STAYC’s Sieun And Sumin Under Fire For Allegedly Mocking South Asian Culture With Singing “Curry”

Fans are disappointed.

STAYC‘s Sieun and Sumin are under fire for allegedly mocking Indian culture.

Sumin (left) and Sieun (right)

In a newly uploaded video by KCON JAPAN, STAYC played a “Check-in Mission” game. Sieun and Sumin had to choose between food choices Gyukatsu or curry, which they had to choose without seeing. They had to think of a song with the word “curry” in it, so they proceeded to sing Norazo‘s “Curry.”

The “Curry” song was released by the K-Pop duo Norazo over a decade ago and became a hit in South Korea. So, the STAYC members are certainly not the first K-Pop idols to sing it.

Yet, it’s very controversial and problematic. Not only are the lyrics and choreography harmfully stereotyping South Asian but the MV even depicts the duo wearing brownface.

Shanti, Shanti / Yoga, Fire / I love hot curry

— “Curry,” Norazo

In 2020, SEVENTEEN‘s Wonwoo sang “Curry” in an episode of the variety show Going Seventeen. At the time, Norazo’s Jo Bin issued a statement about the song as he saw Wonwoo receiving criticism. He captioned the post, “The writing I wrote is not intended to encourage disputes. I wanted everyone to be comfortable. Sorry. You have no choice but to close the feedback window. The opinion window can be a place of controversy with each other! May everyone see us with understanding and love. We will definitely grow in a good direction!”

Norazo are not racist and do not insult religions! I’ve heard from people of Indian descent today that curry is not a part of real Indian food. The reason why I ended up working on the song without checking the facts was because I lived in Korea while knowing false information about the history of curry, so I was taught to think, ‘Curry is Indian food!’ As a result, I did not realize what the words I used to express India as a homeland actually meant and how sacred they were! This was surely my mistake!

All we wanted to do was let it be known that curry is a delicious food that anybody can enjoy through our Norazo style! I want to say that we didn’t write the song with the intent to put anyone down or cut down the culture or tradition of a precious country!

From now on, we’ll be sure to be singers who make and sing songs with proper information! We apologize to people of India and Southern Asia who were hurt by this! And lastly, just like us, our hoobae singers didn’t know it could be conveyed that way!

We hope that this song, which was ignorant about another country’s tradition, will not hurt our hoobae singers who are on their world tour while loving the fans and cultures of other countries!

— Norazo’s Jo Bin

Jo Bin

Despite the controversy surrounding Wonwoo and Jo Bin’s statement, STAYC’s Sieun and Sumin are now under fire from international fans for singing “Curry.” Fans have expressed their disappointment on social media.

Some STAYC fans have also criticized the game curators. Obviously, there will be few songs with lyrics like “curry” in them.

At this time, High Up Entertainment, the members, or KCON JAPAN have not addressed the situation.

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