The Yummy Side of Hallyu: A Critical Autoethnography


The spread of the increasingly popular Korean cultural products worldwide at the turn of the millennium is commonly referred to as Hallyu, or the Korean Wave. Literature on Hallyu is often written from the Korean perspective, focusing on its success in neighboring Asian countries, and the USA. The experiences and perspectives of cultural outsiders are largely absent from this corpus.
Inspired by this perceived gap, my paper begins with my chosen methodology, autoethnography: the study of the self in the context of culture, with a focus on individual experiences and personal accounts. After a brief introduction to Hallyu and what made it resonate with me on a personal level, I discuss how I first became aware of the problematic issue of Korean halal food and how this problem was expounded when I came to study in Korea. Finally, I refer to a few efforts on the side of Korea, discussing their effectivity in the face of this problem, and outline the implications of the food problematic.