Psy to change name of "Gangnam Style" follow-up over fear of offending Arabs

The title for the his next song is a South Korean word that can be written as "Assarabia" or "Assaravia" in English

Published March 19, 2013 4:00PM (EDT)

Psy's new single isn't out yet, but he's already worried that it might offend people. The AP reports:

"The announced title for the song can be written as 'Assarabia' or 'Assaravia' in English. It's slang used by South Koreans to express thrills. It suggests no ethnicity or body part, but worries have risen that Arabs might misinterpret the title and find it derogatory."

To address any potential concerns, Psy plans to change some lyrics in "Assaravia" as well.

The single is already being hailed as the follow-up to the viral sensation "Gangnam Style" that set a world record at 1.44 billion views on YouTube. As such, it is going to need to be accompanied by moves that somehow top the horse-dance. "There is such a high level of expectation now," Psy told George Wayne from Vanity Fair. "I have to come out strong with my new single."

Luckily for Psy, Wayne had some ideas:

G.W. Maybe you need to create a new dance phenomenon called “the Bunga Bunga.”

P. I like that. That is funny. But what is the Bunga Bunga?

G.W. Ask Silvio Berlusconi.

P. Who is that?

G.W. It’s a long story, Psy. But I could see Psy doing the Bunga Bunga. It’s big in Italy, they tell G.W.

P. I love that idea. That is a really good idea.

By Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Arabs Gangnam Style K-pop Music Psy South Korea