'We are Gangjeong Style': South Koreans protest military base on Jeju Island

By Christine Ahn
Oct 25, 2012

'Gangjeong style' is a parody of 'Gangnam Style' the hugely popular song and video by the South Korean hip hop artist PSY. 

It is among the most youtube videos ever watched with over 531 million views. Much has been written about the significance of the video, but the one I often reference is written by Korean American activist, Sukjong Hong, who writes that while 'Gangnam style' has become shorthand for swag, the video is really a parody of the "wealthiest, most powerful neighborhood in South Korea." 

'Gangjeong style' uses the same satirical approach, featuring leading activists and key moments of struggles against the police in the fight to stop the construction of the naval base in Gangjeong village on Jeju island, South Korea. It is a hilarious video that shows the diversity, passion and creativity of this fierce nonviolent struggle.

Gangjeong style (lyrics)

Sitting at the gate of the illegal construction site by day

A classy girl who can enjoy the freedom of a cup of coffee

A girl whose heart gets fired up when the police arrive

A girl with that kind of unexpected side

I’m a defender

A defender whose sense of justice is as strong as yours

A defender who blocks that illegal construction before the coffee cools

A defender whose heart explodes when the police arrive

That kind of defender

How beautiful, How lovely

Yes you, hey, yes you, hey

How beautiful, how lovely

Gangjeong village, Yes this is Gangjeong

Shall we head to Gangjeong village right now

We are Gangjeong style, Gangjeong style

We…we, we, we, we are Gangjeong style

Gangjeong style

We…we, we, we, we are Gangjeong style

Hey… listen up marines

We… we, we, we, we are Gangjeong style

Hey… we’re for total resistance

We, we, we, we, we we are Gangjeong style

A guy who looks nice but who’s really stubborn as a mule

A guy who can laugh even as he’s dragged away by all four limbs

A guy who keeps his dignity/courage as he’s forced down by the police

A guy with that kind of unexpected side

I’m a defender

A defender whose sense of justice is just as strong as yours

A defender who gets crazy when the timing’s right

A defender who loves peace more than my own self

That kind of defender!

How beautiful, how lovely

Yes you, hey, yes you, hey

How beautiful, how lovely

Gangjeongg village, Yes this is Gangjeong

Shall we head to Gangjeong village right now

We are Gangjeong style, Gangjeong style

We…we, we, we, we are Gangjeong style

Gangjeong style

We…we, we, we, we are Gangjeong style

Hey… listen up marines

We… we, we, we, we are Gangjeong style

Hey… we’re for total resistance

We, we, we, we, we we are Gangjeong style

The police are on duty, but above them is the navy

Baby baby I know a thing or two about peace

The navy are on duty, and above them is Samsung

Baby baby I know a thing or two about peace

You know what I’m sayin’

We are Gangjeong style

Hey, listen up marines

We we we we we are Gangjeong style

Hey, we’re for total resistance

We are Gangjeong style!

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the entire War Times project

Christine Ahn is a writer and activist. She works at the Global Fund for Women by day and by moonlight on a range of peace and social justice issues. She's a co-founder of the Korea Policy Institute, a columnist with Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies, and a fellow with the Oakland Institute.

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