Super Junior, the South Korean K-Pop group under S.M Entertainment made its debut in 2005 and has stayed inevitable in the K-Pop scene since then. Titled as the Hallyu Kings, Super Junior is one of the breakthrough groups playing a significant role in taking the K-Wave to different parts of the world. From being the first Korean group to hold 100 concerts worldwide to being the recipient of numerous awards and international charting and forming the first Chinese unit, the group is an unparalleled force to reckon with.
The now nonet made its debut as Super Junior 05 as a project group with the graduation system – similar to the ones we have with NCT. With Leeteuk, Heechul, Hangeng, Yesung, Kangin, Shindong, Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Donghae, Siwon, Ryeowook, and Kibum, the group started as a dozen and later Kyuhyun was added in the line-up in 2006. Being an experimental group, Super Junior has been put to various tests and trials which also includes their active promotion in China and becoming the first-ever idol group to have sub-units. Though the fans initially weren’t much convinced with the act’s strategies, Super Junior proved to be a trendsetter – inspiring the next generation idols. Staying true to their tagline, “The last man standing,” the group after a decade and a half of debut still owns its throne by effectively persuading the new fans, growing the sapphire blue ocean every day. And with no doubt, ELFs’ (their fans) consistent support rooted the act to stay strong through the years.
With regard to Super Junior’s 15th-anniversary celebration, we decided to reach out to Indian ELFs and talk about what makes the group more special and close to heart.
A Source of Happiness – A family
“There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.” – George Sand.
Super Junior, known for building a legacy through the years, has also built an enormous ocean of gleaming sapphire blue gems beyond geographical boundaries. When Indian ELFs were asked to describe what Super Junior meant to them, the ultimate answer was “Happiness.” Happiness isn’t just the feeling of joy and laughter but the feeling of home while letting loose of the things that worry us. Happiness is close-knitted with reliability, credibility and assurance.
And to our pleasant surprise, happiness has a lot of underlying meanings to it and can never be boxed with a single perspective. We feel happy when we aren’t worried about tomorrow, we are happy when we feel accepted and loved, we are happy when we cherish ourselves and finally, we are happy when we have someone to rely on – someone whom we can call home. With no doubt, Super Junior has been one such everlasting home for ELFs. “They are my go-to group whenever am happy, sad, low whatever. Without them, I wouldn’t be what I am today escaping depression,” says Shruti from Bangalore who has been following the group for a decade.
The members’ outgoing personality, creative shows, intriguing music and soulful lyrics have been the components that make the Hallyu kings who they are. And ultimately, Super Junior has been more than an ideal boy group to their fans, it has been a source of happiness and comfort to thousands around the world.
“Don’t be disappointed, don’t judge us. You have already become drunk by the superholic.” – SupermanLyrics from Super Junior’s Superman
An Inspiration Through Thick And Thin
While soothing their fans with their music, the members also inspire them with their personal stories of life. Having to win the toughest battles through the years, Super Junior has indeed been an inspiration to upcoming artists and any aspiring individual. When the world celebrates the nonet for what it is now, years ago, it was a different tale. From inevitable line-up changes to military services and unexpected controversies, the members have been holding on to each other and have been thus inspiring many. We have often heard the members joke around on different occasions calling out themselves as failures. The humour still gets us but whenever the members’ state, “Super Junior is always a Failure,” we instantly get reminded of the anxious rookies who were thriving to entertain and please the K-World. The group had to have a stipulated time to become the Hallyu stars releasing back to back hit singles. But, thanks to their never-dying spirit and consistency that crowned them with titles that they have never dreamt of.
“We May Encounter Many Defeats But We Must Not Be Defeated.” – Maya Angelou
Super Junior is more of a clan of fighters inspiring us to fight for our goals and dreams. From being an experimental project to one of the noble groups with a list of achievements, the group’s history and each members’ life stories themselves have a lot to teach. “Their spirit to always move forward doing what they love, together, through all their hardships,” says Ishu Shankar from Chennai, whole reflecting on what kept the group together through this journey of fifteen years. And these years of cutting and polishing has made the nonet stand out in the history of K-Pop.
“Group that’s one of a kind in the world. And uniquely moving the world” – SupermanLyrics from Super Junior’s Superman
“The Melody Only For Us”
One of the most adorable features of the group is that each member fills the atmosphere with their own distinct colours, as the leader, Leeteuk himself sings, “We met with nothing in common,” in their latest single, “Melody.” And fans couldn’t help but fall in love with the fate of the members, and Surabhi from Kerala finds it the most attractive trait of the group – fitting together despite having extremely different personalities. Similar to the dynamic line-up of the group, the sapphire blue ocean is a cluster of fans of different age groups, from different parts of the world. From the youngest seven-year-old to the eldest, everybody loves their idols equally. And now we know that Super Junior and ELFs are a melody put together for each other.
Since day one, the Ever Lasting Friends (ELF) have been the biggest support for the members. The fandom even won the Billboard fandom Army battle twice in 2018 and 2020, putting forth Super Junior as an everlasting idol group in the list. And with a grand celebration for 15th anniversary, the ELFs materialised their promise to stick together with the group forever.
In Indian, the Indian ELFs group started off as a mere initiative to bring together Indian fans of Super Junior together between 2010 and 2011. “My memory of how things went from there is a little hazy but I remember asking on Yahoo questions(?) If there are any SuJu fans there and one by one I found more, and our fanbase was created towards the end of 2010. Ah, and that led to me creating a FB group of Indian ELF in the start of 2011 and the fanbase grew from there and continues to grow,” says Asma, one of the active admins of the Indian ELFs. Now, the fanbase is one of the strongest communities in India – actively taking part in various fan events, projects and even donation drives.
The fanbase’s latest project was bringing out a subway project in Korea to celebrate the group’s 15th anniversary. Keeping the society’s concern in the first place, Indian ELFs has done some of the thoughtful drives as donating to United Way India to help the front lines risking their lives and fighting COVID-19, to The Humsafar Trust (a non-profit organisation for the LGBTQ community), to Save the Children Korea and much more.
“We believe in always giving back to the society in any possible way, and Super Junior has really inspired us to do projects that help those in need. Our projects range from simple birthday projects we’ve done for the members, or to commemorate some of their military discharge, gifting a star, fundraising for a comeback, or big ones like donating for important causes, etc. We’re very thankful to our fanbase members who support us continuously and make it possible for us to conduct these projects. There have been ups & downs, but thanks to the support; we continue to grow and give back in whatever way possible. SuJu has in a way made it possible for all of us and we’re so happy to be doing this, and will continue to do so,” concludes Asma.
Indian ELFs Message to Super Junior
No matter what, I’ll always follow you. Let’s celebrate many more anniversaries in the future. I love you all 15 men from the bottom of my heart. – Kanchan, pithoragarh
We laughed and cried together, we cheered up each other and supported in difficult times. Even if the paths are not smooth ahead, let’s keep on walking together and catching each other when we fall. To the 15 years that have passed, and many more years that are yet to come, let’s do our best and be happy. Happy 15th anniversary! – Yahavi, Lucknow
Your strength has given us fans the strength to be with you for this long, I want to apologise for all the wrongs we as fans did to you, and be thankful to you to still consider us worthy of your love. Some were with you from the start, some came along mid-way but we’ll be with you forever ~ Megha Kashyap, Delhi
Being part of the sapphire blue light, we look for at the end of every dark tunnel in our life, this is not the end, but an AND, let’s walk together till the Everlasting Promise lasts. We believe in you, just as much you believe in us, let’s grow young together💙 – Abhilasha, Nagpur
Thank you for being everything to me. Let’s spend the rest of our lives together. Stay healthy and be happy <3 – Thanmaya, Udupi
On behalf of DKPOP Team, we wish Super Junior a happy 15th anniversary!! Wishing you all goodness and success!!