Talk to Me in Korean Goes Around the World, Starting in Mexico!

TTMIK Festival Mexico

Editor’s Note: The folks from Soompi Spanish were very interested to learn that our favorite Korean-language learning resource, Talk to Me in Korean (TTMIK), was launching a world tour and that their first stop was Mexico City. When we found out that they were going to have some K-Pop dance and song cover contests, and that the guest judges were going to be Simon and Martina from Eat Your Kimchi, we knew we had to be there! We armed three of our reporters with some K-Pop CDs to give away and a camcorder to record everything, and sent them off to cover the event. Here’s what they have to say!

Mexico City is a huge city, full of many beautiful places where you can go to have a good time. The fans of K-Pop and Korean culture here are amazingly passionate and you can see their number growing every day.

We arrived in Mexico City in the evening. The weather was perfect, cool and cold at night. Night lights illuminated the streets in an amazing way, monuments and old buildings giving it a unique touch.

The next morning, on the day of the event, I reached the World Trade Center, and it was amazing to arrive and see all these people waiting to get in, cheerful and excited. The fans became really excited when they saw Simon and Martina from EatYourKimchi. People started screaming and cheering as they arrived at the door. This is how popular they are in Mexico.

On October 7, the Olmecs Room of the World Trade Center received around 1,500 people from all over Mexico wanting to attend the event. They came from north to south, basically from everywhere to support K-Pop and Korean culture. The festival opened its doors to the public at 12:30 pm to select the contestants for the three contests: dancing, singing, and Korean language. Everyone looked excited and anxious. We couldn’t wait for the festival to start so that we could experience and live one of the first significant events of K-Pop and Korean culture in México. And Soompi Spanish was there!

Once the doors opened, people didn’t hesitate to approach the stage, enjoying the K-Pop videos on the huge screen and dancing to them. All the fans were bonding with each other and sharing their love for K-Pop. Fans were very eager to take pictures with the teachers of TTMIK (Hyunwoo, Kyunghwa, Yoona, Hyojin, Kyeongeun, Seokijin, and Hyeonjeong) and share their thoughts with them on this event.

The people were very friendly! They approached us and asked about Soompi Spanish and gave their opinions about the site. They were also kind enough to let us interview them. We asked them about their favorite idols, dramas, songs, and many more. It was very entertaining and fun!

The event had special guests, Caeli of CaeLike, Javi Maldonado from HablameEnCoreano, Fer Gay, and of course the most anticipated, Simon and Martina. Soompi Spanish had the opportunity to interview Simon and Martina, who answered some questions. They were very nice and enthusiastic and very excited to be invited to the event!

The event began as the MCs Caeli, Javi, and Fer Gay encouraged and thanked the audience for being there. They also announced the three contests. The lucky winners of each contest would win the money prizes below!

1st Place: 12,000 MX (~$925 USD)

2nd Place: 6,000 MX (~$463 USD)

3rd Place: 3,000 MX (~$230 USD)

The first contest was the Korean Language contest, in which the participants demonstrated their knowledge of the Korean language. The TTMIK teachers were the judges and they chose three winners. Every contestant was amazing! They spoke so fluently!

The second contest to be held was the K-Pop song contest, where contestants showed their vocal talent and pronunciation. This contest was so much fun! All the contestants were amazing and had real vocal talent! 2NE1’s songs played a lot throughout the contest since they are so popular here in Mexico!

The last contest was the K-Pop dance cover contest, where contestants showed their best dance moves onstage. There was plenty of choice among the contestants. All had amazing costumes and incredible dance moves. The judges of the contest were mainly Simon and Martina, who were very excited and surprised by all the contestants’ talent. They especially really liked two boys who performed “Gee” by Girls’ Generation in a fun way, and ended up giving them first place. The second place went to a boy dancing Bi’s “Rainism” very scantily dressed, to all the girls’ delight!

After the contests, Soompi Spanish was invited to get onstage to do the raffle to see who won our autographed albums (2PM’s “Hands Up” and 4minute’s “Volume Up”). It was really wonderful to see how many people were aware of Soompi Spanish and how excited they were about the signed albums. Also, the TTMIK teachers also gave the audience prizes and gifts!

The most awaited moment (TUM TUM TUM!) was the announcement of the winner for the trip to Korea! The winner was decided by answering a set of questions related to Korean culture and a K-Pop “True” or “False” game. Congratulations to the girl who won the trip and hopefully she will have a great time there! At the end of the event, Simon and Martina, as well as the teachers of TTMIK and Caeli were signing autographs and taking pictures with the fans.

It was an event that we hope will open more doors in the future! Thanks to TTMIK, there might be similar events or even K-Pop concerts in Mexico. To all of us who attended the event, it was definitely an event we will never forget. It was a new and rewarding experience for K-Pop fans in Mexico! Many thanks to TTMIK and EatYourKimchi!

Now watch our exclusive footage of the event and our interview with EatYourKimchi’s Simon and Martina!

Special thanks to Soompi Spanish writer Cindy who wrote this article, and Eduardo and Ana Celia who also covered the event!