If there is one single year fans of the Hallyu Wave would say was the worst, it would easily be 2014. Though Hallyu encompasses Korean music, art, film, and culture’s extension outside of South Korea, the tragedies happening in 2014 were encompassed as the “Kpopcalypse.” That was the year many Girls’ Generation members were in relationship scandals, Bom of 2NE1 was accused of smuggling drugs into South Korea, and Ladies’ Code was in a horrific car accident which took the lives of members EunB and RiSe.
However, there was one incident that happened in 2014 that stands out as the worst incident to happen that year. It even goes beyond any tragedy experienced towards the Hallyu Wave because it hurt South Korea as a nation. This incident was the 2014 Sewol Ferry Disaster. On April 16, 2014, the Sewol Ferry capsized. Out of the 476 people on board, 295 of them lost their lives, most of them being secondary school students from Danwon High School. What makes this disaster far more tragic was the fact most of the Sewol Ferry’s crewmembers, which included the captain of the vessel, abandoned ship when one of their own caused the ship to capsize due to a hard turn while moving too fast.
Now two years later, many South Koreans along with others around the world are showing respect for the 2014 Sewol Ferry Disaster. The ones that are getting the most attention are the Hallyu Wave stars who are showing their respect through posts or video uploads through their official social media accounts.
For those who do not know, in South Korea, the yellow ribbon pays respect to the victims of the 2014 Sewol Ferry Disaster and reminds the people to never forget the tragic event. Right after the disaster, thousands of people tied yellow ribbons at memorials or waved them high at ports near the site of the sinking. At the time, they were used as a rallying beacon to help raise funds for the families of those who lost their lives during the tragedy. According to CNN, the one place that received the most attention pertaining to yellow ribbons was Ansan, a city near Seoul, where Danwon High School is located. Yellow ribbons were tied to the metal bars of the gate of the high school, trees and posts nearby, and near the homes of the victims’ families.
There are other symbols used to show respect to the victims of the 2014 Sewol Ferry Disaster such as paper boats. But if a Korean blogger’s analysis prove to be true, Red Velvet showed tantamount respect through their music video for their song “One Of These Nights.”
Though Red Velvet or SM Entertainment have claimed “One Of These Nights” is a tribute to the 2014 Sewol Ferry Disaster, the blogger analyzed certain details surrounding the music video that point to such including all the members representing a certain group of people who were in the disaster itself. Wendy represents the first to die as she is filmed drenched. Yeri represents the high school students who died because she is currently the same age as them when they passed on. Irene represents those who followed what the crew told them to do and stayed in cabins. Finally, Seulgi represents those who realized what was happening but were too late to do anything about it.
The 2014 Sewol Ferry Disaster was one of the worst incidents to happen to South Korea if not one of the worst to happen this century. People hope to show respect to those who lost their lives during the incident and many Hallyu stars understand they are in such a position they can make such a message known. Let’s hope that South Korea never forgets this tragedy in hopes that it may never happen again.
[Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images]