# 4 Koreans Dig Singing

17 Sep

Korean’s dig singing.  It’s no secret.  Any urban area in South Korea is flooded with Norea-bangs (노래방) literally translated song room or singing room.  And that is exactly what it is.  Little rooms with comfy couches a big flat screen TV or multiple regular TV’s, 2 mic’s, lights that take you back to the 70’s and a sound system.

The Norea bang is a very social activity and is a favourite with groups.  Business men go norea bang’ing during their lunch break or after work to have some Soju and blow off some steam.  Koreans conduct business over a bottle (or two or three) of Soju and what better way to lure in a potential business partner than to sing your lungs out.  Noreabangs are also a favourite among younger people.  Korean culture is all about respect and public appearance.  Therefore dating is Korea (and potential dating) is very nerve wrecking to the average Korean.  When two people want to go on a first date it very seldom happens that they would go on this date alone.  Friends of both tag along and usually end up noreabang’ing.  It’s a light hearted social way to break the ice and to see if both of them has the approval of the other’s friends.

The Noreabang experience is completely different from the Karaoke experience in the West.  As opposed to singing in front of an audience in a bar Korean Karaoke is done in a small room that can hold up to 10 people.  It’s usually around 15 000 per hour and the Noreabangs stay open until the wee hours of the morning.  A song book is supplied with songs in English, Korean and Japanese.  Thus Noreabang’ing is very popular among the expat community in Korea. Each song has a number and that is entered into a remote.  The song will start boosting through the sometimes too powerful sound system.  As soon as the song starts the disco lights will start flashing it feels complete like you’re in one or other ABBA music video.   Many Noreabang’s have tambourines scattered around to include everybody.  It’s one big goofy party.  Some Noreabangs do serve alcohol but there is no ‘no-alcohol’ policy in any noreabang.  Thus as the Soju keeps flowing the music keeps playing.

Even thoughKaraoke was developed in Japan in the form of KTV (Karaoke TV) the Korean adaptation is brilliant and most definitely a highlight in the Korean cultural tree.

Koreans dig singing!


One Response to “# 4 Koreans Dig Singing”

  1. Daniel Martin Katz October 13, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

    Well said. I have enjoyed the norabang experience very much even though I have yet to score a perfect 100- when there is enough soju in you that matters very little.

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