I remember very clearly when I first attended Shinshoku Fever, a Hungarian party series focusing exclusively on Korean and Japanese pop music, because I was totally shocked. It was in February 2010, I've returned from Seoul only several months ago and found myself dancing to the same K-pop songs I was listening in the capital of Korea. The only difference was that the audience consisted of a few hundred Hungarian teens who were more familiar with the lyrics and choreography of the current Korean hit songs than me (very frustrating, I can tell you!^^) Everybody was screaming like a maniac when the DJ started to play Abracadabra (Brown Eyed Girls), Genie (SNSD) or Heartbeat (2PM). "Now what is this? Am I still in Korea?" -- I wondered. I was truly amazed.
Fast forward to July 2011 when the ever-enthusiastic, young creators of Shinshoku Fever decided to organize the 7th edition of this wonderful event. I remember that one of the main DJs of SF, DJ Fuxy told me they sold less then 200 tickets on the 1st edition (December 2009), but thanks to the rapidly expanding, hallyu-receptive Hungarian audience, now more than 400 people bought their tickets to dance their legs off to the latest K-pop and J-pop. From DJ DOC to 2NE1 to BEAST, you have it all -- the emphasis, as always, was on K-pop since around 2/3 of the songs were Korean.
As my Korean friend, Joo-yeon put it: "They know more songs than me! This party is more Korean than the ones we have in Korea!" She owns an award-winning Daum blog about Hungary, if you know some Korean, check out her commentary on the Shinshoku Fever with pictures and videos here.
Hungary is a small country in Central Europe with a population of 10 million people, however, we have 10 manhwa-series at our bookstores, more than 30 Korean movies on DVD and a monthly Korean film club event held at the cinema of the Hungarian Film Archive. 3 Korean dramas (Jewel in the Palace, Queen Seondeok, Dong Yi) were already broadcasted on our state channel and now Shinshoku Fever has doubled its audience within a year and a half. Many examples to demonstrate that hallyu has definately reached Hungary.
And, believe me, it's not only my personal vision: the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Korea is about to open a Korean Cultural Centre in Budapest at the end of 2011. Hungary is not France (see the recent sold-out SM Town concert) or Great Britain (see the possible upcoming concert of United Cube) but the opening of a KCC shows perfectly that when it comes to hallyu, we are leaders among the small European nations.
Lastly check out the best moments of Shinshoku Fever: