Lee Hyori released her 6th album titled “Black” on 4th July. One of the tracks under this album called “White Snake” has the entire verse of the Gayatri Mantra in it from 2:35 to 2:51.
In her performance on Show Champion and Music Bank, she danced sensually to the verse which is enormously disrespectful considering how it is one of the foremost prayers of Hinduism. Even the bindis that have been worn by her and her dancers are inappropriate since they are not merely fashion accessories but something that has cultural significance.
Lee Hyori mentioned in an interview that she enjoys yoga a lot and has been looking into Indian language and culture recently, so it’s slightly bizarre that she used a popular religious prayer in her song.
K-idols appropriating other cultures for their comeback concepts is not an uncommon occurrence. These occurrences often involve the portrayal of India solely in terms of bindis, turbans, snake charmers and ‘curry’. These stereotypes can be extremely demeaning and have racist undertones.
The Gayatri Mantra has the purpose of cleansing the mind, body and soul. The usage of the Gayatri Mantra in the song “White Snake” is extremely inappropriate and unacceptable because it has been done with the intention to sexualise and exoticise it. Fans have expressed their distaste over it on SNS and have been demanding for an apology and the removal of the prayer from the song.
is a lee hyori stan gonna come up to me and say she's a converted hindu now…or…is there any explanation for her using the gayatri mantra pic.twitter.com/S9gD8GqQVH
— hyunjinese (@kookminvasion) July 6, 2017
thread about lee hyori sexualising one of the most important prayers of Hinduism–
— miku🍃| pinned (@gulabjiminnie) July 9, 2017
It is instances like these that make it clear that even though K-pop is a global phenomenon, there is a growing need for a certain level of awareness regarding cultural and religious sensibilities.
What are your thoughts on this??