Korean rapper Psy performs “Gangnam Style” in front of a crowd during a flash mob on Monday in Paris. [AFP/YONHAP]

Psy treated Europe to a flash mob dance event at Trocadero Square in Paris, across from the Eiffel Tower, on Monday.

The event was organized by Universal Mercury and radio station NRJ. The 20,000-strong and predominantly teen crowd danced for about 15 minutes.

Ahead of the event, NRJ posted an online tutorial to help Parisians master the horse dance. On the day, many eager fans arrived as early as two hours before the show to get a good spot.

Psy turned up 40 minutes late, touching down in Paris by private jet from the United States, but jumped right into the dance along with his fans.

The Korean rapper said he was touched by the turnout and, to the delight of French fans, promised that next year, “Paris was the first on the European tour.”

After bringing some “style” to the French capital, the YouTube sensation held a press conference yesterday with more than 80 French reporters before making his way to the U.K., where he will speak at the Oxford Union today. He will be the esteemed debating club’s second Korean guest in its 190-year history. The first was former Samsung Electronics President Hwang Chang-gyu.

Meanwhile back home, the 34-year-old star, who has been rapping for more than 10 years, is still making waves with the announcement yesterday that he will be awarded one of Korea’s highest cultural honors: The Okgwan Order of Cultural Merit.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said that Psy will be given the prize “for not only being a long-term artist, but also for advertising Gangnam widely and increasing the world’s interest in Korea.”

To date, the video, which is a parody about the affluent part of Seoul south of the Han River, has been viewed more than 654 million times on YouTube.


By Carla Sunwoo [carlasunwoo@joongang.co.kr]