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  • Writer's pictureDr. Chi

Kdrama Support Group: Kdramaland Social Norms

Updated: May 12

#1: Bionic Ears/Oídos Biónicos

Kdramaland is not South Korea. So all the foreigners moving to Seoul to find an Oppa to fall in love should not be surprised that F-boys are a global phenomenon. But so are kind, nice men. But Kdramaland is definitely a Korean thing-- Kdramas have a feel that is all their own, just like Cdramas, Nollywood, or Hollywood have their individual vibes. But every society has its social norms. That includes fictional ones.

There are some social norms to Kdramaland that I find hilarious. One of my favorites is how people in Kdramas have bionic ears aka oídos biónicos. A man and a woman can stand 20 feet apart (that's 6 meters for you non-Americans) and speak softly to one another and still be heard perfectly. What's more, someone who is around the corner 50ft/15m away can eavesdrop perfectly on their conversation.

I love how there is someone who can foil a plan with super sonic hearing. They know that the random office worker is really the chaebol CEO's heir or that their first love cannot stand to be around them. They know about the business account in the Cayman Islands or that they are the prince hiding in a far away land to avoid being murdered.

Meanwhile, if someone is next to me in a noisy restaurant, I can't hear a damn thing.

Poster from "My Dearest" with a woman and man standing 18ft away in Joseon-era clothing.
They are having a full-blown conversation in "My Dearest."

My plan is to go to Seoul with a measuring tape and see how far away I can be and still hear my Oppa softly say "Saranghae."

Or perhaps I will wake up randomly in a barbecue restaurant. Over laughter and the clinking of glasses, Rowoon asks, "Why would you wear a hanbok to eat bbq?"

I will hear him perfectly and say, "Because you're footing the dry cleaning bill."

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