Saudi Arabia in Purple: BTS Melts Away Cultural Conservatism

Oct 14, 2019

Saudi Arabia in Purple: BTS Melts Away Cultural Conservatism
Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh was illuminated in BTS' signature color, purple.

The country welcomed BTS' arrival like a VIP state visit.

Local fans of K-pop enjoyed the whole festivity by shouting the members' names and singing along the Korean lyrics during the group's rehearsal.

When BTS finally took the stage and greeted in Arabic, more than 30,000 fans screamed in excitement.

[RM: Bangtan! Hello, we are BTS! 'LOVE YOURSELF: SPEAK YOURSELF' in Riyadh, Saudi!]

In consideration of local sentiment, BTS revised its original choreography that involve revealing the members' abs.

Ahead of BTS' concert, the Saudi Arabian government readily moderated strong Islamic doctrines and religious restraints.

Female foreign fans were not asked to wear abaya, a body-covering black dress that Saudi women wear in public, as long as they make sure to cover their shoulders and knees.

They also allowed non-Saudi Arabian male and female tourists to stay in one hotel room without marriage certificates.

Saudi Arabia is now opening its doors to international tourists, issuing travel visas to boost up its inbound tourism market; in order to diversity the country's economic structure by decreasing its reliance on oil market.

Allowing a non-Saudi Arabian group BTS to hold a concert at an outdoor stadium is indeed a symbolic proof of such efforts.

K-pop slowly blows the vitality of change into Saudi Arabia, one of the most conservative countries in the Middle East.

▶ 사우디 수놓은 보랏빛…BTS, 이슬람 규정까지 바꿨다

(Video Journalist: Jeon Min-gyu / Video Editor: Moon Ji Hwan)

(SBS Star)