110723 A dream turns reality for 103 American SONEs
“In order to watch SNSD’s concert, I started working in a currency changer as a part-time worker to save money. Since I’ll be able to see SNSD right in front of me…”, said Julian Cervantes, a 21 years old American college student who could not hide his excitement. Natasha, who came together with him from Chicago, was as happy as him. She said, “My iPod is full of SNSD songs. Now I can hear them live!”. John Toss from New Mexico who sat right beside them added, “I finally ate the real Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi stew).”
These 103 American SNSD fans who met one another on SNSD’s International fan-site “Soshified”, found a common interest and came to Korea on their own. The group of young people staying in Seoul from the 21st to 26th are planning to watch SNSD’s concert, MBC “Music core”, and KBS 2TV’s “Immortal Song”. Cervantes, Natasha and Toss met one another at Seoul’s downtown.
The three Americans started talking about their love for K-pop once they met. They have been looking forward to the Korea trip so much that they requested to attend these music programs from the Los Angeles branch of Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) when they were still in America since the tickets cannot be obtained easily. Cervantes became a K-pop fan 2 years ago after listening to SNSD’s “Gee” by chance. He said, “The fast and joyful beats really caught my attention. Until now, I bought all of f(x), Kara and other K-pop groups’ albums, and spent about 5000 dollars (5.26 million Won). Being a SNSD Taeyeon and Sunny’s fan, Toss said “Now, American Idols seem to have ‘gone further away’ from us. As we watched reality programs like “Invincible Youth” and “Running man”, Korean idols seem more ‘human’ to us, which is great.”
As they get to know more Korean idols like T-ara, IU and Big Bang, they started mixing Korean phrases like “Gwaenchanayo (it’s ok)” and “Jogeum-yo (a little)” in their conversations. Cervantes who has been learning the Korean language for a year said, “While we became more interested in Korean idols, we started to pay attention to Korean culture”. Natasha also got more familiar with Korean cultures through her room mate at their dorm. She is currently learning Korean on her own through mobile applications.
Toss who was born in New Mexico, makes Korean food on his own. He said, “Because we don’t have Korean restaurant there, I obtain the recipe from the internet and started making kimchi on my own a few months ago.” Cervantes on the other hand, travels all the way to the Korean town just to eat Jjinbbang, Patbbang (Korean steamed buns) and Bibimpab (Korean mixed dish).
Julian, Natasha and John added, “We only saw Korean culture and food through TV programs. It’s really hard to believe that we can actually experience them now.” Before going back to America, they have another wish and that is to get SNSD members’ autographs when they head down to the Seoul Olympic Park Stadium today.
Translated by: email@example.com