While Korean culture is a melting pot for various cultures to flourish into one, the same cultures often clash and cause rivalries among fandoms. Everglow is a six-member group with Chinese member Wang Yiren, who was recently embroiled in a culture clash controversy. After the Everglow member chooses not to bow down to greet fans according to Korean culture and chooses to replace the tradition with a traditional Chinese gesture, fans of the idol are divided over his actions.
Following the controversial greetings, Yiren gained a lot of support from Chinese fans as well as the media while Korean fans and media viewed it as disrespecting their culture. Korean fans are now calling for the expulsion of Chinese K-pop idols. Before the controversy grew out of proportion, on January 9, Yehua Entertainment announced that Yiren of Everglow would be temporarily stepping down from group activities to focus on her academics, as she would be returning to China for a while.
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Yiren of Everglow is going to take a break
Yehua Entertainment, who manages the group, reported that Everglow’s Yiren is taking a sudden hiatus from mid-January to late February 2022 in order to focus on his academics. Yiren herself added to the statement, stating that she wanted to take a short break from her group activities to visit her family whom she has not met since the pandemic began in 2020.
The Everglow label also announced that since Yiren will soon be leaving for China, fans should continue to be interested in Everglow, which they will continue to promote as a five-member unit in Yiren’s absence.
The agency added, “We ask for the understanding of the fans, and we ask for your support and interest in all of Everglow’s activities.”
Is Yiren leaving Everglow?
K-pop fans are especially curious as to why Yiren decided to announce her hiatus so soon after being embroiled in a controversy that was a clash between Korean and Chinese cultures. Everglow hosted a fan meeting on January 2nd and as the show closed, all of Everglow members except Yiren joined in in the hand and bowed to the fans as part of the Korean-style greeting method.
Yiren alone chose not to bow, but chose to raise her hands in style according to Chinese tradition which associates the traditional gesture with “making a lot of money”. While both traditions translate into positive meanings, the group’s Korean fans were hurt by Yiren’s choice not to embrace their culture despite being part of a Korean girl group while the fans Chinese Yiren have shown their support.
While it’s uncertain whether Yiren will leave Everglow or choose to stay despite the backlash, fans have started to wonder why Wang Yiren suddenly announced a trip to China so soon after the controversy.