Does “Gashina” Mean Sunmi is Korea’s New Kween of Koreography?

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Update: Read how Heroine, Sunmi’s new single and the prequel to Gashina, adds a new layer to the meaning of Gashina.

You’ve heard the infectious panflute melodies of Sunmi‘s megahit comeback single “Gashina” but what exactly does Gashina mean? And how does the Gashina meaning correlate with Sunmi‘s super slick choreography?

Three and a half years have passed since Sunmi eclipsed the competition with Full Moon, her first solo EP outside of her bops with one of K-pop’s most iconic girl groups, the Wonder Girls. Following the poignant disbanding of Wonder Girls after a wig snatching but short lived Reboot in 2015, Sunmi came back to eliminate the other girls with her addictive trop-pop bop “Gashina” – one thorny gun finger at a time.

What Does Gashina Mean?

Although the sultry mood of “Gashina”’s mid-tempo chorus is hooking, Sunmi’s main attraction with “Gashina” is by far the choreography and the multiple meanings of the lyrics.

A double entendre, “Gashina” refers to both thorns on a flower and a farewell statement made to the departed – both of which are embodied within Sunmi’s perfectly executed choreography, with her flower hands and gun fingers.

Gashina’ also has a slightly derogatory meaning in Korean; gashina is a slang term in Korean which can mean bitch. While Sunmi’s agency MakeUs Entertainment have renounced claims that this meaning of Gashina is associated with the “Gashina” song… the choreography to “Gashina” definitely seems to entertain it.

Bouncing around in an adorably girlish and graceful way, Sunmi’s demeanour completely transforms once the beat of “Gashina”’s chorus drops. Intimidatingly bopping her head in sync with the kick drum, Sunmi erotically runs her gun finger down her jerking body before firing it as she holds her blood red lips. A glimmer of panic overcomes Sunmi’s face, her body recoiling to epitomize the power of the shot, before converting back into her cute persona. Sunmi closes the “Gashina” routine by sprouting thorns with her fingers, a symbolization of the dangerous side to those irresistible charms.

While the K-pop girls almost always deliver when it comes to their choreography, I don’t remember the last time I felt this entranced by a routine.

It tells the story of “Gashina” amazingly well, and Sunmi is able to portray the “Gashina” character with such conviction that it’s hard to imagine her (or anyone, really) ever topping such a brilliant concept – and, of course, truly captivating choreography.

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