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Everybody Loves BTS, Including the United Nations

Mona is a veteran writer, educator, and coach. She is presently affiliated with Enrich Magazine and Pressenza

My article on BTS in Enrich Magazine

My article on BTS in Enrich Magazine

Who doesn’t love James Corden? He’s hilarious, creative, and always positive. But when he said the BTS ARMY (BTS fans) are 15 years old, it caused a stir.

BTS, a Korean pop (K-pop) group, topped the US Billboard Hot 100 with their 2020 single, Life Goes On – the first Korean language song to do this. Their first English-language release, Dynamite in 2020, topped the charts globally for several weeks. And although they didn’t win when they had a Grammy nomination, they made history as the first K-pop group to perform their own song at the Grammys.

BTS also performed its hit song, “Permission to Dance” at The United Nations. During the UN General Assembly kickoffs, BTS leader Kim Nan Jun, aka RM, gave a speech that got 14.5 million views. Boris Johnson’s speech only got 33,000.

BTS uses its platform to promote equal rights and visibility for all. In South Korea the LGBTQ+ community is often discriminated against, and there’s no legal recognition of same-sex partnerships. Consensual sex between military personnel can land participants two years in prison.

Permission to Dance

BTS fans

There’s an instagram page for BTS moms, a facebook page called BTS army for people over 40, and a facebook BTS moms group, among others. For some reason, in this generation there seems to be no urging to understand songs before you love them. Dynamite is in English and I still can’t understand the words, but the music and sound are lovely and new and they are all such great performers. One could safely say that everybody is a potential BTS fan, old or young.

It’s also hard to tell who is who in this band of seven Asians. This is because there was a time when they kept changing the color of their hair, so the pink-haired guy wasn’t pink-haired anymore, somebody else was. Thankfully, YouTube allows you to watch their videos over and over again, and you can finally identify your favorite BTS member.

It may interest you to know that Koreans have two ages. In Korea, a baby is one year old when born. Then on New Year, the baby is two years old.

This means that if a baby is born on December 31, the baby will be one year old. Then on New Year’s day, the baby will turn two years old. Furthermore, Koreans will celebrate the day they were born, but their age won’t change until New Year.


RM

Photo taken from my article

Photo taken from my article

Suga

2. Min-yoon-gi joined the group when he was 17. Yoongi was a rapper in the underground hip-hop scene. He was discovered when he won second place in a competition. With this victory, he was asked to join BTS. Yoongi discovered that he was a great dancer through BTS. He changed his name to Suga, because in basketball his favorite position was shooting guard. Suga combined the first two syllables of the position. He’s now 28 years old.

Suga

Taken from my article

Taken from my article

J-Hope

3. Jung Ho-seok was 15 years old when he was taken into BTS because of his dancing skills. This national champion dancer changed his name to j-Hope to present hope to his fans, and to be “the hope of BTS”. His name was inspired by the story of Pandora’s box, which released all sorts of evils into the world, but also released hope. j-Hope is now 28 years old.

J-Hope

From my article

From my article

Jin

4. Kim Seokjin was chosen for his dancing and vocals. He was 20 years old when he joined the group, and he’s the eldest among them. He’s now 28 years old, but his Korean age is 30.

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Jin

Taken from my article

Taken from my article

V

5. Kim Tae-hyung. Also called V, Kim Tae-hyung came from a family of farmers and presumed he’d be a farmer, too. His father, however, saw V’s love for music and suggested that V learn a musical instrument. For three years V practiced on the saxophone, and learned how to rap and dance. V is ambidextrous. He’s considered BTS’ lucky charm, as fans warm up to him easily. He’s now 26 years old.

V

From my article

From my article

Jimin

6. Park Ji-min, aka Jimin, is the dancer and main vocalist of the group. Jimin joined BTS at age 16. He’s the only member who uses his real name as his stage name. He’s now 26 years old.

Jimin

From my article

From my article

Junkook

7. Jeon Jeong-guk dreamed of becoming a professional badminton player but changed his mind when he saw a TV performance by G-Dragon. He auditioned for the show Super Star K, and although he didn’t make it, he got an offer to join BTS. A performance by RM persuaded Jungkook to join the group when he was was 15 years old. He’s a songwriter, producer, and the main vocalist of BTS. He’s now 24 years old.

From my article

From my article

Languages they speak

RM learned English by watching the TV show Friends. He would first watch it with the Korean captions, then watch it without the captions. Other BTS members are studying English and Chinese, but for now, RM is the English speaker for the group when they’re in English - speaking countries. RM also speaks Mandarin, and all seven of them speak Japanese. But, they’ve had their share of mistakes.

For example, once the group spoke in Mandarin. Jin said, “I love the Chinese language”, then quickly passed the microphone to J-Hope, who said he loved to speak Chinese too. The mic was then passed to V, who, instead of answering the question, “What is your favorite food” merely said, “Thank you,” which made the audience laugh.


Dynamite

For More Information

Here are some useful links:

https://www.scmp.com/magazines/style/celebrity/article/3149900/whats-beef-james-corden-and-bts-army-late-late-show-host

https://www.facebook.com/groups/761616611404955

https://overseas.mofa.go.kr/no-en/brd/m_21237/view.do?seq=33

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBhDQwYQDXU



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