Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The Step and the Song that United the World for Long!

Written By Ojas Koneripura (Grade 10)


July 2012 went down in the annals of world history in the field of pop and music. A song that broke records, and the song that united the whole world as one, with that one step and that one trend—a dance step so bizarre yet beautiful—recorded itself in the books of pop history. The voice of the whole world sang this song, and the universe echoed with the words, “Oppan Gangnam Style!!”

A banger produced by PSY, a South Korean-based rapper, set the base and benchmark for Korean pop, famously known as K-pop. With this masterpiece, the whole world forgot about the boundaries, languages, and races that divided it. The concept of this magnificent piece of art was taken from the Gangnam region of Seoul, South Korea, where the inhabitants are trendy with a lavish and luxurious lifestyle.

World peace was at its peak at that time. As momentum built, parodies of the dance swept across the world. The British Army and Thai Navy filmed their versions, while celebrities and politicians from countries as diverse as Mexico, Australia, Brazil, and Germany performed it on regional television, and professional footballers, boxers, tennis players, and cricketers all paid tribute in their sporting celebrations. West Indian cricketer Christopher Henry Gayle, well known as Chris Gayle, was the only man who popularised the steps of this song in the field of cricket by using it as a celebratory step while playing internationals (for the West Indies) as well as domestic cricket (IPL). Even the then-British Prime Minister, David Cameron, and members of the British royal family attempted their unique versions of the video’s catchy dance routine.

The horse dance for the chorus, “Oppan Gangnam Style,” went viral and spread through nations like wildfire. PSY had earned quick fame and a name. The whole world danced to his beats, together as one. The ‘horse dance’ step showcased a person holding the reins of the horse and swinging the whip as the horse galloped in full pace.

This song, on a personal note, has left quite an impression on me, as it showcased the cultural background of a geographical area and how it was loved by the entire world. Such unique cultures grip and bind our world, which promotes the upbringing of many other cultures, types of music, dance steps, etc. on the international stage, which eventually creates a sense of unity among each other. One perfect example, one can give from the perspective of an Indian, of how a musical note and a dance step gripped the world was the moment when ‘Naatu Naatu’ from the movie RRR won the Oscars for the country in 2023. This energetic piece of art was loved not only in India but all around the world, travelling through Africa, Europe, the USA, Australia, and Asia.

Coming back to PSY’s Gangnam Style, this piece of art has left a huge imprint on the world. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow has rightly said that “Music is the universal language of mankind.” This statement cannot get truer, as it makes one ponder how just one step and one beat of music bound the entire world for a period of time. However, as time moved on, it was quite unfortunate that the world forgot about the catalyst that united it. The echoes of “Oppan Gangnam Style” have grown faint but are still heard. During times of violence like intolerance, hate, jealousy, and ego, the world now needs a miracle like that of 2012. A miracle in the guise of art is always the solution and a medium to attain world peace.


Featured Image Courtesy – Aurora



Ojas Koneripura
Ojas Koneripura
A history-freak and a passionate researcher of India's untold history!

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