The Culture of Oppa-Calling to Idols
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As you know, like the title above, many K-Pop idols are often being called “oppa”. Actually, “oppa” is used by younger women to refer to their older brothers or men that are older than them to show their respect, whether they’re 10 years older than she is, or 1 year older than she is. It’s the same as the word “noona” that the younger men use to refer to older women. According to a blog page in Amino Apps, these terms are used when the two people get to a certain relationship, the older person would usually say “Hey, you can call me (correct term)”, and that’s when it would start to be used. This is a very important thing to do in Korea, as it shows respect, and the culture in Korea in terms of respect is very serious.
But then, in K-Pop society, many fans, especially fangirls, started to call the idols that are actually younger than them using “oppa”, too. Many of them didn’t see this as a rude thing to do. But what they might not understand is that sometimes could definitely have a different reason and meaning, and sometimes that is sexualizing them. As this “Oppa-calling” has some pros and cons, let’s take a look at some K-Pop idols who are often called “oppa” by fans who are much older than them. So, without any further ado, let’s get to the main topic.
BTS’s V is one of the male idols who is known for his unique personality. His easy-going traits means he doesn’t get bothered when any fangirl that much older than him called him “oppa”.
V even told one of BTS’ fan to tell the guys who bothered her that he was her boyfriend. It was at a 2018 BTS fan signing, and V could be seen telling one lucky fan something that made the others green with envy.
“You look like a lot of guys would want to contact you, am I right?” said V.
He then became quite protective and told her the sweetest thing, in the case anyone ever bothered her.
“If you think they aren’t that great, or if you don’t really like them, give them oppa’s [my] name,” V continued.
Well, who didn’t get envious over this?
The opposite thing happened with BTS’s Jungkook’s fans. While V volunteered himself to be called “boyfriend”, Jungkook actually hates it when there are those fans who are much older than him and call him “oppa”.
Although “oppa” in Korea is meant to give a lot of respect, Jungkook doesn’t seem to be happy when he hears his fans saying it.
But recently, according to some portal news, after years of protesting, Jungkook finally gave ARMY permission to call him “oppa”. It seems like Jungkook has gotten more used to being an oppa to his fans.
EXO’s Sehun is known as the maknae of the group. Much like BTS’s V, Sehun didn’t seem to be bothered when his fans called him “oppa”. But, Sehun once said that his “noona” fans would stop called him “oppa”.
EXO’s Sehun is one of the K-Pop idols that people barely know what he’s really like. The Korean fans couldn’t tell how Sehun’s personality is. He can suddenly become cute, and just about another second later, he can coldly refuse to answer fan’s questions. Back in 2018, Sehun called Korean fans childish on a livestream. But then, his blunt personality is what makes him deserve respect.
SEVENTEEN’s Mingyu is another K-Pop idol that doesn’t seem too troubled when his fans call him “oppa”.
Mingyu was born in 1997 and he is the “Face of the Group” for SEVENTEEN. The meaning behind his name is that Min means ‘precious gemstone’ and Gyu means ‘star’. He is a precious gemstone that shines like a star.