Australian K-pop star sparks backlash in Korea over ‘Chinese New Year’ comment

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An Australian K-pop star has sparked anti-Chinese sentiment in South Korea after she innocently botched a New Year’s greeting.

Danielle Marsh, who is a member of girl group NewJeans, caused a stir in Korea after calling the Lunar New Year “Chinese New Year.”

The Newcastle-born teenager, 17, made the blunder while messaging fans on the group’s own subscription-based Calling app.

Australian K-pop star Danielle Marsh (pictured), of girl group NewJeans, has fueled anti-Chinese sentiment in South Korea after she innocently messed up a New Year’s greeting

“What Do Ru Bunnies Do on Chinese New Year?” she wrote, before quickly deleting it when she realized her mistake.

It is common in many Western countries to refer to the Lunar New Year as “Chinese New Year”, but in Korea it is considered highly offensive and seen as a pro-Chinese and anti-Korean statement.

Korean internet users have blasted the Aussie star in the comments section of major news websites and forums, according to Netizenbuzz translations.

“So she’s Australian, which means it’s not that she didn’t understand the English she wrote in…” one wrote.

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“I wish these agencies would train these idols in more than just singing and dancing and teaching them a basic feel. It’s so embarrassing that she even posted the word “Chinese.”

The 17-year-old star sparked a lot of backlash in Korea after calling the Lunar New Year

The 17-year-old star sparked a lot of backlash in Korea after calling the Lunar New Year “Chinese New Year” in a post on her group’s social media app

‘Unfortunately [NewJeans’] member didn’t know better than to call it Chinese New Year when she debuted to make her money in our country,” wrote another.

“I still can’t forgive them for the Chinese New Year thing… I don’t want to see them again,” another raged.

“Please limit the groups to Korean-only members or make sure they all get proper history education,” another wrote. “I liked this group for their good vibes, but because of this I’m all over them. I’ll stick to Korean-only support groups.”

“I bet she has Chinese blood somewhere in her family line,” said one fan.

Danielle has since issued a rude apology for the mistake on the group’s official Instagram account.

“Although I deleted it as soon as I realized my mistake, my message had already been delivered to many people and was impossible to undo,” she explained.

“Because the Lunar New Year is a holiday celebrated by many countries and regions, including our country [Korea]my choice of words was inappropriate, and I deeply regret it,” she continued.

“I also want to say my sincere condolences to the Bunnies and many other people who must have been disappointed or hurt by my words.

“I will not forget this incident and I will try to be more careful in my words and actions in the future. My apologies again,’ she finished.

“Please limit the groups to Korean-only members, or give them all proper history education,” one Korean fan raged

While Koreans are hesitant to forgive, international K-pop fans have shown much more understanding.

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‘In my country we also call it Chinese New Year!! Please don’t apologize!! Happy Chinese New Year everyone!!’ a fan wrote.

“In Australia we call it Chinese New Year, no need to apologize dear,” added another.

The Newcastle-born star has emerged as one of the biggest names in K-pop in the past year and is currently a global ambassador for fashion brand Burberry.  Depicted in the ad campaign

The Newcastle-born star has emerged as one of the biggest names in K-pop in the past year and is currently a global ambassador for fashion brand Burberry. Depicted in the ad campaign

NewJeans has become the hottest new group in K-pop since they debuted last July.

They’ve already had two No. 1 singles, with their recent hit Ditto charting internationally in the UK, Australia and on the Billboard Hot 100, in addition to being the most-streamed song in history on Spotify in South Korea.

Danielle isn’t the only Australian member of the group, with Vietnamese-Australian member Hanni hailing from Melbourne.

NewJeans set the K-pop world on fire and became so popular that they even made it to the Billboard Hot 100

NewJeans set the K-pop world on fire and became so popular that they even made it to the Billboard Hot 100

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