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    With an online K-Pop competition coming up, followers of the genre tell us what to expect this season

    In INDIA, the Korean wave was contained more or less to the North East, but not anymore. InKo Centre, in association with the Korean Cultural Centre—India and the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Chennai, is presenting the first K-Pop Festival in South India. July 13 being the last day for K-Poppers to apply for the online contest, blogger and enthusiast Ranjani Ranganathan DSC_0092insists that the K-Pop fever hit Chennai a long time ago. “We have around 600 K-Poppers in the city. Psy (of Gangnam Style) just gave a big boost to K Pop,” she shares. As for the latest bands to look out for, she names two-year-old Exo, a 12-member boy band, and DBSK. “A lot of K-Poppers are big fans of G Dragon who has worked with Snoop Dogg  and PSY,” she says.As for K-Poppers in Chennai, Ranganathan says groups meet every six to eight months. “We all met on Facebook and Twitter. When we meet in person, we sing and dance, and discuss latest trends,” she says, adding, “Most of K-Pop followers are students. K-Pop is very approachable and goes beyond language and style,” she observes.

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    Calling enthusiasts from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Pondicherry, the semi-final selection will be on July 29 at the American International School. The semi-finalists will go to New Delhi for the final round at Siri Fort Auditorium on August 30. Finalists from the 13 countries will then perform in the finale, in South Korea in September/October. Details: inkocentre.org.

    -Mrinalini Sundar

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