Choi Siwon Rescues A Puppy and Makes Us Fall in Love With Him… Even More

Just when we thought we couldn’t love Super Junior’s Choi Siwon any more than we already do, he goes and does some heroic act like this.

Siwon has been in Taiwan filming a new movie, To The Fore, directed by Dante Lam. Although he has only recently arrived, he has already been all over Taiwanese TV news. For what? Stepping out into traffic and saving a lost puppy from the pouring rain.

Apparently, Siwon was in a vehicle when he noticed the puppy and didn’t hesitate to chase after her and dry her off with a towel. He then dropped the puppy safely off to a vet’s clinic. How do we know all this? Well the good (and very, very handsome) samaritan was unaware that his entire act of kindness was caught on video. Was it filmed by a random passerby? Paparazzi? Crazy fan girl? We’ll never know, but we’re very thankful for the footage either way.

Additionally, Siwon had posted this adorable photo on twitter moments after the rescue.

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Although this story is heartwarming, we can’t say it comes as a complete surprise. After all, the Korean artist is well-known for his kindness and gentlemanly ways. According to Taiwanese fans, the artist has never denied a fans request to shake hands and is extremely friendly.

This act of heroism isn’t the only thing that has us in love with Siwon. He’s a triple threat: a singer, actor and model. He’s known for his strong faith and his reputation for kindness is unyielding. Oh, and let’s be honest here– if we looked up “handsome” in the dictionary, let’s just say I wouldn’t be surprised if I found his picture there. After all, he did rank #7 on The Independent Critics “100 Most Handsome Faces of 2013.”

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Oh, did I forget to mention the abs? We shouldn’t forget that.

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Choi Siwon, I would say there’s no way for us to love you even more, but you’ll probably go and prove us wrong again.


(Source)

This Korean Makeup Vlogger Shows You How To Achieve the Perfect Dewy, Summer Look

With the summer heat bearing down on you, it’s easy for your makeup to look and feel, well, under the weather. You need a makeup regime that will boost the brightness level of your face so you can keep on shining all day long — by choice, and not by sweat.

South Korean girls seem to have mastered how to balance the dewy-and-not-clammy look, considering that they live in terribly humid conditions all throughout the summer. Popular South Korean vlogger, Dayeong Kim, shows you how to achieve this glowing look in her tutorial for a makeup routine that she calls “a natural, daily look.” Featured on her YouTube channel, Dayomi page, the video shows a step-by-step rundown of her makeup routine, with tips to follow — but it’s all in Korean. Well, if you’re not a native Korean speaker, then you’re in luck, because we’ve brought you a translated run-through of how to pull off this natural, glowing look in 12, relatively easy, steps.

Here’s what you’ll need …

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Step #1: Dab an ample amount of Botanic Hill bob Radiant Youth Ampoule Essence into your hands and vigorously rub it in between your palms. Then, gently press the essence into your cheeks, spreading it around your face in an upward fashion. (She applies this twice to show you how it’s done, but one application should be fine.) Dayeong says this essence gives your skin a sense of firmness, but it still allows the skin to be moist and flexible.

Step #2: Take Giorgio Armani’s UV Master Primer Mauve and apply to your cheeks, chin, nose, and forehead. Lightly spread and blend into your face. This orchid-hued primer doesn’t clog your pores, says Dayeong, and it provides a nice, dewy sheen all over your face.

Step #3: Dayeong explains the four-part process in applying her foundation. You’ll need Giorgio Armani’s Fluid Sheer (in 7), Giorgio Armani’s Lasting Silk UV Foundation (in 4), Vaseline Pure Petroleum Jelly Original, and L’Oreal Hydra Fresh Masking Lotion. Using the back of your hand as a palette, dab a little bit of each item into one large blob and blend well. These four components work together to bring out the bright, pearliness in your skin, and creates a smooth, natural finish.

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Step #4: Use Bobbi Brown’s Mineral Powder to help set the foundation and keep it from unevenly melting off.

Now, remember to take many moments during your makeup session to admire yourself in the mirror in interesting poses.

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Okay, let’s get back to it.

Step #5: With a small brush, lightly apply the smokey color in Urban Decay’s Naked 1 palette for eyebrows that are not too light, nor too dark. Fan out as you apply for an even finish.

Step #6: Next, take your eyelash curler and start curling from the bottom of your lashes to the top in a gradual, upward motion. Dayeong says that since this glowing makeup look doesn’t highlight your eye points, it’s imperative that you give your lashes plenty of support for a beautiful, wide curl.

Step #7: Take Innisfree’s Creamy Tint Lip Mousse 3 (an item that Dayeong says she is currently obsessed with) and dab a little onto your hand-palette. Then dab some Urban Decay Eye Primer, and combine the two together. With the blended mixture on your finger, dab gently onto a napkin, and then proceed to apply the color to your eyelids. Dayeong’s tip: the key is to apply the color, dab lightly, blend out, and repeat as needed to create a subtle pink sheen that delicately fans out on your eyelid.

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Step #8: Instead of using a black color for her liner, which Dayeong says is too harsh for this look, she uses a more natural brown hue for a softer touch. Take your eyeliner pencil and use Bobbi Brown’s Gel Liner in Espresso Ink. Lift your eyelid slightly and lightly apply the liner along your eyelash line, being careful not to go over the line. Finish it off by applying a very tiny wing to the corner end of each eye.

Step #9: Maybelline’s Falsies Mascara creates long, rich eyelashes that almost look like false eyelashes. As you’ll see in the video, Dayeong first applies the mascara downwards on the top eyelash first, and then applies upwards, for a more dramatic eyelash.

Step #10: Using Nars Love Blush, lightly apply to cheekbones as you would with any blush for a subtle, but romantic finish. It helps if you smile a little during the application, so your cheekbones are raised.

Step #11: Tone down your lips. Although many people use concealer to tone down their lips before adding color, Dayeong says that concealer reveals too much of the creases on her lips. If you struggle with this too, then use a lightly tinted lipstick instead. Dayeong uses Clio’s Diamond Lipstick in Pretty Pink to create a smooth under layer before applying her lip color.

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Step #12: Using Innisfree’s Creamy Tint Lip Mousse 3 again — she did say she was obsessed — smear a small dab in the middle of your lips. Spread the color by pressing your lips together for a gradated look, applying more color as needed, and then dab the edges with your pink finger to fill in any spots.

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Throw your hair up in a high pony, and voila, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 … 4, 5 …12 steps!

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With all jokes aside, this natural, glowing makeup routine is simply perfect to wear daily. And the best part is, it stays on all day long. Dayeong’s makeup in the beginning of the video was filmed more than two hours after she had applied her makeup, and it still stayed so fresh and so clean (clean).

 

(Photo credit: Screenshots from the video and the Kim Dayeong website.)

4 Ways The Korean “Ajumma” Is Becoming The New Style Influencer

 

Ajumma: noun, \’a joom ma\ A middle-aged Korean woman, typically identifiable by a mop of tightly curled short hair; loose, mismatched clothing; and a no-nonsense, out-of-my-way attitude.

 

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Cartoon by Emiko Sawanobori.

 

For some time now, the stereotypical Korean ajumma has long been thought of as the antithesis of style — something, as a young Korean woman, you never wanted to become. In Korea, you see them hawking their wares from food carts or squatting on the side of the road, picking weeds. In Los Angeles, I’m being jostled left and right by all manner of ajumma in the produce section of the Korean market. Travel almost anywhere in the world and you’re likely to see a whole swarm of ajumma, dolled up in brightly colored North Face windbreakers and talking super loud over one another. It’s a cringe-worthy sight.

And yet, I’ve been noticing that ajumma style is slowly seeping out into the real world, the non-ajumma world of the rest of us. It’s something Valerie Luu and Andria Lo noticed about San Francisco’s Chinatown senior citizens. Whether intentional or not, it just goes to show — those ajummas might actually know a thing or two. Here, four ways the ajumma is the new style influencer.

 

1. Mismatched prints

Print clashing has been a thing on fashion runways for several years now. But when restaurateur Roy Choi took the mismatching prints ajummas are famous for wearing and turned it into the wait staff uniform for his new Korean restaurant Pot at The Line Hotel in Los Angeles, I knew the ajumma had reached icon status.

 

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Mismatched prints from the fall/winter 2014 runways of, from left, Acne, Duro Olowu and Viktor & Rolf.

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The mismatched prints worn by the hostess at Pot, left, and the wait staff, right, are styled after a typical ajumma, says restaurateur Roy Choi.

 

2. Sun Umbrellas 

 

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Sun umbrellas among the young are already a thing in China.

 

According to the Korean newspaper Joongang Daily, small sun umbrellas, or yangsan, have officially become a must-have among the younger set. In Korea, portable parasol sales jumped by 35 percent compared to last year, with almost half the purchasers in their 20s and 30s. It’s really no surprise, given the obsession with skincare in the country. It’s only a matter of time before this trend spreads to the States. After all, the ajumma has mostly bypassed the sun umbrella these days in favor of the …

 

3. Oversized Visor

 

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I’ll admit — this one threw me for a loop. Sure, visors came down Marni’s spring 2014 runway, but they were so hyper-embellished and sleek, they were actually cute. Sure, golf superstar Michelle Wie wears amply sized visors on the green, but come on, she’s an athlete. Yeah, OK, so Donald Sterling ex V. Stiviano piqued curiosity about the welding mask-like visor that ajummas have worn for years. But I realized visors might actually become a thing when, on a business trip to Korea with other magazine editors, a prominent beauty editor of an American fashion magazine (she’s white) fell in love with the giant visor worn by some ajummas gardening on the side of the road. Oblivious to the so-not-chic connotations, she promptly declared it genius and went out and bought one to wear herself. It truly opened my eyes to the possibilities.

 

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Visor chic at Marni’s spring 2014 show.

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Oversized visors are already catching on in Asia.

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V. Stiviano and the infamous visor.

 

4. Arm sleeves

 

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This ajumma trend has been going on in Asia for some time, and not just among the ajummas. Young women in Asia now regularly wear arm sleeves to protect their skin while driving. But when I saw my Chinese Honduran sister-in-law casually put on fingerless gloves one morning before starting the car, I knew the trend had officially crossed over. Needless to say, I promptly dug out my fingerless gloves, circa 2004, and now keep them in the car. Just in case.

 

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So, is the short, tight perm (or pamma in Korean) next? (It does look like an Asian ‘fro, after all.) I say, when it comes to the Korean ajumma, don’t count anything out.

Proof That Kpop Isn’t Just For Koreans

It’s officially summertime and you know what that means– it’s time for another KCON. KCON is the first ever Southern California K-pop convention that allows fans to celebrate Korean entertainment and culture. 

We still have a few months before KCON 2014, but the recent confirmation of appearances by Girls Generation, CNBlue and IU have us sitting on the edge of our seats. We can’t help but reminisce about our experience last year and how much it opened our eyes. KCON showed us that it’s perfectly fine to be a Kpop fan even if you’re not Korean.

For today’s #FBF (Flashback Friday), we’ve decided to show you why you should be excited for this year’s KCON. Here is what we learned a year ago:


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I first became interested in Kpop with the release of DBSK’s Hug in 2004. Like any young fangirl, I blew up my social media sites with pictures and videos of my newfound love. However, I received an overwhelming amount of criticism from friends:

“But you’re not Korean?”
“Why are you into this? You don’t even speak Korean.”
“Korean music is really weird.”
“But you don’t understand what they’re saying.”

Fast forward 9 years and the rise of Kpop has become a world-wide phenomenon. The very same people who questioned my interest in Kpop are now jamming to Big Bang and criticizing me for not hearing the latest song.

The point is, times have changed and this weekend was quite the eye opener. It had not yet hit me that many of the Kpop fans I knew weren’t actually Korean. In fact, when a Korean co-worker told me that most of the hardcore fans aren’t Korean at all, I assumed she was joking.

I was obviously proved wrong.

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This past weekend was the 2nd annual KCON– a Kpop music festival held in the United States which presents an opportunity for American fans to come together and share their love for Korean Music. I expected the crazy fangirls, the intense cosplay, the neon-colored fan signs and the korean food galore. What I didn’t expect, and was pleasantly surprised to discover, was the cultural diversity of the event.

Upon entering the festival, I was met with a sea of color. No, not the bright pink Mnet bags and the neon green Bibigo balloons. The palette of ethnicities was beyond impressive. Because of my initial experience with Kpop, I had expected this festival to largely consist of Koreans along with a handful of Pan-Asians. I assumed that I would meet the same criticism that my friends initially gave me about being unable to understand the language, but a visit to the dance workshop area proved otherwise.

The stage was covered with every race you could think of: Caucasians, Latinos, African Americans and various other non-Asian folk. Not only did East Asians show their presence, but Southeast Asians and South Asians did as well. Fans who clearly stated they were not Korean were singing every single word of their favorite songs and impressively showcasing the intricate dance moves to these songs. Yes, these fans took time out of their lives to memorize lyrics to Korean songs without actually knowing Korean. Now that’s dedication.

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The more time I spent at the festival, the more I came across cultural diversity. I came across a Caucasian man, well into his 30s, who excitedly purchased a heart-shaped fan with the pictures of 2am printed on it. I came across a group of Latina girls sporting G-Dragon hats, shirts and even sneakers. I came across a non-Asian boy, who couldn’t have been older than 12, perform the choreography of Growl so well that even EXO would have been impressed.

I came out of this KCON experience realizing that the beauty of this festival was not in the performers and the pretty concert. The beauty was in the fans who attended. Never once was anyone criticized for their racial background or their inability to speak Korean. This was a place for fans, whatever color they may be, to get together and celebrate their fandom. This was a place where it didn’t matter where you came from and how you looked — you were accepted because you loved the same thing.

As Korean American rapper, Dumbfounded, mentioned during his panel “Asian Americans in Hip-Hop”, Kpop is special because of the different kinds of people it can bring together. Clearly, Kpop should be applauded for the array of fans it has been able to captivate.

Good job, Kpop, you’re doing it right.

 

 


This story was originally published on Aug. 27, 2013.

Photo courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter. 

 

Judy Joo’s Korean Food Made Simple

Story by Ada Tseng.

The Cooking Channel’s Korean Food Made Simple, hosted by Korean American chef Judy Joo, is the latest installment of a culinary television series that previously included Mexican Food Made Simple and Chinese Food Made Simple. Part travelogue, part how-to guide, Korean Food Made Simple sent Joo all over Korea to gather inspiration, from fish markets in Seoul and the streets of Busan to the small islands off the coast of Korea. (“I’ve been to more places in Korea than my relatives, who have lived there their entire lives!” says Joo.) After exploring different foods around the country, she returned to London, where she’s been based for the last several years, to show audiences how to re-create Korean flavors in a regular home kitchen.

Joo was thrilled when she was approached to do Korean Food Made Simple, as she’s proud of her heritage and has brought a lot of Korean influences to the menu at the Playboy Club London, where she has been the executive chef since it opened in 2011. Some of the dishes that appear on the show — like the Spicy Mussels with Bacon and the Steamed Ginger Infused Sea Bass with Zucchini — have actually been served at the Playboy Club. “We also make our own kimchi at the Club,” says Joo. “And we have a version of the Korean fried chicken in our sports bar.”

Growing up in New Jersey, Joo was no stranger to the local disco fries or fast fixes at Taco Bell, but she mostly ate Korean food at home. Her mother taught her how to cook authentic Korean food, but she jokes that helping out in the kitchen as a kid felt more like slave labor than fun.

“This was when there was nothing pre-made,” says Joo. “So it’d be me and my sister in front of a mound of meat making dumplings. I remember brushing sheets and sheets of dried seaweed with oil, salting them and then having to fry them. Then going to the garden to pick sesame leaves. It felt like chores.

“Also, [traditionally] you’re supposed to cook each vegetable separately to keep it from getting infected by other ingredients,” continues Joo. “And you want to keep the integrity of the color, so if the vegetable is light, you’re not supposed to use soy sauce. But no one has time to cook seven different vegetables separately in one pan to make one dish!” She laughs. “So I say, just cook it all together, and if the carrots are a little brown, it’ll be OK.”

She also shares tips and shortcuts for any home cook who might not live near a Korean market. For example, if you can’t find mirin, a sweet rice wine that is common in Korean cooking, Joo says it’s perfectly fine to substitute Sprite or 7-Up. And if you can’t find thinly sliced beef, partially freeze it and cut it with a knife. “I don’t think that you have to be completely authentic or traditional in order for people to get a good taste of a cuisine,” says Joo. “Food is always dynamic. Food in Korea has changed tremendously in the past years and decades. It’s like languages; it’s always evolving.”

One of Joo’s favorite meals to serve at a dinner party is do-it-yourself kimbap. Instead of pre-rolling the Korean sushi prior to guests arriving, Joo gives each guest their own squares of seaweed and lets them make their own. Joo is also a big fan of do-it-yourself bibimbap, where she encourages guests to choose their own vegetables for the mixed rice dish.

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Judy Joo with Seoul chef and restaurateur Lucia Cho.

Though Joo is now a recognizable TV food personality — she is one of the few who can claim to have been on Iron Chef as a competitor, an official Iron Chef (the only woman in the Iron Chef UK lineup) and a judge — her road to success was a winding one. Born to a physician father and a chemist mother, Joo initially aspired to a career in the sciences and ended up working in banking for many years before she had what she calls her What Color Is Your Parachute? moment and began to soul-search about what she really wanted to do with her life.

“My parents were not thrilled,” says Joo of the prospect of her giving up her prestigious gig on Wall Street. But to contextualize, she grew up in a stereotypically overachieving Asian American household where her parents were also “not thrilled” when she only got into Columbia and not Yale, where her sister went. She toyed with the idea of joining the Peace Corps (“My dad was like, ‘Why do you do that? That’s why I left North Korea!’”), but eventually enrolled in the French Culinary Institute in New York. Soon after relocating to London with her husband, she ended up working at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant and worked her way up from there.

But it wasn’t until she got into television that her parents started to understand the significance of her new career path. “When I got invited to the Blue House in Korea —the White House of Korea — that’s when my parents were like, ‘Oh, maybe you are doing something interesting and important,’” she says. “That’s when they realized I wasn’t just a line cook, I guess.”

Episodes of Korean Food Made Simple can be seen on the Cooking Channel, and a cookbook with recipes featured on the show will be available next year. 

This story was originally published in our Summer 2014 issue. Get your copy here

Marissa Webb Named Banana Republic’s Creative Director

Story by Steve Han. 

Mega-brand Banana Republic has hired Marissa Webb, a former womenswear designer at J. Crew, as its new creative director and executive vice president of design, it was reported in the Los Angeles Times this week.

Webb replaces Simon Kneen, who was in charge of the store’s design department from 2009 to 2013, during which time the retailer lost ground to competitors J. Crew, H&M and others. Gap Inc., Banana Republic’s parent company, revealed earlier this week in its financial reports that the retailer’s sales declined by 4 percent from the year before.

A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Webb was adopted by an American family from Korea at age 4. She also previously worked for Polo and Club Monaco. In 2011, she launched her own eponymous label, a casual contemporary clothing line that is sold at retailers like Barneys New York.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the extremely passionate, talented design and creative teams at Banana Republic,” Webb said, according to the Fashion Times. “This is an amazing opportunity for me to combine my unique vision with a brand that has such a strong legacy.”

Established in 1978 in San Francisco, Banana Republic has more than 600 stores in 32 countries around the world.

Webb’s first collection for Banana Republic will debut in the summer of 2015.

This story was originally published in iamkoream.com.

The Adorable Ye-bin is Back!

Do you remember this adorable little face? We’ll give you a hint. She isn’t afraid of strangers.

Yes, this is little Ye-bin. This cutie became a viral sensation when her video “Mom Tries to Teach Adorable Girl Life Lesson” hit YouTube and gathered nearly 9 million views. During the video, Ye-bin’s mother tries to teach her about strangers and being safe, but we get the feeling Ye-bin is so friendly that she would accept all sorts of sweets from strangers.

This time around, Ye-bin’s mother is trying to teach her how to say the phrase “I am scared.” Simple enough right? As it turns out, even the most simple of tasks becomes adorable with this little girl.

Throughout the video, Ye-bin struggles with the pronunciation of the phrase, but she isn’t bothered. In fact, she’s giggling the entire time. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a child say “I’m scared” with such a cuteness.

The video was only uploaded yesterday, but it has already gathered over 30,000 views. Check it out below.

 

 

Justin Bieber’s Korean Tattoos Elicit Mixed Reactions

Story by Ruth Kim. 

Singer Justin Bieber has come a long way from the clean-cut Canadian 15-year-old who wooed teenage girls the world over. The pop star is declaring his bad boy reputation one tattoo after another, and his recent choice of inked art directly appeals to his Korean fans.

The Canadian singer avowed his love for Korea, posting on Instagram on March 25 a photo of his new Korea-inspired tattoo, accompanied with the caption “I love you Korea.” The image reveals a traditional Korean Hahoe mask tattooed in black ink, with his name inscribed below in Korean, 비버, which is pronounced “bee-buh.” Close enough.

Popular Toronto-based Korean tattooist, Seunghyun Jo, inked the tattoos for his fellow Canadian, and also shared a photo of the two on his Instagram. He said, “Thanks @justinbieber for inviting me to your studio! It was a long night of tattooing you but worth it! See you soon brotha you are crazy talented.”

Reactions from fans (and non-fans alike) were mixed. Obviously, hardcore Beliebers were unflinchingly supportive of their favorite pop star, leaving a slew of positive comments on his Twitter and Instagramaccount, like “I love you” and “obsessed”. South Korean fans, especially, are enthusiastic; one Korean Instagrammer commented, “omo yesss South Korea all the way man!”

However, more negative remarks are mixed in, with some fans disapproving of his tattoo spree, pleading him to stop. Others insult the singer, saying he is nowhere near Asian pop star level.

One disgruntled reader writes, “Ugh, gosh. I bet he’s just doing that because everyone knows that kpop is going to be the next big thing around the world and he’s trying to get on the korean’s good side so he can get “positive comments” about him and all that crap.”

They continue, “비버…more like 바보”, the latter phrase translating to “stupid” in Korean. Positive and negative comments aside, let’s be honest—the Canadian pop star had that particular play on words coming.

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This story was originally published on iamkoream.com.

Korean Parody of “Let it Go” Will Be The Funniest Thing You See All Day

The obsession with Disney’s Frozen continues! In particular, the song “Let it Go” is one for the books. It won the Oscar for Best Original Song at the 86th Academy Awards. This was a historic moment for the Asian American community because this meant that Robert Lopez, co-creator of “Let it Go,” became the first Filipino American to win an Oscar and the first Fil-Am to join a prestigious group called “Egot” —  individuals who have won the four top entertainment awards: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.

Aside from the Oscar, a simple scroll through YouTube makes the success of this song clear. There have been a number of YouTube covers of the song, many of which are from the Asian community, and even instrumental covers.

And that doesn’t even begin to describe the movie’s worldwide success. For instance, the film is now the highest-grossing animated feature ever in South Korea. This means even beloved Kpop stars can be found covering “Let it Go.”

Recently, we came across something else from Korea that caught our attention. During what appears to be a Korean game show, we found the most hilarious Frozen parody ever. It’s filled with fake snow, perfect lip-syncing and hilarious theatrics.

Check it out below. We promise it will be one of the funniest and most entertaining things you watch today.