Like K-pop? Then you’re a “ting” | Bangkok Post: learning

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Like K-pop? Then you’re a “ting”

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Get started with Sithikorn Wongwudthianun’s long feature story on K-pop fans in Thailand in today’s Brunch magazine and find out why they are called “ting’s”. Then take a test to find out what kind of “ting” you might be. 

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Brunch magazine’s cover story is on the K-pop scene in Thailand. It is a very long story and I have taken some of the most interesting parts to get you started. You can read the full story here: http://www.bangkokpost.com/lifestyle/interview/349563/k-pop-confidential-super-fans-and-the-craze-that-consumes-them

Die-hard fans of Girls’ Generation copy the band’s costumes from their latest album ‘I Got A Boy’ as they head for a concert by the stars.


Click button to listen to Tings and rightclick to download

Like K-pop?  Then you’re a “ting”

Sithikorn Wongwudthianun

What is a Ting?

Before there was any K-pop connection, ``ting'' was the word used to refer to what used to be the regulation haircuts that girls in high school had to have, no longer than the ear lobe (``ting is short for ``ting hu'' (ติ่งหู), or ear lobe).

When K-pop first took off in Thailand, the majority of those who came out to shriek at the singers were high school girls, who were dubbed ``ting Kaw-ree [Korean]''. The abbreviated ting now refers to anyone who loves South Korean pop culture, including TV shows and movies, though mainly K-pop.

A Thai K-pop fan appears on a news broadcast covering the Korean Music Wave festival held in Bangkok in March.


How big a ting are you?

Before you decide where you sit on a scale of 1 to 10, let's meet a couple of extreme "tings".

First, Noi, a 24-year-old college student:

Her favourite K-Pop band, Girls' Generation didn't include Thailand on a recent concert tour, so Noi decided to get creative.

Drawing on savings she arranged her ``own Asia tour'', travelling to each of the band's concert stops, but being a truly dedicated ting, she didn't stop there.

``I made it a point to be on the same plane with the artists to make sure they had a safe flight,'' Noi says.

Then there's CRAZEBie, a 33-year-old accounting manager, who has been a "ting" since 2004. She didn’t enter the extreme levels of the craze until 2007 when Girls' Generation was taking off.

She founded a website for the band after its debut and for one year bought everything she could get her hands on related to the band.

 ``Then I simply couldn't afford it anymore since there is so much stuff out there,'' Bie says. `` Since their debut until today, I've spent around 100,000 baht on the band, which includes postcards, posters, CDs, DVDs, photo books as well as airfare, hotels and even vitamins they've promoted.

Truly hard-core

True K-pop fans don't just attend concerts. They participate.

For truly hard-core tings, the full ``K-pop'' concert experience begins two days prior to the show – at the airport.

Competing with iPhone fans in the dedication department, the tings stake out prime property at Suvarnabhumi and await, banners ready to unfurl at the ready, for their heroes to disembark.

``I bring my homework with me and sometimes I also prepare for a mid-term exam while I wait,'' said New, a 19-year-old college student.

When an entire group is involved rather than a solo artist, the wait at the airport can be even longer, as "ting" hang around until all members are accounted for.

Once they've arrived, the fans will greet them with a welcome gift decided on beforehand by the fan club involved.

A singer who comes to Bangkok and hopes to stay a few days can abandon any hope of maintaining a low profile.


Tings quickly find out where they are and what they're doing and share the information on their extensive social networks. Some will approach the stars in public and seek out autographs, even going so far as to charter buses to follow them upcountry.

Now, take the Ting test to find out where you are.

Nattaya Srisawang

die-hard – very loyal; hard core จงรักภักดี
connection – something that connects two facts, ideas, etc. การเชื่อมต่อ การเชื่อมโยง
regulation – an official rule that controls the way that things are done กฎระเบียบ
ear lobe – the soft part at the bottom of the ear ติ่งหู
the majority – most of the people in a group คนส่วนใหญ่
shriek – to give a loud high shout, for example when you are excited, frightened or in pain  กรีดร้อง, ส่งเสียงร้องแหลมดัง
dubbed – called; given a name ถูกเรียก ตั้งฉายา
abbreviated – shortened, in this case, from “ting hu” to “ting”.
scale – a range of levels or numbers used for measuring something ระบบการวัด
extreme – very great in degree ที่สุด
favourite – something you like the best of all similar things ที่ชอบมากที่สุด, ที่โปรดปราน, ของโปรด
creative – involving a lot of imagination and new ideas ซึ่งมีความคิดริเริ่ม, ซึ่งมีความคิดสร้างสรรค์
draw – to take money from a fund or account ถอนเงิน
dedicated – spending much time and effort on something อุทิศให้
level – a position or rank in a scale of size or importance ระดับ
craze – an enthusiastic interest in something that is shared by many people but that usually does not last very long; a thing that people have a craze for ความนิยม (ในช่วงระยะสั้นๆ)
found – to start an organisation, company, political party etc  สร้าง,  ก่อตั้ง, สถาปนา
debut – performing for the first time การเปิดตัว
afford – to have enough money to be able to pay for something  มีเงินพอจับจ่าย  ซื้อหา
hard-core – loyal and willing to give your time and energy to something that you believe in อุทิศตัวเพื่อ
stake out – to clearly mark the limits of something that you claim is yours  ปักเขต, วางหลักเขต, อ้างสิทธิ์
prime property – the best property, in this case, the best place to see the K-pop stars
banner – a wide piece of cloth with a message on it  แถบผ้า ป้าย
unfurl – to open something that is curled or rolled tightly  คลี่ออก,  ทำให้กางออก, คลี่ออกจากที่ม้วนอยู่
disembark – to leave a vehicle, especially a ship or an aircraft, at the end of a journey ออกจากพาหนะ
hang around – to wait for someone/something
accounted for – all the things or people who should be there are now there
abandon – to give up ละทิ้ง
maintain a low profile – to try not to attract attention ลดบทบาท
extensive – great in amount; covering a large area กว้างขวาง
social network – websites or other services on the internet for communication with people who share your interests เครือข่ายสังคม
approach – to move toward someone and speak to them about something เข้าหา
autograph – a signature, especially of a famous person ลายเซ็นต์
charter – to hire especially for the use of a particular group เช่าเหมา
upcountry – areas outside of the Bangkok area; connected with an area of a country that is not near large towns ต่างจังหวัด, ที่อยู่ในชนบท, ที่อยู่ห่างไกลจากเมือง

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