India's Manipur is mini Korea

05:21 PM | 13 Aug, 2015
India's Manipur is mini Korea
IMPHAL (Web Desk) - Despite being a part of India, the northern state of Manipur can culturally be described as Korean. Ever since local authorities banned Bollywood movies and Hindi TV channels in a bid to “stamp out Indianisation”, a vast majority of the local population have turned to Korean pop-culture.


They are now big fans of Korean films and music, and have adopted various elements of Korean culture.


It all started with Airarang TV, a 24-hour network from Seoul, being broadcast in Manipur, the Oddity Central reported.

As the channel grew in popularity, so did the demand for more programming from Korea. It wasn’t long before Korean cinema caught on as well, with pirated DVDs flooding Manipur’s markets.


To understand the Manipuri fascination with Korean pop culture, it make sense to first look at why the ban on Indian cinema was imposed in the first place.

“Since the late ’90s, the people of Manipur are facing a cultural forbiddance imposed by a radical, fringe institution in the name of preserving the local culture,” writes Mahitha Kasireddi, in an opinion piece in the Indian online publication, Youth Ki Awaaz.

“They hold an opinion that Hindi movies undermine Manipuri cultures and traditions. An anti-Hindi movement has been running since then. Hindi movies disappeared slowly followed by the use of the language from daily life. Hindi songs are not allowed to be played in any gatherings,” Kasireddi adds.


“The vacuum created by Hindi film industry was filled by south Indian languages, Bengali and other regional films, but could not sustain the interest of the public for long.”


So it was only natural that the people of Manipur, largely being of Mongoloid race, were able to relate more to South Korean culture exports.

As research scholars Otojit Kshetrimayum and Ningombam Victoria Chanu write, “The key factor that abets the popularity of Korean wave is the cultural proximity of Korean and Manipuri societies in terms of both being of Mongoloid stock; both societies being based on clan communities.”

Al Jazeera reports that in the fourteen years that have gone by since the ban, Korean pop culture has made a strong impact on Manipur’s youth. So much so that they even use fake Korean names on their Facebook profiles.

The report features stories of Manipuri teenagers who are transfixed by the “brilliant” films and soap operas. 16-year-old Kinchit, for example is a huge fan of the Korean films Boys Over Flowers and Barbie. And she doesn’t miss a single episode of the soap opera The Heir.


Although she doesn’t speak Korean herself, she’s trying to learn a few words from the language.

South Korean food and fashion are also widely popular among the Manipuri youth now.


Kimchi is eaten with gusto, and teens love copying the signature Korean spiky haircut. “Mostly young men are crazy about the cool Korean look,” said Dono Ningthouajim, who owns a few stalls at the Gambhir market in Imphal.


He sells pants in bright colors, torn jeans, black boots, and caps, which are all the rage in Korea.

According to Rhea Almeida, a feature writer for Homegrown, “The Korean wave, referred to as Hallyu, as coined by Chinese journalists, proved to be the biggest cross-cultural wave in Asia. Films like The Classic and You Are My Sunshine flooded Manipur’s entertainment void and took the state by a storm of South Korean romantic, thriller, and action-packed masterpieces. Low budget local Manipuri films were no competition for these Korean stars.”


K D Joy, a Christian missionary and educator living in Manipur for the past three decades, says that everyone living in Manipur, regardless of age, is mesmerised by Korean films. “People are used to private parlours and home viewing so it was easy for Korean DVDs to proliferate,” he told Al Jazeera.

“People miss church programmes to watch Korean dramas.” And Joy enjoys Korean cinema just as much as the locals do - his personal favorite is Spoonful of Tears.

Alienation and racial discrimination from Indians is another major factor that has driven the people of Manipur away from Indian culture.


According to Manipuri activist Binalakshmi Nepram, “We are we are from the northeast and we look different because of our race. We are more mongoloid. There is verbal humiliation, physical humiliation.”

That is why 19-year-old Ranjit San has never missed watching Hindi films. “All my friends like Korean entertainment because they are good, simple, and the actors are stylish,” he said. “There is not much violence, nothing sad, just funny and sweet romance. Imitating the styles is easy because our physical features are similar to the Koreans.”


Pakistani rupee remains stable against US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Riyal and Dirham; Check forex rates

Pakistani rupee remained stable against the US dollar, and other currencies in the open market on Friday.

Dollar Rate in Pakistan Today

On Friday, the US dollar remained stable and was being quoted at 283.2 for buying and 286.15 for selling.

Euro comes down to 308 for buying and 311 for selling. British Pound rate dropped to 358.5 for buying, and 362 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED witnessed slight drop and new rate stands at 77.4 whereas the Saudi Riyal remained stable at 76.

Today's currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 8 December 2023

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 283.2 286.15
Euro EUR 308 311
UK Pound Sterling GBP 358.5 362
U.A.E Dirham AED 77.4 78.1
Saudi Riyal SAR 76 76.8
Australian Dollar AUD 187.2 189
Bahrain Dinar BHD 757.23 765.23
Canadian Dollar CAD 209 211
China Yuan CNY 39.89 40.29
Danish Krone DKK 41.19 41.59
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 36.41 36.71
Indian Rupee INR 3.42 3.53
Japanese Yen JPY 1.39 1.45
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 921.71 930.71
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 61.02 61.62
New Zealand Dollar NZD 174.54 176.54
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.05 26.35
Omani Riyal OMR 739.62 747.62
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 78.22 78.92
Singapore Dollar SGD 211 213
Swedish Korona SEK 27.12 27.42
Swiss Franc CHF 324.94 327.44
Thai Bhat THB 8.06 8.21

Gold prices in Pakistan increase; Check out latest rates here

Gold price in Pakistan increased as the yellow metal witnessed an upward trend in the international market.

Gold Rates in Pakistan Today - 8 December 2023

On Friday, the price of a single tola of 24-karat gold stands at Rs217,400 and 10 grams of 24k gold costs Rs186,390.

Single tola of 22 Karat Gold costs Rs199,282, 21 karat rate for per tola is Rs190,225 and 18k gold rate is Rs163,050 each tola.

In the global market, gold prices hover at around $2026, gaining $8.30 on Friday.

Today Gold Rate in Pakistan

Today Gold Price in Pakistan (8 December 2023)

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Karachi PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Islamabad PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Peshawar PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Quetta PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Sialkot PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Attock PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Gujranwala PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Jehlum PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Multan PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Bahawalpur PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Gujrat PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Nawabshah PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Chakwal PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Hyderabad PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Nowshehra PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Sargodha PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Faisalabad PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583
Mirpur PKR 217,400 PKR 2,583


Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Sign up for Newsletter