Following the release of NCT U‘s teaser photos for their title track “Make A Wish (Birthday Song)”, the group already faced mixed reactions from fans before the promotions officially began. The design of the sets resembled that of cultural Indian mosques, from the archways to the ceilings.
Although that issue flew under the radar, the group’s cultural appropriation of Indian culture has come to the forefront once more for their latest performance on MNET‘s MCountdown.
At the end of their stage, the members waved goodbye to fans. Taeyong then put his thumbs and pointer fingers together as he rolled his head in what appeared to be an imitation of Indian dancing. He wasn’t the only one to partake.
Shortly after, Xiaojun mimicked the same hand and head movements with his left hand. Shotaro also joined them by rolling his head in the same move. Once Indian fans saw this, many were understandably upset.
The dance moves the NCT members were using have a cultural significance that Indian fans thought was being mocked or adopted for fun. One pointed out that the hand movements were called “mudras” or “hastas” while the head movements are “attami.”
Though this incident was the latest, it wasn’t the only time that NCT upset Indian fans for feeling as if their culture was being mocked.
in the clip , xiaojun , shotaro and taeyong are mocking aspects of indian cultural dance called mudras/hastas (hand gesture) and attami(head movements).
— prakriti ♡ (@emopjo) October 22, 2020
During SuperM‘s Beyond Live concert, Mark, Ten, and Taemin reportedly used another Indian cultural dance as part of their “Line ‘Em Up” performance.
While showing Line ‘Em Up, Mark, Ten, and Taemin performed to a classical indian dance
— benya 💚 (@jaemarupok) April 26, 2020
Due to all of the instances where NCT appeared to show cultural insensitivity toward Indian culture, fans have gathered together to request an apology from the group.
pls mass email sm , here's the template https://t.co/NsJ83MD6X6
— pam | Hanbin is back | (@kunsmonstercock) October 22, 2020
Rather than let the issue slide, NCTzens want to educate the boys on how to be more respectful of Indian culture and the significance of the dances they have attempted. They are not the only K-Pop group who has been accused of culturally appropriating Indian culture.