What is this colorful world?
What Is Hallyu?
People know K-dramas, K-pop, K-movies, K-beauty, K-food, and what else is left? If you’ve indulged in any of the stated ones, you are already in the Hallyu circle.
Even when the world was shut down in the pandemic last year, the K-pop comebacks and the debuts, nothing stopped - exceptional!
All these idols and actors are Hallyu stars. And the spread of it internationally is known as Hallyu and Korean wave in English.
How did the Hallyu wave start?
Many speculations have been taken forward from the fans’ side. However, it’s not K-pop or K-movies and neither did anything break out in the USA, but we are talking the real 90’s now.
It was a drama called What is Love? which was first aired in South Korea’s neighboring country China.
The poster of “What is Love?”
China showered love on the drama making it rank second on the country’s all-time imported video content. And that’s how the term “Hallyu” was invented.
Later, it again blew up after Full House’s release in 2004, which was also translated in several different languages & Boys Over Flower in 2009, which was a multi-starrer drama, and one of the popular songs was sung by SHINee.
Light Stick And Fandom
Fan Service and Fan Meets are two of the most important terms in the industry. The idols and the companies believe in giving special treatment to the fans.
This is why they keep hunting for unique stuff. One such thing that was brought in was Lightstick.
When in concert, fans need something to show the artists that they are being cheered and loved which gives them (idols) immense motivation to continue performing for their fans.
To show that feeling clearly, lightsticks were born - which when glows could be seen clearly in the whole stadium and looks like a colorful ocean.
Which Kpop group started lightstick?
If you’re wondering about lightsticks coming into existence and why did the old groups didn’t have them? It’s because it didn’t exist till the Fantastic Baby’s didn’t debut.
You might have guessed till now, if not - the inventors of the lightstick are believed to be Big Bang - this is one of the reasons why their Bong (stick in Korean) is known as the “King of all lightsticks”.
Before that, all the ’90s a.k.a the first-generation groups’ fandom would use colored raincoats, balloons, and colored chart papers to highlight which was also shown in Reply 1997.
Now that we’ve learned about Kpop, Kpop fandoms, Kpop lightsticks, how about pleasing yourself with these fandoms and their lightsticks, photos, and fun information?
We have gathered the all-time huge fandoms from the generations of k-pop.
Top 10 Groups, Lightsticks & Fandoms
From Left: J-hope, Jimin, V, Jungkook, Jin, Suga, RM
The first name in the biggest fandom is undoubtedly BTS. These Bangtan boys have made names in Korea and overseas too.
From awards to topping billboards charts for weeks and making records - these 7 talented guys have shown their fandom and country some immense good days.
These 7 boys never take a step back from expressing their love for the fans - the recent encounter was in the Butter MV wherein they formed ARMY through their bodies.
Their fandom name is ARMY.
I’m sure you’ve heard that numerous times but what does it mean?
BTS stands for 방탄소년단(Bang-tan-so-nyeon-dan) which means Bulletproof Boy Scout. Based on this position, their fans were named Army - ultimately meaning the protector of the idols.
However, ARMY also stands for Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth. In this way, they are both cute and strong.
The BTS Army lightstick is known as Army Bomb.
The lightstick is gray in color and when lightened forms a sphere that represents their international popularity. It also takes the color purple which is also their groups’ representative color.
And this gives birth to epic Borahae - ever heard that and didn’t understand what it is?
Well, it means “I purple you” in Korean. So, instead of Saranghae (I Love You) the boys and their fandom use this while also representing their color along with it.
From breaking out in the US and formerly considered waste-land for K-pop, India - EXO earned the batch of being “famous” everywhere. They were all over the place - from looks to groovy music to dance, the 12 boys were everything.
When they debuted under SM Entertainment back on April 8, 2012, they were a total of 12 and originally not EXO, but EXO(M) and EXO(K), standing for EXO Chinese and EXO Korean, respectively.
Suho is the leader of EXO(K) and Kris of EXO(M).
And that’s how they lost their leader as well, Kris, and since then Suho is the only leader with only Lay as the Chinese member remaining in the group.
From Left: Chen, Kai, Chanyeol, Lay, D.O., Baekhyun, Sehun, Xiumin, Suho
Exo’s fandom is considered one of the biggest and strongest even after 9 years of being in the industry. The group themselves have gone through a lot - from foreign members leaving and hiatus - in such situations, fans have to be there with their idols.
Exo-ls have always shown they would be there for their idols and they are getting stronger day by day.
Image from Twitter (credits to the rightful owner)
The lightstick is beautifully crafted into a hexagon. And if you pay attention to the middle part of the bomb, you will see a uniquely written EXO.
Wherein the X shape is in the middle part, and the small horizontal line forms E, while the remaining part that looks like rhombus is considered as O.
It is one of the aesthetic lightsticks of the K-pop industry.
These pretty savage girls have shown it all since their debut in 2016 under YG entertainment. From making their name in the biggest western market USA to collaborating with legends of the industry, like Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez, Dua Lipa, and many more.
One of the unique things about Blackpink as a group is that they don’t usually need translators as they are capable of speaking four different languages - English, Korean, Japanese, and Thai.
Jennie is a Korean, born and brought up in Korea, but her mother sent her to New Zealand for further studies and that’s where she learned English.
While Rose was brought up in Australia. Lisa can also speak English and Thai as she is from Thailand. And Jisoo, the eldest member of the group, can now speak conversational level English, but she is fluent in Japanese.
Indeed a fascinating thing!
From left to right: Lisa, Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé
Blackpink’s fandom Blink is one of the biggest ones in the industry. They are the only girl group fandom in the top 3 categories.
Taking the initials of Black and joining it with the end of pink is Blink. The girls themselves came up with this name on January 17, 2017, 6 months after their debut.
credits to the rightful owner
This is the most recent lightstick of the girl group. It carries 2 hearts on the sides of the stick which has the girl group’s name on it.
Turning it on, it changes its colors to Pink - which is the representative color of the group.
Surprisingly, the members also participated while coming up with the design for the bong.
Image credit: Globalpinks
The girls are known as “Nation’s girls” in the country. Consisting of 2 Japanese, 1 Taiwanese, and 6 Korean members - Twice is extremely famous and loved in Korea.
Where Blackpink is popular in the west, Twice has covered most of the Asian countries - especially its foreign members’ places like Japan, Taiwan apart from Korea.
They have bagged numerous Daesangs (grand awards).
From left: Dahyun, Jeonghyeon, Jihyo, Tzuyu, Mina, Sana, Chaeyeong, Momo, & Nayeong.
These girls are supported by their fandom known as Once. we can guess how they came up with Once from their own name Twice.
But the girls explained the real meaning behind choosing the name in a social media post in 2015. They beautifully said that when the people would give them love once, they would return that love twice.
Credits to Jophanie on Twitter
Twice’s lightstick, from its name to looks is a candy - which brilliantly goes with their image of “Cuteness”.
However, when lightened, it looks like any firecracker. That also shows that Twice can rock fiery concepts as well like in Fancy.
This lightstick was inspired by the groups’ song “Candy boy” from a mini-album of their initial days of career.
credit: wallpaper cave
BIG BANG (VIP)
Big Bang has the original gangsters kind of image also because these men are one of a kind in the industry who debuted under YG Entertainment in 2006.
They are the true VIPs. As Big bang is a carefree and one-of-a-kind group, so is their fandom.
As VIP stands for “Very important person” and if you know how fans are truly important in the Kpop industry. This is why Big Bang thought of naming their fandom as VIP but here it means, “Very important people” - that’s sweet.
The kings of the industry indeed - their lightstick represents the crown and yellow as their representative color making it even more luxurious.
It comes in both white and black format. As you can see above, how beautifully these bongs convert the stadiums into yellow crowns.
SUPER JUNIOR (ELF)
They are considered as one of the biggest and funniest groups and still standing strong today in all these new 4th generation groups.
All the members are tremendously talented and you can see them in the acting industry as well. Not only in Korea but in the neighboring countries as well.
Talking about this group in itself, they can make you dance with them with some easy dance steps, which, a non-dancer like me, would also ace. Especially the super famous and still can work as your alarm clock song, Sorry Sorry’s dance moves.
Try it once!
The infamous fandom name is ELF. Now Super Junior might also go along with Elf’s image well.
But what it really means here is Ever Lasting Friends. As the name suggests, these fans really stick through the group and it has been proved time and again.
This superman looking sapphire blue lightstick is known as Super Wand or Bong in Korean.
Unlike other lightsticks, this one actually is pretty much straight accompanied by its beautiful color lightening the whole stadium into a real ocean.
Credit: aegyoahgase on Twitter
Forbes calls them the different groups in the Kpop industry. With breaking the curse of seven years of the K-pop world - these 7 boys have done wonders.
Firstly, they left JYP entertainment back in January 2021. All fans had teary eyes when they released a song after a month of the contract termination.
They always mentioned they will be together as seven and they proved that through “Encore”, an emotional ballad explaining their situation and expressing their love towards the fans.
Image source: MNet
Their fandom is known as iGOT7 and taking the initials of iGOT7, it becomes Ahgase in Korean.
This means “baby bird”, hence the fans are referred to as birdies.
They represent the green color, and many times the color has been shown in the projects the boys work on - be it any music video or acting projects they do. For example; in the song MV Call My Name, you can see green everywhere representing their fandom.
In Mark’s single One in a Million with Sanjoy, the umbrella played a significant role and it was green as well.
One can clearly see the birds and as discussed above we know the significance of birdies in GOT7 fandom.
Their lightstick has the group’s logo inside the bird and when it glows it highlights the bird - an emotional way to tell fans that they are special.
Credits: Mark Tua on Twitter
SNSD/GIRL’S GENERATION (SONE)
Girl’s generation’s name in Korea is 소녀시대 (So-nyeo-si-dae) and that’s where SNSD come from.
In fact, Gee Gee was also featured in the third installment of To all the boys: Always and Forever trilogy.
Do you know what Girl’s Generation’s fandom was known as at first?
Well, they were “Supergirls”. The name was given by their own fandom before their debut and was inspired by Super Junior - their senior boy group.
These girls’ fans have grown with them together and supported them throughout the journey. Even now when they are all focusing on their solo careers, all the fans are still available.
They are one of the best and mature fandoms the kpop industry has ever seen.
Credits: taengsicth on Twitter
The very first time it was broadcasted in front of the world was on October 6, 2007, on their official Facebook page.
It is a heart-shaped lightstick and has SNSD’s logo inside it.
Image source: Pinterest
It’s just not only the fandom who stuck with each other but also the members who were always together through all the struggles.
After their beloved member Jonghyun’s death, it was difficult but they all came back together in 2018 with a new album called The Story Of Life: Ep 1.
Shawols is another fandom that went through something others might not even imagine. However, they as a fandom remained through thick and thin with the boys.
It’s so good to see such fans starting to stan the groups back in the days and then getting older and wiser with them.
The fans themselves named them Shawol. The name was inspired by their own initials, which are SHINee’s World. If you only pronounce the initials you will say SHAwol in the Korean accent.
Image is taken from Twitter (Credits to the rightful owner)
The name of the lightstick is quite unique - it’s Shabat. It has a funny story behind it. SHINee’s lightstick became unusually bright.
Fans started joking that it can also work as an “emergency flashlight” for a blackout. Slowly the fans soon started coming up with their own uniquely created lightsticks calling them the Shabat.
STRAY KIDS (STAY)
One of the biggest groups standing from the fourth generation is Stray Kids. Debuting from one of the big 3 companies, JYPE, they had a huge responsibility to take forward their legacy of success of their seniors, especially 2 PM and GOT7.
But the boys did it. They not only proved themselves but bagged fire-y concepts and with perfect wins on survival shows.
The fandom name is so simple ye intelligent at the same time. You just have to take out an R from the Stray and you get Stay, which is the fandom name.
However, this also means that while the boys are straying out, the fans give them a reason to Stay.
Feels like any song’s lyrics!
The longest name of lightstick in the industry is Namchibong (남치봉). It is the official bong of the fandom whose outer part is white ad consists of a silver compass in the middle.
This signifies that it doesn’t go in any one direction but wherever the fans go or the fans make them Stay.
It is red and expresses emotions well and is unique indeed.
Kpop merch provided by Seoulbox
You might have guessed we are a huge K-pop stan by now. So being a Korean snack box or Korean subscription box company, we have an advantage and are always excited to add some cool k-pop merch to our boxes.
Like, we had this BTS army keychain. How cool to have this on your cupboard keys or on bike keys.
Already in love with these pouches. Keep any precious thing to you inside these cute little things.
This BTS nightstand glows up your room while studying or working. And then these seven adorable tiny figures will be there to accompany you to your table.
Our Soulmates as we like to call them made good use of these few of the many cool products that we have.
We are going to have many more cool items in our upcoming boxes - socks, headbands, pouch, who knows? Stay tuned to know what will be the items really!
These are just a few of the many from the kpop ocean. We will try to cover your favorites in the future since we ourselves are multi-fandom, are you too?
Or which fandom do you belong to? And which lightstick did you like the most?
Author - Akshita.