Myanmar Korean MovieBurma Korean Film
Korea conquers Myanmar, one soap opera after another
The" Korean Wave" comes to Myanmar. With a Cinderella tale of two angry step-sisters and a romance about a lady with a mnesia, these soaps trophies could be the key to the slow opening of the Korean markets. The Yonhap News Agency says the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Korea is working with the Korea Foundation for International Culture Exchange (KOFICE) to supply Myanmar with free Korean-TV.
Initially, two programmes will be broadcasted on Myanmar's state broadcaster MRTV. A Thousand Days' Promise" follows a young lady who is gradually dying of memories and the man who is falling in Love with her, and "Cinderella's Sister" is a tragic Cinderella story of two step-sisters whose life and affection are intertwined.
However, these typically romantic tales are not only intended to amuse Myanmar audiences - they are intended to promote a good perspective on South Korea - and perhaps even arouse interest in Korean produce. It' s not that far-fetched idea - in China, where Korean entertainments are extremely common, a brief mention in a show in 2014 epitomized a roast chickens and beers mania that overwhelmed the country and left the Korean hen houses in Beijing waiting for three hours.
Another breathtaking example, after one of the members of the beloved Korean youth group Super Junior Ryeo showed Ryeo shampoos on a China based shampoos programme, the brand's turnover rose by 630% year-on-year. Also, internal volume of the Shampoos rose by 300 per cent - the producer AmorePacific attribute this rise to the fact that they were bought by Chineses during a visit to Korea.
Korea could try to recreate this in Myanmar - by building Korean celebrity supporters, you are generating consumer demands for the product they use. It' not a new policy for Korea. In 1992, many Hallyu observers and scientists trace the beginning of the phenomena to an official who succeeded in convincing his supervisors to finance subtitles in Canonese for a Korean play entitled "What is Love".
Burma may be on its way to a similar Hallyu-Bonanance. Yonhap was informed by an officer of the Department of Cultural Affairs that Myanmar currently shows more than 10 Korean programmes per night, which accounts for more than 90 per cent of the television programmes aired there. However, the need for more contents is high, which is why KOFICE has chosen Myanmar as a "pilot" for this new programme.
Myanmar, a recently re-joined the global economy, is a place where getting back on the groundfloor can make a tremendous difference. Myanmar's GNP has been growing by more than 8 per cent annually since 2013 and is expected to rise by 8.4 per cent in 2016, according to the IMF.
Korea wants to take some of this increase in prosperity with it. As Hallyu continues to promote Korean produce around the globe, this new programme could bring the Burmese and their purses on Board. She is Director of Communications at the Korea Economic Institute of America.