It’s quite tough. As they make me happy lots…lots of time. For many of us, fangirling do provide some sanctuary or shelter from whatever happenings in our real lives. People might judge us “it isn’t real”, “why are you liking people who don’t even know you exist?”, to “why are you befriending your internet friends? Get a life in real world.” From one point of view, what they said is not really wrong. It’s hard to comprehend why we come to like anyone we only encounter via screen…or even befriend our virtual friends.. Those people might be apprehensive due to many criminal cases nowadays start from virtual world. Some might worry that virtual world takes too much of our lives, that we neglect the real one, the one we actually live in. But on the other hand, they would never comprehend that such happiness does exist, that friendship beyond fandom does exist. Even if one day I won’t chase Shinhwa around anymore, I can be sure that some friends I’ve met during my fangirling will stay as my friends in real life. That one day, I could look back on these days and said “I was thankful that they gave me such joy in my life…”
So here are my top 3 happiest moments with Shinhwa, both virtually and directly.
It’s rather ‘mainstream’, isn’t it? Who weren’t happy when it was announced? But as a new fan at that time, waiting for Shinhwa to return was a bit hard. No one in K-Pop sphere really knew about them. No news were released about them. Only Eric and Dongwan were discharged from the military service, but even then, the news on them (let alone news on Shinhwa) was very scarce. I remember it was Dongwan’s blog that became the only source to know what’s going on with the members.
As we all knew, their contract with Good Entertainment had ended years ago. SHCJs were talking about which company they’d choose once they were back. Some joked that they’d make new one…because Eric did say, once, that they’d make one if no company wanted them. But we knew it was totally unprecedented for an idol group to make one…and Shinhwa members’ solo agency were also different [they were already in different agencies in 2007 due to Good Ent’s financial turmoil, but the situation post-military discharge would be different].
Then, suddenly, on May…the news broke out that Shinhwa would make Shinhwa Company to shelter their group activity. It was one of the proudest and happiest moment for SHCJs. “OMG THEY’D MAKE ONE!! THEY REALLY MAKE ONE!!!” we screamed in disbelief. After the scarcity of news for many months…though the members repeatedly assured SHCJs that they’d be back for sure, but this news provided us a rock-solid assurance and proof, that Shinhwa would really be back and under their own company.
But because of the copyright issue, we got the news that Eric (I never quite know how to express my gratitude to this man T_T) had to negotiate with that scumbag of Open World CEO to use “Shinhwa” name for the company, as well as profit and management distribution. So, we apprehensively waited. Thankfully, the CEO let them to use it as long as they stay as ‘Shinhwa’ (I was thankful to that bastard, at that time LOL), for free (so the news said..but I didn’t believe. HA!). Around June, it was confirmed. Then, if I remember correctly, it was formally established around August. No fans were as happy as SHCJs at that time.
Having their own company would be hard, as they have no power to back them up or promote them. But at least, it ensured their creative freedom and the running of group-solo activities simultaneously.
I went to their concert a few times. Picked them up or sent them off at the airport several times. But I guess, the first meeting always lasted and left deep impression. It was the closest and happiest moment I have with Shinhwa. I GOT A HANDSHAKE FOR FREE!!!!!!! OMMGGG 😄
It was when I met Andy in 2010. When he came to Indonesia with his military unit. It was the first time I chased a celebrity around and did some crazy things just to obtain the tix to meet him LOL. I didn’t even know how to “find” him properly. If it weren’t for some other SHCJs, I wouldn’t be able to catch him.
The event was held by Korean government/embassy in a mall. I managed to discreetly entered the shoe stores where Andy, Mithra, and Lee Junki shopped (it’s not actually the official event, they were just there to shop haha). Then I called Andy and he shook my hand (I shouldn’t have washed it T_T #jk).
The next day, I went to the mall to find him again and managed to catch him after he had breakfast. Gave him some fan letters (for Shinhwa members HAHAHA). He laughed when we shouted the members’ names (especially Dongwan’s-dunno why). He refused to give signature (probably because he was there as a ‘soldier’), but he let us to stand near him and took pictures TT_TT
When he got on the bus, me and a SHCJ friend went around the bus’ side where he was seated to wave…then he waved back, mouthed and pointed at something. We just thought ‘HOMG HE WAVED BACK AND NOTICED US OMGG’ but actually he was pointing to a car near us, perhaps worrying we’d get run over while busy waving HAHAAHA (but awww Dydy <333).
I was really, really happy at that time TT___TT
ISN’T HE CUTE??
Shinhwa’s “We Keep Our Promise” + The Return Press Conference
I was torn between those two..but I think I was equally happy during those times.
THEY’RE REALLY BACK.
It was not their Venus release or the concert that was first brought me to tears..it was their “We Keep Our Promise” banners their plastered in some places in Seoul. Small, but meaningful gestures. SHCJs’ answer “We also keep our promise” was equally meaningful.
A promise can only be a promise if its kept between two person.
That was Lee Jangeon wrote on his Twitter. The promise did exist, as they said it in 2008. And it was kept. Their return might not be as meaningful to others in K-pop spheres. But for us, it was the happiest moment…a simple thing like a kept promise in an entertainment world where idol groups are notoriously known to give false hope and promises. But Shinhwa returned to keep their promise to us.
Then the press conference happened to announce their return officially to the K-biz… It was the first time we saw them together, 6 of them, on a moving videos, talking and joking around as if they never left for military. They were still as messy and playful..still couldn’t get their greeting right..Dongwan was still being lame and Hyesung still needed to apologize like a mamabird he’s always been 😄
Shinhwa never changes. That was the message they seemed to portray to fans, to me at that time. I might never knew them prior to their military hiatus…but I saw their videos and all (it might not be the same, okay..but still..).. and they were still the same people that I fell for, that I decided to become a fan of…
To this date, the rock-solid Shinhwa still gives an assurance for me that they’d never leave… the ever-reliable Shinhwa still makes me run to them for comfort and a moment of joy…the unchanging Shinhwa still provides me a ‘home’ to return to. For those things, being a Shinhwa Changjo is one of the happiest time for me. For those things, I’ll be forever grateful Shinhwa exists.