'Monk' DJ NewJeansNim barred from performing in Singapore

‘Monk’ DJ NewJeansNim barred from performing in Singapore—interior minister

/ 03:32 PM May 22, 2024

South Korean comedian Youn Sung-ho, known as NewJeansNim, wearing monk's robes performing during an electronic dance music party

This picture taken on May 12, 2024, shows South Korean comedian Youn Sung-ho, known as NewJeansNim, wearing monk’s robes performing during an electronic dance music party (EDM) event for the annual lotus lantern festival to celebrate the upcoming Buddha’s birthday in Seoul. With shaved head and flowing monk robes, the South Korean DJ chants traditional Buddhist scripture mixed with GenZ life advice over a thumping EDM beat, as the crowd goes wild. JUNG YEON-JE / AFP

SINGAPORE — An unconventional South Korean DJ “monk” who dispenses Buddhist wisdom and Gen-Z life advice over his thumping beats will be barred from performing in Singapore, the interior minister said Wednesday, May 22.

Youn Sung-ho, who goes by the moniker NewJeansNim, is a comedian-turned-musician. He is credited with reviving Buddhism’s popularity among young South Koreans—even as his performances have ruffled feathers regionally.


He had been slated to perform at a nightclub in Singapore, where laws restrict speech or actions viewed as harmful to religious harmony.


“Police have told the nightclub owners that action will be taken if the performance proceeds. They understood our position, and have agreed to cooperate,” K. Shanmugam said on his Facebook page.

READ: Holy rap! ‘Funky’ Japan monk gets grannies in a spin

“This news has come out on Vesak Day, an unfortunate coincidence. But the Buddhist community, (like other communities) knows that the Government will take firm action, in respect of such things,” he added, referring to the holy Buddhist holiday.

The DJ performed earlier this month in Muslim-majority Malaysia, which has a significant Buddhist minority.

But a second gig planned for later in May was canceled after his performance saw offended local Buddhists file police complaints.

In South Korea, he has the support of fans and the president of the country’s largest Buddhist sect, the Jogye Order, which has urged him to continue, seeing the DJ as a means of attracting new, younger followers.


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TAGS: Buddhism, Music, Singapore

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