NCT 127’s ‘Simon Says’ Sparks Debate Over Whether Māori Prayer Was Inappropriate
NCT 127 seems to be some how running into different cultures other than K-Pop quite a bit recently. The idol group was mentioned during an episode of NCIS: New Orleans, which naturally had the fans going wild.
Just recently, there has been a debate about whether the use of Māori prayer in the beginning of their song ‘Simon Says’ was appropriate. People who are currently saying that it could have come off as offensive are saying that it was clear that neither NCT nor SM Entertainment really put much research into the Māori culture, and thus resulted in using it at the beginning of a song, when the prayer is usually used to close something.
According to a researcher at Victoria University,
“The particular Māori karakia words usedare very empowering and affirmative, respectful words, so if this song is not carrying on that spirit… then they have used it inappropriately. The Māori phrase is used as a coming together of people and to close a discussion, so the fact that it is used at the beginning of the song is telling. So that already gives you a sense that they haven’t researched it… The problem is the difference between being inspired by culture and wanting to respect it, from just taking it. And using it in ways where they haven’t actually researched whether the use is appropriate or inappropriate.
However, some people are saying that NCT’s usage of the prayer helps the Māori culture by giving it more exposure to the world.
What do you think about the current debate?