Although everyone by now has seen PSY's very entertaining Gangnam Style video, the song is actually a social commentary on the neo-rich of Korea who live in the coveted district of Gangnam.
As the price of high-rise apartments skyrocketed during a real estate investment frenzy in the early 2000s, landowners and speculators became wealthy practically overnight. The district's rich families got even richer.
The new wealth drew the trendiest boutiques and clubs and a proliferation of plastic surgery clinics, but it also provided access to something considered vital in modern South Korea: top-notch education in the form of prestigious private tutoring and prep schools. Gangnam households spend nearly four times more on education than the national average.
The notion that Gangnam residents have risen not by following the traditional South Korean virtues of hard work and sacrifice, but simply by living on a coveted piece of geography, irks many. The neighbourhood's residents are seen by some as monopolizing the country's best education opportunities, the best cultural offerings and the best infrastructure, while spending big on foreign luxury goods to highlight their wealth.
"Gangnam inspires both envy and distaste," said Kim Zakka, a Seoul-based pop music critic. "Gangnam residents are South Korea's upper class, but South Koreans consider them self-interested, with no sense of noblesse oblige."