A Chinese member of the K-pop group Everglow has received racist attacks and criticism on the Internet after using traditional Chinese etiquette to greet her fans instead of kneeling like her South Korean peers.
Singer Wang Yiren joined other Everglow members at an event on January 2 to greet a group of fans in Seoul, and while the other members knelt on the ground in traditional Korean style, Wang used a Chinese gesture, the greeting with the fist and the palm, to express the gratitude and the greetings of the New Year.
The act of kneeling is no longer considered appropriate in China and is understood as a slavish gesture. However, it is still in use in South Korea as a way of greeting and thanking, according to Indian South China Morning Post.
Wang’s gesture has drawn widespread condemnation on social media. Many people told the star to “go back to China”: “Don’t make money in Korea,” the newspaper reported.
However, several Chinese netizens have defended the singer, with many pointing out that just because she shows her love for K-pop doesn’t mean she has to follow all of South Korean culture.