A new trend in South Korea known as “muk-bang” is making some folk very wealthy indeed.

by Nav Qateel

Being a Japanese and HK cinema nut I come across the weird and wonderful while researching movies, and this strange tale in particular caught my eye. You may remember a story that ran on CNN several months back, where they reported on a woman going by the name the ‘Diva’ who was, and still is, earning over $100 thousand per year for being broadcast live over Youtube as she eats her evening meal (watch this clip) while you gaze on.

That story went on to explain how many South Korean people were extremely thankful to these online munchers, as they claimed they were cured of things like anorexia, or my personal favorite was how they lost weight thanks to feeling full up after seeing the food devoured by these unlikely Youtube heroes. It would seem muk-bang is growing in popularity and so are the earnings of the participants with some making as much as a quarter million dollars per year!

This is clearly a cultural phenomena that we in the West will find hard to “swallow” (awful, right?) but what the heck is muk-bang and why has it become so popular among South Koreans? The word “muk-bang” is a shortened version of “muknun bangsong” which translates to “eating broadcast.” There is a growing trend of people who either, live alone or want to diet, eating vicariously through these professional online gorgers. These courageous people will take all the calories you can’t, and bravely prevent you from putting on extra pounds.

The happy plump gentleman in the video below is one of the more famous muk-bangers to be found on Youtube, but as my Korean is a little rusty I don’t have any idea what his name is or what he’s saying. As they say, pictures speak a thousand words and I think that’s his pet dog warning him not to eat too much. Before eating each dish we are given a closeup of the food and then we get to witness the food being devoured, with the occasional pause while he demonstrates his maniacal laugh. Perhaps this is a technique he uses to help digest the food?! I just hope no one is planning a video subculture for people suffering from constipation!