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DJ NewJeanNim is causing havoc in Malaysia & being praised in Korea

The dance-music monk is creating a stir no matter where he goes

LiFTED | Marcus Aurelius | 14 May 2024

Looking up at a modern-day DJ booth, it’s easy to see a DJ waving their hands in the air, screaming, “Put your hands up!” on the mic, and even doing some dances from TikTok. DJ NewJeansNim is a bit different than the average DJ. Instead of jumping around, the bald, South Korean DJ is wearing a monk’s robe while playing Hip Hop and EDM beats and chanting, “You can live in paradise! This too shall pass.”

Recently, the 47-year-old former comedian turned dance-music monk caused quite a stir in Malaysia when he performed at a nightclub in Kula Lumpur on May 3. The Young Buddhist Association Malaysia criticized the night because the club he played in served alcohol, held raves, and played loud music. The Association said in a statement, “Such an arrangement will not only affect the solemnity of Buddhism but may also confuse the public about the true meaning of Buddhist rituals, such as chanting sutras and holding palms together.” A lawmaker also accused NewJeansNim of wearing a monk disguise and asked the government to ban him from Malaysia forever. Because of this commotion, NewJeansNim’s latest gigs have been canceled in Malaysia.

While NewJeansNim is not ordained, he’s more accepted in his home country of Korea. There, Venerable Jinwoo, the head of Korea’s largest Buddhist sect with 10 million followers, gifted the DJ prayer beads and wished him good luck spreading hope and happiness to young people.

DJ NewJeanNim will be touring Hong Kong and Taiwan at S2O next.