If you're a movie buff or a "Bachelor" fan, you might've noticed a sudden, steady trickling of popular culture from a certain nation entering your worldview. That's because, as journalist Euny Hong explains in her new book, The Birth of Korean Cool, the exportation of music, fashion and technology has been a nationally-sanctioned focus in South Korea since the 1990s. Called Hallyu ("The Korean Wave"), this very intentional push to popularize Korean culture has only caught wind in America in recent years.
"Hallyu is literally just the Korean word for Korean wave, and it described what most people don't realize is a Korean government backed and financed national project," Hong told The Huffington Post. "It is currently the nation's number one priority, to export Korean popular culture to the world."