It is safe to say that the ongoing pandemic has wreaked havoc in everybody’s lives! Since March 2020, our country has been under a perpetual lockdown, with no signs of the deadly virus leaving, people found themselves holed up in the confines of their houses. Life changed, and to embrace our new normal, we shook hands with platforms like Netflix, Rakuten Viki and Asiaflix to give us company and ease our stress levels during these difficult times. While the world was reeling under the massive repercussions of the virus, many viewers across India found solace in K-dramas! K-dramas also called Korean dramas are finite drama series in Korean.
Korean dramas are popular worldwide, partially due to the spread of Korean popular culture aka The Korean wave, and their easy availability on streaming services which often offer subtitles in multiple languages. Viewers found themselves hooked to the magical and escapist world of Korean dramas with charming men and women, heart-tugging romance, innovative storylines and a tight series. Korean dramas are not only superior in quality but also provide much-needed solace and escapism from our regular lives.
The advent of Korean dramas in India is like the beginning of a new era, Indian viewers took to K-dramas like fish to water. Streaming services like Netflix and Rakuten Viki offer a smorgasbord of K-dramas, and since the rising popularity of K-dramas in India, have upgraded their collective list too. But, it isn’t just young viewers who are hooked to K-dramas, but also the older generation. A lot of Indian mothers and grandmothers, found themselves ditching their Hindi soap operas to seek out Korean romance and family dramas.
“It is so beautiful and relatable, their values and culture is so much like ours”, my friend’s grandmother said to me as she strained her feeble eyes to figure out the romantic banter between Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin in Crash Landing On You. As much as Korean dramas are fun and enjoyable to watch, subtitles aren’t meant for everyone.
“It is strenuous to read subtitles while watching”, a friend of mine who suffers from cerebral palsy complained that she cannot watch a K-drama episode that ranges from 60 mins to roughly 110 mins on average! A couple of months later, I got to know that Lee Min Ho’s hit drama Boys Over Flowers was going to air on a local Indian general entertainment channel and will be dubbed in Hindi, my first reaction was “eww no”. I was imagining how cringe it would sound in Hindi and immediately shook that thought from my head.
Since then, multiple K-dramas are slated to air on Indian streaming platforms like MX Player, Viu and ZEE5 dubbed in Hindi and various Indian languages. Dramas like Boys Over Flowers, Crash Landing On You, Descendants Of The Sun, Doctor Stranger and My Love From The Star amongst others. Indian networks are aware of the increasing appetite for K-dramas amongst local viewers and have lapped up the opportunity to get maximum K-dramas under their kitty. It is an excellent marketing strategy to dub Korean dramas in Hindi and other Indian languages!
I am personally against dramas and movies dubbed in other languages. Content should be best enjoyed in the language it originally is in, it gives you a detailed idea of the country, its unique language and culture and of course, the storyline of the series. Dubbing robs one of the essence of its original voice. However, it is also a great decision overall, because it will propagate Hallyu’s popularity in India like no other. K-dramas are universally loved and enjoyable and can be enjoyed by people with specially-abled people and senior citizens.
Studies show that excess screen-time can be detrimental to your eyes and ears, causing irreversible damage in the long run. Dubbed K-dramas will allow viewers to enjoy K-dramas without stressing about reading subtitles and straining their eyes! Also, it should be noted that not everyone in India can read English with 100 percent fluency, and dub saves you reading energy!
One may also argue that it can be subbed in Hindi and other regional languages, but that again adds up to an excessive amount of screen time, especially for our mothers and grandmothers, who watch K-dramas as leisure and recreation and not necessarily for passion as we do! K-dramas dubbed in Hindi and various regional languages is a wholesome decision, and can certainly build a bridge of friendship and love between India and South Korea.
Can you guess which Crash Landing on You episode it is by a simple screenshot? Take our fun quiz to find out
So, What K-drama are you planning to introduce to your mum/grand-mum? Share your thoughts with Pinkvilla in the comments below.