Origin and Meaning of the Korean Finger Heart

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Have you heard of the Korean Heart? In this article, we will talk about the famous Korean gesture of making a heart with fingers popularized in the world, mainly by K-Pop. Taking the opportunity to also talk about curiosities, origin and even about heart in the Korean language.

The Korean heart gesture is done with just one hand using the fingers crossing the thumb with the index finger similar to the western money gesture, but in this case we stand still forming a kind of heart V.

In the West we usually use two hands or two arms to make a heart. Koreans and Japanese also do and know this gesture, but using just one hand and two fingers is more discreet and less embarrassing.

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Korean heart - gesture and trivia

What does the Korean heart gesture mean?

Some might think that Koreans are so greedy that they link their hearts to money. Although the gesture is quite similar, this idea is quite wrong, it's just a tiny heart that goes far beyond a ♡ or ♥.

The representation of the small V with the fingers represents the literal heart well, since, in fact, the hand perfectly represents the size of a human heart, while the V-shaped index finger and thumb are the two valves of the heart.

In English the gesture is known as "Finger Heart" in Korean as songalag hateu [손가락 하트]. Rumor has it that this gesture also means "panties" in Korean Sign Language and "nipples" if used with both hands.

Of course, this gesture can simply be summed up as a show of love and affection for fans and others. This gesture is currently used a lot in photos and when meeting with fans. Many fans scream for this gesture!

Korean heart - gesture and trivia

The origin of the Korean heart

The origin of this gesture is quite uncertain, some K-Pop names claim to have made such a gesture since childhood, others presented photos from the 2000s, some claim to be from the year 2002 or claim that it was in 2010 that the gesture became popular.

It's hard to know who's right on the matter, as the photos of children could only indicate her making a money gesture instead of a mini heart. Basically, the origins of this gesture are far from clear.

Until a while ago Kim Hye Soo had been responsible for popularizing this gesture. Celebrities of all stripes discuss the origin, we recently had Yang Se-hyung and G-Dragon discussing on the internet who gave rise to the gesture.

Korean heart - gesture and trivia

V for victory x V for heart in the photos

The V sign is quite popular in Asia and the world, often used when taking pictures showing two fingers spread out making a V sign. This sign originally means victory, and is believed to have origins in Japan, but the sign is popular in both countries. countries.

Usually the V sign is used to take pictures with no particular meaning. Nowadays the Korean heart kind of steals the V gesture photo poses. Especially among K-Pop fans from east and west.

Both gestures are a portrait of the Aegyo culture, equivalent to the Kawaii culture of Japan. Many Kpop singers often pose with these fingers to show their love to fans. In Japan it's hard to take a picture without doing the V pose.

Read too: Meaning of Kawaii - Culture of cuteness in Japan

Korean heart - gesture and trivia

Kim Jong-un made Korean heart sign

When I Googled Korean Heart, I only came across articles about Kim Jong-un making this gesture in a group photo. Articles take up the theme of, what is the meaning of the sign made by Kim Jong-un in the photo?

When reading these dozens of sites with the same news copied, I realized that the giant article doesn't even answer the question about the signal. It just talked about the korea, the korean leaders, trump and other things that have nothing to do with the subject.

Of course, there were a lot of repercussions due to the subject, a lot of comments, as if Kim was an Alien and didn't take pictures. Of course, the main reason for the repercussion is the fact that the gesture is South Korean, and the relationship between the Koreans is not good.

Korean heart - gesture and trivia

Asking for a heart in Korean

Heart in the Korean language is similar to English Heart and Hateu [하트] is spoken. Of course there is a more literal way of saying heart which is simjang [심장] which literally refers to the organ of the body. We also have ma-eum-i [마음이] and many variations.

Many K-Pop fans wonder how to ask for a heart in Korean, some of the options are:

  • 하트 해주세요 (hateu haejuseyo)
  • 하트 만들어 줘 (hateu mandeul-eo jwo)
  • 해줘 하트 해줘 (haejwo hateu haejwo)

The sentences above are not very specific, if you want to specify you can use son hateu [손 하트] to refer to the hand heart and hateu songalag [손가락 하트] to refer to the finger heart or Korean heart.

Just like the Japanese use the word chest to refer to the heart and vice versa. The Korean language also uses words that can refer to the heart like gaseum [가슴] which refers to the chest. See too love in korean.

Korean heart - gesture and trivia

Celebrities who make a heart out of hand

The “hearts with fingers” is arguably one of South Korea’s biggest cultural exports in recent times, with celebrities using the gesture during photos in Korea and abroad. Which of these photos are memorable and can we remember?

  • BTS days before becoming the most successful K-pop group in the US;
  • Tom Cruise during the promotion of “Mission Impossible? Fallout” in Seoul;
  • Taron Egerton while promoting "Eddie the Eagle" in Korea;
  • Black Pink in an Instagram thank you post for fans;
  • G-Dragon in a childhood photo
  • Wanna One members showed different styles of hearts;
  • Son Heung-min during a homecoming after a successful season;
  • Melania Trump during her visit to Seoul;

Do you remember any other famous people who also usually make the heart with their fingers?

Korean heart - gesture and trivia

How to draw a Korean Heart?

In the video below you can learn how to draw a Korean heart, or the Korean gesture and make a heart with one hand:

If you want to improve your drawing skills, we recommend Thiago Skyped's How to Draw. You can find out more about the course clicking here.


Don't forget to share and leave your comments. What do you think of the finger heart culture? Or Korean Heart?

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