‘Rica Rica’: NATURE trends for ‘downgraded’ performance after cultural appropriation

‘Rica Rica’: NATURE trends for ‘downgraded’ performance after cultural appropriation
NATURE wear Indian 'bindis' and incorporate Indian and tribal African dance (@nature_nchworld/Twitter, M2/YouTube)

It looks like NATURE is going with the motto that there is no such thing as bad publicity. And while fans are not supporting them, the girl group’s bizarre decisions for their latest comeback has definitely turned heads. Despite having some iconic comebacks like ‘I’m So Pretty’ and ‘Girls’, they have not yet been able to stay in the limelight for long. And hence for ‘Rica Rica’, their first comeback in one and a half year, they are going all out and have even unfortunately included cultural appropriation.

The K-pop girl group was first slammed when they released teasers in which they appropriated Indian culture in ‘Rica Rica’ as they wear ‘bindis’. They then incorporated Indian and African dance in their choreography and music. Their explanation for it got worse as they shared ‘Rica Rica’ stood for Africa since their concept is that they come from Africa. They were then called out for their non-apology as they acknowledged that they knew about cultural appropriation and why it is a sensitive issue.

Indigenous ARMY slam cultural appropriation over tepee in BTS Jungkook's merch promo

Blackpink's Lisa apologizes for cultural appropriation over box braids in 'Money'

NATURE wear Indian 'bindis' and incorporate Indian and tribal African dance (Stone Music Entertainment, M2/YouTube)

NATURE uses Indian and African culture in 'Rica Rica'

Member Loha shared, “We were especially cautious as we understand that such issue (of cultural appropriation) is a sensitive matter these days. We had no intention of mocking other traditions, but the members and staff will make sure we take more caution next time.” Fans were annoyed that they didn’t really apologize nor tried to edit or change their concept before the release. And now their odd choreography has gone viral as fans saw the whole performance for the first time during a music show stage.

On January 27, NATURE performed ‘Rica Rica’ for the first time at a music show. It went viral in South Korea as Knetizens found the dance moves hilarious. The members jump vigorously in one place and do intricate footwork while their hands and the top half of their bodies remain static. The dance has now reached K-pop Twitter. While some find it cute in a funny way, most agree that it is odd and bizarre. However, many African users have pointed out that it is the African tribal dance ‘Zaouli’. They feel NATURE should have not used the Zaouli dance in the first place since ignorant fans would just mock the dance.

Watch the stage below.


‘This choreography is ugly’

Those who didn’t know the dance was a tribal African dance made jokes and mocked NATURE, “Looks like me when I'm trying to shake out a leg cramp... I knew I had talent!!!! OMG.” Another fan posted, “Going from girls to rica rica is probably the biggest downgrade in kpop history.” One joked, “They look like cockroaches.” One bluntly said, “This choreography is ugly asf idc lol. The song isn’t bad but looks like tribal marks? & they should have had a pretty concept instead of this bull fighter look. It’s a no for me .”





‘It's like outrage marketing’

One angry African user tweeted, “Sure, hate on and drag all other ggs but y'all go and hype this group who used my culture as their uNiQuE  concept and AeStheTiC.” Another fan commented, “NATURE have dug themselves into a hole they cant get out of. In what world is saying “Rica Rica stands for Af-Rica” okay. In addition to the Zaouli dance moves, and the use of South Asian bindis/makeup, they wanted to create an “exotic” aesthetic by leeching off multiple cultures.”

One explained, “I think they are doing this on purpose personally. A lot of companies are doing CA and putting religious items in mvs for attention. The company said this was a self produced comeback, like styling, choreo and all that, so then the company can not be blamed, but it is definitely their ideas too, because there's been a lot of weird publicity stunts by them before this comeback. They wants fans to make it go viral too, it's like outrage marketing, it creates shock and buzz and it's not just kpop. You can see it everywhere.” Another posted, “Literally they googled africa tribe on google and used first result that came up. im tired....”




This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.


Share this article:  Rica Rica NATURE kpop choreography cultural appropriation indian bindi african tribal dance zaouli