May 29, 2023
In the absence of expensive military bombs, BTS fans create their own "purple lights" to support Jin in Argentina

In the absence of expensive military bombs, BTS fans create their own “purple lights” to support Jin in Argentina

A homemade 'Purple Light' by sticking cellophane over a smartphone's flashlight.

Last week, BTS fans in Argentina received some unexpected but joyful news. Kim Seok-jin, better known as Jin, the oldest member of the South Korean K-Pop group, would perform his new single “The Astronaut” for the first time as a special guest at a Coldplay concert in Buenos Aires. As excited as the fans were, they also faced a challenge: how would they welcome Jin and show their support for him at the concert when many of them didn’t have the expensive and hard-to-get ARMY bombs?

For the uninitiated, a BTS ARMY bomb is one of the must-have items for fans of the band, known as ARMY. Rest assured, this is not a real bomb, but rather a custom glow stick that fans can use to show their support at BTS concerts and other events. The sticks also allow fans to participate in an “ocean” of ARMY bombing, the term used to describe what all the glow sticks look like together. Additionally, BTS ARMY bombs are also part of colorful light shows coordinated by event staff via Bluetooth.

ARMY Bombs can be hard to find for anyone, but they’re especially hard to get in Argentina. The country was shaken by a exhausting economic crisisinflation of almost 100% this year, and the diminished value of its currency. As several fans of the country have explained on social networks and in interviews with Gizmodo, buying an ARMY bomb in Argentina right now is very expensive. A lot of people just can’t afford them. Their official price was around $60 last year, but that doesn’t include additional costs like taxes and shipping.

An official BTS ARMY Bomb light stick is featured.  It has a black stick for a handle and a transparent sphere on top.

A BTS ARMY bomb.
Photo: Naumova Ekaterina (Shutterstock)

“The ARMY bomb is that thing we all dream of after an album, if we can buy it, but not everyone has the financial means”, Marian, one of the administrators of the fanbase BTS ARMY Home Argentinawho only wished to be identified by her first name, told Gizmodo in Spanish via WhatsApp.

Marian herself could not buy hers ARMY bomb.

Faced with this scenario, BTS ARMY Home Argentina, which was founded recently in 2020, had an idea: they would create their own economically accessible version of an ARMY bomb. Shortly after the announcement of Jin’s performance in Buenos Aires, they unveiled their “Purple Lights x Jin” project.

The idea was simple. Instead of trying to find a similar glowstick or make one from scratch, they used what most of them already had on hand: their phones. To create “purple lights” – purple is BTS’ group color – all fans had to do was take some purple cellophane, fold it in three parties (so that the color is stronger) and stick it on their phone’s flashlight.

“As Jin appears, let’s accompany him with purple lights in the River Stadium as we enjoy his performance,” the group wrote on Twitter in Spanish under the hashtag #PurpleLightsxJin.

After announcing Purple Lights x Jin, Marian said the group received a bigger response than they could have ever imagined. Many fans replied that they thought it was a great idea and would participate wherever they watched Jin’s performance, whether it was at the concert itself or at one of the movie theaters showing it.

Zowie, who uses the handle @dreamminn_ on Twitter and wanted to be identified only by her first name for privacy reasons, was one of the BTS fans who decided to participate when she saw the initiative announced on social media. She also does not own an ARMY bomb and repeated that it is complicated and expensive to get one in the country. To add his little grain of sand to the project, Zowie decided to create a Tutorial to help other fans create their own purple lights.

She told Gizmodo via direct messages on Twitter that she thought creating the tutorial would be a good way to integrate ARMY inside and outside the concert stadium, like fans watching in venues. cinemas or were in other countries. For her part, Zowie is going to the concert today, although she managed to get tickets at the last minute.

“The military is a very different group of people and every little thing we can do to be more united is something I will always want to be part of,” she said.adding: “I [also] wanted more armies to participate in the project because Seokjin deserved it.

Eliana is another BTS fan who thought Purple Lights x Jin was great and decided to join us. Also lacking an ARMY bomb, she made a bunch of kits out of purple cellophane to hand out to other fans who hadn’t brought one. The kits included a note with a little astronaut asking fans not to leave the purple cellophane at the stadium and dispose of it in the appropriate bin.

“A lot of people who are going to the concert don’t have Twitter so they don’t know about the project,” Eliana, who is going to the concert, told Gizmodo via Twitter DM. “There are also people who couldn’t get cellophane or didn’t have time to do their lights because of work or school. The idea is for much of the fandom attending to come forward so that Seokjin can feel ARMY is supporting him.

When Gizmodo spoke to BTS ARMY Home Argentina admin Marian on Thursday, the fan was busy cutting purple cellophane. Like Eliana, Marian made lots of extra purple light kits for ARMY, Coldplay fans, or anyone else who wanted to join their Purple Lights x Jin project.

Marian told Gizmodo that she and the rest of BTS ARMY Home Argentina are very happy with how fans have reacted to the project and are looking forward to celebrating together at the concert and hearing Jin perform “The Astronaut.” As for BTS, its members are right now on break and will perform their compulsory military service before reconstituting as a group around 2025Marian wants them to know ARMY will always support them.

“We’re going to be looking forward to them here,” she said. “We love them so much. They inspire us to be better people every day, to help others and to be united. We are grateful to them and it is a way for us to give back all the love they have given us. given.

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