South Korean diplomats dance into Indian hearts in 'Naatu Naatu' viral video


Dancing South Korean diplomats have won the hearts of millions of Indians with their viral video performance of Oscar-nominated song “Naatu Naatu,” reinforcing Seoul’s soft power diplomacy and even earning a nod of approval from India’s leader.

In a video clip posted to Twitter on Sunday, staff from South Korea’s embassy in India’s capital New Delhi – many wearing traditional clothing from both countries – dance to the popular song from Telugu-language movie “RRR.”

The 53-second clip, which features South Korean Ambassador Chang Jae-bok, has gone viral on social media, garnering more than 4 million views on Twitter as of Tuesday – and much praise in India.

“Lively and adorable team effort,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

“Love you for this!” author Kulpreet Yadav wrote, while another fan of the clip, Bhargav Mitra, called it “an excellent initiative.”

“A fitting tribute to bilateral relations. How well can a song & dance sequence unite,” he wrote on Twitter.

India’s positive response to the video reflects the growing popularity of South Korean culture in the country, where millions have embraced K-pop and K-dramas in recent years.

Indians are also making inroads in South Korea’s entertainment industry. Singer Shreya Lenka became India’s first homegrown K-pop star when she joined girl group Blackswan last year, while Indian actor Anupam Tripathy starred in award-winning South Korean Netflix show, “Squid Game.”

“Naatu Naatu,” which translates to “dance dance,” is composed by M.M. Keeravani, with lyrics from Chandrabose.

Praised for its buoyant choreography and catchy tune, “Naatu Naatu” won India’s first ever Golden Globe in the best original song category last month and is favorite to win best original song at the 95th Academy Awards on March 12.

The original song features Telugu superstars Ram Charan and N. T. Rama Rao Jr., known as Jr NTR, who dance in perfect synchronization to the lyrics. The video has more than 122 million views on YouTube.

The Indian film industry produces tens of thousands of movies every year in multiple languages, and “RRR,” which stands for Rise Roar Revolt, is the country’s fourth-highest grossing picture, according to IMDb, earning nearly $155 million worldwide.

It is set during India’s struggle for independence from British colonial rule and became Netflix’s most watched non-English movie last June.