The common Korean phrase 괜찮아, phonetically spelled as gwenchana, is now part of a new social media trend, leaving many TikTok users wondering how it all got started.
According to KBoom, gwenchana has a few different meanings but loosely translates to “I’m OK” or “it’s fine.” Depending on the context, it can also serve as a question, such as, “Are you OK?” or “OK?” It’s also another way to say “no worries” or simply “alright.”
Several years ago, in the popular Korean drama (or K-drama) series Welcome to Waikiki (2018-2019), one character repeated gwenchana when things appeared to be anything but alright.
At the same time, @grprm._‘s face implied that things were definitely not OK, and by the final gwenchana, the user practically broke down in tears.
The TikTok quickly took off for its ironic and comical tone and has now been viewed more than 28 million times. The clip spawned countless other videos just like it.
“when you do your skincare routine but your skin doesn’t care,” the video text reads while the sound clip plays.
Other videos actually feature TikTokers lip-syncing along with the audio. As the video progresses, they appear to get emotional.
Many of the clips seem to be posted by Korean media fans familiar with the term gwenchana.
Together, TikToks with the sound clip have racked up more than 117 million views. They’ve also brought in thousands of comments from users who find the content relatable, hilarious and even kind of moving.
In The Know by Yahoo is now available on Apple News — follow us here!
The post Why are people on TikTok sadly lip-syncing to a common Korean phrase? appeared first on In The Know.
More from In The Know: