Gangnam Style: Are you doing it yet?

Published: October 7, 2012
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To be very honest, I never understood the word ‘swagger’ too well before. Rapper Park Jae-sung, whose stage name is Psy, is the epitome of swag in the video. PHOTO: REUTERS

If you watch Pakistani television, you may have recently come across a very strange Zong commercial, which goes something like “Open Zong style!”

However, if you browse the internet often, you might already know why I find this commercial to be an insufferable abomination. It is ‘inspired’, so to speak, by the very viral (and incredible) “Gangnam Style” ─ Korean pop/rap sensation Psy’s song video.

I will talk about this displeasure of an ad later. Let’s talk about what “Gangnam Style” is first.

“Gangnam Style” was posted on Psy’s official YouTube channel on July 15, 2012, and now has about 360 million views! It’s a Guinness World Record holder for the most ‘liked’ video ever on YouTube. The song, despite being in Korean, is so catchy it makes you want to sing and dance along.

You may be wondering what ‘Gangnam’ is. It’s a district in Seoul, Korea, known for its class- and trend-conscious people who love indulging in luxury. Let me put it this way; they’re the ‘burgers’ of Seoul.

“Oppan Gangnam style” translates to something along the lines of “Your man is Gangnam style”. ‘Your man’ here is obviously a reference to Psy himself, and he is, indeed, dressed to impress.

The video is a series of very random events, like Psy tanning in a playground, showing off while on a carousel, having a dance-off in a parking lot, chasing people walking in a park, and a crazy elevator scene that I’ll leave for you to watch. It has brought the redundant riding-an-invisible-horse and spinning-an-invisible-lasso dance moves back to life.

I absolutely love the song ─  everything about it. I don’t normally listen to K-pop, I’m more of a psychedelic/classical rock girl, but this song has taken the world by storm and I wasn’t spared. To be very honest, I never understood the word ‘swagger’ too well before. Rapper Park Jae-sung, whose stage name is Psy, is the epitome of swag in the video. He is hilarious, out there, and he’s not your regular super-hot stud. He’s got a few extra pounds and isn’t exactly six feet tall, but that does not shun his confidence. He isn’t shy of strutting his stuff and bringing (a rather new kind of) sexy back.

A friend of mine believes that the Gangnam Style dance moves may have the potential to be incorporated in desi dholki/wedding dance routines. We’re always taking things up a notch. I thought, too, that it would make a sure-fire crowd pleaser, but after watching that eyesore of an advertisement by Zong, I’m in two minds.

Zong should have thought this one out better; trying to stuff a song trending on the internet irrelevantly in a telecommunication company ad is just a no-no. The internet isn’t even accessible to most Pakistanis and the commercial looks like flat-out idiocy to those who have never watched “Gangnam Style”, which has now become an internet meme. Forget those who have watched the video; Zong really wouldn’t want to know what we think about them now. Let’s just say, I’m glad I don’t have a Zong sim.

However, I absolutely love the actual song. Call me lifeless, but I actually know the lyrics to it and can sing along.

The Gangnam style dance routine:

If you want to try the Gangnam style dance, here’s something I’ve made for you.

Think of yourself as an escaping cowboy ─ yes, the hardcore facial expressions included. You may wear dark glasses for added effect.

First, you do the ‘shaking-off-handcuffs-while-riding-a-horse’ move. It goes something like this:  

Now that your handcuffs are off, whip out that imaginary lasso and spin it, while you’re still riding the horse. Viola! Enjoy your funny, new dance moves while the fad lasts.

ILLUSTRATIONS: IMAAN SHEIKH

Read more by Imaan here or follow her on Twitter @SheikhImaan 

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Imaan Sheikh

Imaan Sheikh

An graduate with a degree in Mass Communication from the University of Karachi, she enjoys reading, writing and listening to classical psychedelic rock. She blogs at www.imaansheikh.wordpress.com and tweets as @SheikhImaan (twitter.com/SheikhImaan)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • stinkyloveserum

    hahahahaha love it!!!!Recommend

  • ali

    lol @ burgers’ of Seoul….

    and awesome illustrations… Recommend

  • Furqan

    HAHAHAH, awesome. \m/Recommend

  • Rizwan Liaqat

    Hahahaha I love the illustrations!Recommend

  • Nasir

    Hahaha… Awesome illustrations to portray the dance moves. Also, I absolutely despise that commercial. Bravo on the blog post, made me chuckle.Recommend

  • Rizwan Liaqat

    And yeah the Zong ad is so incredibly lame. It’s not just that they’ve tried to cash in on the gangnam style, it’s that they did such an incredibly poor job of it you feel embarrassed for the actors doing it.Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/aleemzubair Aleem

    What an illustration. What an illustration. Recommend

  • taimoor

    Why has this dance become so famous? Watching cheap, annoying advertisements inbetween the T20 matches was sufficiently torturous. Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/aleemzubair Aleem

    Here’s a non-youtube link of Gangnam Style:

    http://www.mtviggy.com/videos/psy-gangnam-style/Recommend

  • Muhammad Muneeb Shaikh

    Oppa literally means “elder brother” in Korean, but Korean girls also use this word to call their lovers. “Oppan Gangnam style” can closely be translated as “Dear lover in/follow Gangnam Style”, as Gangnam is known for its fashion n stuff.Recommend

  • http://en.gravatar.com/kashifjamal Kashif Jamal

    Huh huh huh you said no-no huh huh huh.Recommend

  • Rmitgirl

    I love this song so I let my creation flow with it. I didnt dance Gangnam style but I created a video how a cat can react to Gangnam style music. Here is my video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cFkBv6l1io&feature=plcp&fb_source=messageRecommend

  • zahra.mohammed

    You got some mad skills Imaan. Well done!Recommend

  • MUSK

    Hahahaha. Awesome blog.Recommend

  • http://[email protected] roxasrubyann

    hellow……………………pohRecommend

  • @DKAIMKHANI

    ahah what an incredible way to put it i love the illustration too ….HighFive for writing thisRecommend

  • Kulsoom

    Hahahaha! lol. Amazing work Imaan!Recommend

  • Qasim Ahsan

    ERMAHGARDDDHHH I love your articles! BATTLESNAKE. O: O: O:Recommend

  • batool

    haha, cute! not to mention the whole West Indies team doing it!Recommend

  • Salman Naqvi

    hahaha.. this has been awesome as usual.. Way to go Sheikh..Recommend

  • mokh

    amazing illustrations-love them Imaan! good article too-advertisers here need to be original and creative not copycatsRecommend

  • Intelektual

    Lol for the gangnam stuff but by criticizing pakis doing gangnam in a Commercial as idiocacy you are actualy discouraging ppl from attempting Gangnam and the reson that its the internet phenomenon did it occur to u that Zong is trying to focus on that Internet using market niche’…Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com sheikh abu bakar

    i wanna lern this song , plz tell any web site to lern thi song ( gangnam style)
    main gangnam style song sonna chata hon plz mujha koi side bta do k main gangnam spng video k sath son loRecommend

  • http://dinopak.wordpress.com Hasan

    Pakistani’s don’t have access to youtube, therefore, they don’t really know what’s going on, on the internet these days. Feel sorry for themRecommend

  • umer

    Nice read ! Recommend

  • Zalim Singh
  • Atiya

    Yeh tou bus Oppan Gangnam style ho gai :D love the illustrations, Imaan! :DRecommend

  • Carlos

    See the original dance gangnam with Will Smith:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfi8V17iVc4Recommend

  • Osman

    Hahah…love the illustrations! seriously…u have potential for pro comic! Recommend

  • Umair

    Lolzzz … u explained dance moves using pictures. These dance steps goes well with Korean body structures.Recommend

  • Jai

    Yes, Gangnam is a trendy rich district in Seoul but Psy isn’t taking pride in it as the author put it, “your man is Gangnam style”. The song is actually a satire on those that live beyond their means to follow the “Gangnam style” of the rich people spending more on their coffee at Starbucks than they do on their lunch. It’s mocking fake people. Recommend

  • Salman

    LMAO .. Well done Imaan .. Gangam 101 ! Recommend

  • http://- Abid P Khan

    Dear author many girls are called Viola, Violet or like the flower Pansy. Then there is a musical instrument by the same name. However, if you meant a different word, it is spelt much differently too! La langue Francaise est tres difficile. Recommend

  • Zain Sultan

    “C’est super”. Its awesome…. love the horse dance..Recommend