Global South Korea: London 🎡
The United Kingdom is an extremely culturally diverse country, with all sorts of nationalities and ethnicities living there. The UK currently holds one of the largest groups of overseas Koreans in the world with an estimated population of 100,000—from British citizens, to international students, to those who moved there with no intentions of leaving. Around two thirds of these UK-based Koreans live in or near London.
London is considered one of the most important and influential cities in the world. With a population of over 8 million, and it being one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world—30 million visitors every year—it is not surprising that there are big events and places that belong to one specific country, like Chinatown. It also has many events, places and links to South Korea. So, if you are lucky and live in London, or will be visiting this popular place, take a look at all the Korean activities.
The Korean community has not been shy in setting up businesses, and the streets in London have some golden places. Korean shops range from grocery stores to stationary shops; there are Korean travel agents, Korean-language child care services, Korean hairdressers, even Korean-language newspapers!
And not to mention the amazing Korean restaurants. The two most famous ones in London are Little Korea Restaurant, which serves all sorts of dishes; and Olle BBQ, a delicious Korean BBQ restaurant (It was recently visited by three BTS members!).
There are many Korean major and independent events that take place in the capital of England.
Every year in November, London hosts the London Korean Film Festival. It is a mix of UK and International premieres of all sorts of Korean films, which vary in genre: from Women’s Voices, to Indie Firepower, to animations. Any lover of films or Korean culture is definitely going to enjoy this event. If you are looking for a more active sort of thing, MCM Comic Con (the London Comic Con) has panels, workshops, music and stages just for Korean, Japanese and Asian culture called PopAsia.
Independent events vary and occur every week. All you have to do is google “Korean events in London” and there will be around four things per week. There are drinking socials, restaurant meetups, kimchi-making workshops, and even karaoke nights! But it doesn’t stop at fun, social events. Kensington University is preparing for a conference, where the presentation “BTS: A Global Disciplinary Conference Project” will take place, and anyone is welcome to attend!
- Korean Culture Centre UK
The Korean Culture Centre UK is a London-based centre that focuses on putting Korean culture out on the streets, accessible to anyone and everyone, and helping the spread of Hallyu. It organises all sorts of social events, such as the weekly film nights (free to attend!), literature clubs, live music...anything Korean! Their YouTube channel shows all the performances that have passed (in case you miss anything), and their web page has all the upcoming events.
- New Malden Koreatown
The New Malden Koreatown is a Koreatown (duh!) in the northern outskirts of London. It’s still accessible by tube (subway), trains or buses, and it’s streets of...well, anything Korean! Many British Koreans reside here, and the night life is always buzzing like with Seoul. The town has all sorts of shops, restaurants, and Karaoke! In this town you will find all your favourite Korean dishes, K-pop albums and merch, and so much more to discover about Korea!
This concludes our Korean tour in London. There is so much to do (for great prices too) in the giant city, it will be almost impossible to get bored. Next time you book your trip to London, you now know where to go!
Written by Lucille Bamber