Indian Classical

Lee Sunmi of ‘Gashina’ fame under fire for mocking Indian classical dance; issues apology

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Lee Sunmi, who has sung K-pop hits like Gashina, Heroine, is caught in a controversy after a fun TikTok video went wrong. The K-pop idol had shared a video with her backup dancers in which the group danced to BlackPink’s DDU DDU followed by Daler Mehndi’s Tunak Tunak Tun. As per many Twitter users, the dancers ‘immediately start bobbing their heads’ which is a way of ‘mocking’ traditional steps. Fans tweeted asking Lee Sunmi to apologise over the video which has now been deleted from her Twitter account.

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Lee Sunmi controversy 

In the video, Lee Sunmi can be seen dressed in her on-stage look along with her background dancers. At first, Sunmi and the dancers start following the key step to DDU DDU (pointing a finger at the camera). Within seconds, the second song Tunak Tunak Tun starts and the three people in the frame start matching up to the tunes of the song. Even though the singer and dancers did not intend to appropriate any culture as per her statement post the row, several Twitter users felt the need for an apology.

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K-pop idol Sunmi’s TikTok gone wrong 

Lee Sunmi later apologised over the incident. She wrote:

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Some of the fans did not feel anything ‘mocking’ about the video as they tweeted in support of the singer. Some wrote that Tunak Tunak Tun is already a fun, pop song which requires rigorous movements while dancing. While some were still not happy with a K-pop star making any offending actions against a specific culture.

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Fans react to the incident 

Some fans were in support of the idol-

Some Twitterati demanded an apology 

K-pop under fire 

Before Lee Sunmi, BlackPink’s How You Like That music video was called out for disrespecting Lord Ganesha. It was seen in the backdrop of the video. MAMAMOO’s Hwasa was called out for culturally appropriating Nigerian outfit and allegedly using it for a ‘gag theme’ as per fans. 



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