If Japan has the famous 'V' pose which was often associated with the word 'victory' or just the projection of being cute on photos in general, Korea also made history by popularizing a unique and trendy hand pose that is all the rage now in Asia and other countries. If you’re familiar with K-pop or just Korea itself, you may have encountered a widely used hand gesture by your favorite K-pop artists like BTS, Blackpink and Red velvet. But this trend is used not just by K-pop artists and celebrities alike, but the rest of the world, even popular Hollywood celebrities like Tom Cruise can be seen striking the pose. This hand gesture is what they call a finger heart, it suddenly became a huge trend in Korea and has soon spread as an expression worldwide. So what exactly is a finger heart? Keep on reading to find out.
When and where did this popular hand gesture originated from?
We know that this clearly emerged from Korea, but who actually started this big trend? It was believed that it was popularized by Kim Hye-soo, a south Korean actress, in 2010. But some say that it was Nam Woo Hyun, a member of a popular K-pop group INFINITE, who actually started the hand gesture at around 2013. G-dragon of the popular boy group Big Bang, was also taking a credit of starting the pose by posting a picture of his younger self doing the finger heart on Instagram (See photo below).
Even South Korean comedian Yang Se Hyeong took to social media to claim that the trend was pioneered by him when he too posted an even more younger picture of himself doing the pose. At this point even we track back over and over again, it would be difficult to know who really started it because of multiple claims, but whoever it was, there is no denying that it took the world by storm ever since.
What does Korean finger heart mean?
Korean finger heart is formed by crossing the thumb over the index finger creating a tiny heart. It’s basically a way to express love, friendship, peace, appreciation and even for a little teasing. This has been widely used by K-pop artists to show some appreciation to theirs fans, and their fans do the same to love them back. You can also encounter the hand gesture in a lot of Korean dramas and movies. A few Hollywood celebrities has also been photographed using this pose as well, specially when they are in Korea doing projects or any other business, one was Benedict Cumberbatch during his Doctor Strange promotional tour in 2016 and Lupita Nyong’o and the rest of the cast at the Seoul premiere of Black Panther.
And who could forget when North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-Un surprisingly did the hand gesture during the September 2018 inter-Korean summit. A photo of the widely beaming North Korean leader was taken on top of Mount Paektu, along with South Korean officials.
Similar hand gesture with different meaning
Crossing the thumb and index fingers have been actually around for ages in western countries but the meaning is completely different, it is a gesture to ask for money instead of showing some love (the fingers are actually rapidly rubbed together to do this) and it can cause huge misinterpretations between them because of this.
Korean finger heart may be newly emerged with just a few years history from when it first started, but its popularity soared really high that it became a worldwide trend, who knows for how long this famous hand gesture would last but we know that it's going to be around for a long time.