On September 20, 2012, "Gangnam Style" sung by South Korean rapper 'Psy' (Park Jae-Sang), was recognised by Guinness World Records as the most "liked" video in YouTube history. (www.guinnessworldrecords.com)
It is also the first time a South Korean artist has topped the iTunes charts.
The video refers to a lifestyle associated with the Gangnam district of Seoul, where people are trendy and hip. Though the lyrics seem to be more about a Gangnam girl and his desire for her and his declaration of being 'Gangnam Style' himself.
To quote a line of the lyrics (when translated to English):
"I'm a guy. A guy who is as warm as you during the day. A guy who one-shots his coffee before it even cools down".
The catchy beat song, together with an equally entertaining video clip with a worldwide-viral dance move onboard is a package that is thrilling millions around the world. (I personally wouldn't say it is the lyrical genius of the song.)
Psy says, "I've heard it said that Gangnam is the Beverly Hills of Korea. But I would say that Gangnam is the capital of Seoul, which, of course, is the capital of Korea.
People who are actually from Gangnam never proclaim that they are -- it's only the posers and wannabes that put on these airs and say that they are 'Gangnam Style' -- so this song is actually poking fun at those kinds of people who are trying so hard to be something that they're not." (www.cnngo.com)
His song is intended as a twisted sense of humor by claiming himself to be 'Gangnam style'.
A culture is a way of life of a group of people--the behaviours, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, generally without thinking about them, and that are passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next. (www.tamu.edu)
Every day individually we display and reveal much about our positions in social hierarchy. Preference for certain goods, clothes and manners may signal this. To gain a higher status, people learn how to employ taste from a higher status than their own. People want to distinguish themselves from their own social group and therefore emulate the tastes and distinction of those in higher perceived standing.
The German sociologist Georg Simmel (1858–1918) examined the phenomenon of fashion. According to Simmel, fashion is a vehicle for strengthening the unity of the social classes and for making them distinct. Members of the upper classes tend to signal their superiority, and they act as the initiators of new trends. But upper-class taste is soon imitated by the middle classes. (en.wikipedia.org)
We are all absolutely unique people. There is no-one else exactly like you. Yet I feel somehow, that imitating others is an essential part of living. Generally we aren't consciously aware of our imitating of others. We all learnt to talk with sounds we imitated from our parents and to a certain extent; walk, eat, play and work relatively the same way. Yet some people we imitate are not the wisest choices. I recall in Primary School I attempted to hang out with the cool girls. Within a day I realised I couldn't keep up – it wasn't within me to act that way and I was in trouble from the moment I decided to imitate them.
In the Bible we are called to imitate God. That's ridiculous! I hear you say. The omnipotent creator of the world – you want me to imitate Him? How do I do that?
There are three things we are called to imitate of God. They are kindness, compassion and forgiveness.
Can we show kindness to those closest to us, demonstrate compassion to those in need and learn the freedom of forgiveness?
Jesus said that He could only do what He saw the Father doing (John Chapter 5 Verse 19). Jesus had kindness, compassion and willingness to forgive. Exact replication of the qualities he had seen in his Father.
Acting Gangnam style for a day definitely sounds fun. Although it would probably break my bank account within 24 hours and I'm not sure I have the time, nor the energy. I'm happy dancing 'horsey' around the house with my family to the cool beats of Psy's Kpop hit.
Belinda Croft lives in Melbourne with husband Russell and son BJ, 12 years. She has a passion for God, writing, creativity, missions and social justice.
Belinda Croft's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/belinda-croft.html