ARAB NEWS – Increasing numbers of Saudi youngsters are watching Korean television serials and music shows on the Internet, rather than the traditional staple of those produced in Turkey, a researcher has found.
The most popular are Boys over Flowers and Sorry, I Love You, which are dubbed or translated into various languages, including Arabic. They are either downloaded or streamed from various Internet sites. Many youths are also trying to learn the basics of the Korean language.
Khaled Jalban, a family and community medicine consultant, said that the growing popularity of shows from Western and other cultures are an indication that young Arabs are losing contact with their own culture.
“We are not against the learning of foreign languages but we are opposed to Western customs and traditions taking a foothold in our midst and this language becoming part of our lives.” Jalban believes these youth do not have self-confidence.
He commended the efforts of several organizations to promote local culture among young people, which would help prevent them from losing their Islamic and Arab identities. He said Mexican, Turkish and Korean customs can influence young Saudis and create a barrier between them and their communities in the country.
Schoolteacher Hana Al-Saeedi said that many of her pupils are fans of the Korean entertainment industry. “There are several girls who are learning to write their names in Korean on their notebooks. They also exchange Korean words.”
Hind Muhammad, a university student, said she loves Korean movies because they are diverse and not repetitive. She also likes Korean songs and follows news about groups such as Double S.
Renim Al-Arawi said most of the Korean movies are about romance, which appeals to young men and women. There are also many who copy the dressing styles and customs of their heroes.
She said music groups such as T Max and Wondergirls are popular among students. “Many of my friends watch these serials and like their music and style of dancing,” she said.
Latifah Salman, a psychologist at the Mental Hospital in Asir, said: “Modern communication and information technology has brought Saudi youths into contact with the latest and different ideas. These ideas expand the horizons of their knowledge, culture and improve their lifestyle.”
She does not believe that watching films of other countries would adversely affect the personalities and identity of young Saudis.
“In fact, in the course of students going on foreign scholarships a kind of cultural and knowledge dialogue takes place between our students and the people of other countries.
It is an opportunity for cultural exchange which will have a significant impact on the intellectual development of our youthsand strengthen their social and economic development,” she said.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here