helped create. So the government goes to these corporations and says, hey, we funded you. Now we want you to help fund the entertainment industry. And part of the pitch is that Samsung and Hyundai will benefit to. Everything. Because of popular culture, they like a Korean tail like a Korean product like a smartphone, like at the end of the semiconductors during the influence that it's big. And that cultural influence can help Korea sell makeup fashion and food, the way the U.S. sells Coca-Cola and Levi's jeans. So Samsung and Hyundai start their own film and TV companies. At first, the goal is to get East Asia hooked, and it works, leading to more investment in entertainment, especially KPop. Music labels open boarding schools to groom teen superstars, the government creates a ministry of culture and ends censorship laws that forbid Korean artists from singing in English. KPop grows right as social media explodes. And in 2012, Gangnam style becomes the first video to.

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