[Daily NK] As Hallyu, or the ‘Korean Wave,’ grows in popularity with the spread of South Korean dramas and movies among Northern students, some students have been inspired by the writing style of South Koreans and started to copy it.
On October 14th, Daily NK spoke with a source in South Pyongan Province, who said that more and more students are beginning to write in the same fluid style as the South Koreans. The southern handwriting style features large consonants, which many northern students think looks “cool,” she said.
Daily NK crosschecked this news with an additional source in North Pyongan Province.
North Korean students show off their Southern style handwriting at school. Anyone can watch South Korean dramas and movies without a problem these days, and so the number of students who are interested in South Korea is growing. These students have started to write in the style of southerners, and others who see their writing copy them as well.
“There’s an atmosphere forming. People will say without hesitation that the South Korean writing style is better than ours,” the source said.
North Korean authorities have broadcast scenes of South Korean protests on Korean Central Television (KCTV) in the hopes of highlighting the problems of the government in South Korea. However, many students have instead been impressed with the handwriting they see on the picket signs at the demonstrations and have begun to practice writing that way.
Students want to be trendy, and as South Korean dramas are currently trendy, many students want to show that they are following them. Those who want to be trendsetters try to make it obvious that they are watching South Korean shows, even going so far as to imitate the Southern style of speech.
“Because Party cadres are in the public eye, they normally don’t use South Korean vocabulary or speech styles. However, ordinary citizens are different. They are influenced by the dramas they see and either wish to show that they are trendy or use new expressions to talk about love that didn’t exist previously,” she explained.
Facilitating this process is the fact that, recently, the number of spies from the State Security Department in schools who closely monitor student activities has dropped significantly. Although it is impossible to pinpoint the exact reason for this, according to the source, "nobody's particularly concerned about these trends among students."
For the spies that still lurk the halls, astute pupils can easily pick out and subsequently avoid them, enjoying South Korean culture away from their piercing gaze. If a new student suddenly transfers from another school and tries to become close, everyone knows that the likelihood this person is a spy is high, so while they continue to follow South Korean culture, they do so with their guard up to avoid being caught.