While there’s little hard data on that, there’s no questioning the fervor of the fans who turn up at Ramon Castilla Park each Saturday and emulate the dances of K-pop bands.
“We start at 10 in the morning and we stay until 6 in the afternoon,” Galan said.
A bus trip away is the small Arenales shopping center where entire floors are dedicated to South Korean music, clothes and food.
“I like the ‘sujebi’ soup and another dish that combines a sweet and salty flavor that I can’t remember the name of,” Galan said.
Some try to solve the language problem by having the songs translated into Spanish and posting them on the Internet. “The lyrics are pretty. It’s not as eroticized as reggaeton. It’s more romantic,” said Pamela Diaz, a 26-year-old fan.
“It’s made me want to learn Korean,” said her 14-year-old sister, Sabrina.
The trend has surprised Peruvian parents, just as the onslaught of rock-and-roll once alarmed an earlier generation.
“My father listens to rock in English; he doesn’t like K-pop at all,” Galan said. “He tells me, ‘Why do you listen to that music if you don’t know Korean?’ And I tell him that he doesn’t know how to speak English either. Music you only need to feel.”