South Korean netizens should adopt a more open attitude to cultural exchanges with China: experts
Published: Jul 07, 2022 12:38 AM
Photo: Screenshot from Disneyplus website.
Photo: Screenshot from Disneyplus website.

Chinese historical web drama Delicacies Destiny has stirred controversy over "plagiarizing" South Korean culture among South Korean netizens, but Chinese experts said that the cultural exchanges between China and South Korea started from ancient times and should be respected and seen with a more open attitude.

The web series is about a woman gradually growing up as a chef for a royal family. It has aired on Chinese video sharing platform Bilibili and overseas platform Disney+. In the series, there are many scenes depicting Chinese delicacies and traditional costumes.

Some South Korean netizens said that the clothing in the series belongs to the traditional Korean hanbok style and one scene of eating fried streaky pork covered by vegetable leaves should not have appeared, South Korean media reports said on Tuesday.

The series was also suspected of plagiarizing the South Korean 2003 TV drama Dae Janggeum, which had a similar theme.

Chinese netizens disagreed, saying that the series shows the costumes of China's Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Chinese traditional dishes, and the fact that South Korea produced Dae Janggeum first does not mean that other countries cannot make shows with a similar theme.

China and South Korea share many similarities in culture due to their geographical proximity and frequent exchanges in ancient times. In particular, clothing and food were similar. Since ancient times, South Korea has advocated Confucianism and actively studied and absorbed fine Chinese culture, Lü Chao, an expert on the Korean Peninsula issue at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

Lü added that the hanbok clothing was partially copied from clothing of the Chinese Ming Dynasty.

Shi Wenxue, a Beijing-based cultural critic, pointed out that one of the most important characteristics of culture is openness and integration. 

"We can see that South Korean netizens ignored the fact of the cultural exchanges between the two countries, which has led to many such debates. We should respect the characteristics of culture itself, and hold an open and inclusive attitude toward the constant flow of interactive culture," the critic noted. 

Some South Korean dramas have taken some aspects of Chinese works. For example, in a 2022 sci-fi film Alienoid, the hairstyles, costumes and items such as a flute and folding fan had a strong flavor of Chinese traditional culture.