What started as a group of seven boys from South Korea with big dreams but only a handful of fans has amassed today into the global phenomenon known as Bangtan Sonyeondan (BTS) with millions of admirers from all over the world. BTS's fanbase, known as ARMY (short for Adorable Representative MC for Youth), are often misjudged for being immature and toxic due to the lack of proper media representation. While no fandom can ever be completely perfect, BTS's fans try their best to overcome their unfortunate reputation. The main goal for the majority of the fanbase is to live up to their name — be a force of good change in the world.
Today marks the 27th birthday of BTS member, Jung Hoseok (J-Hope). In honour of him, ARMYs from all over the world are coming together to give back to the community. Two such philanthropic events were organised by one of our very own Bangladeshi ARMY groups, Bangladesh BTS ARMY Official Fanclub (https://www.facebook.com/groups/bd.bts.army.ofc/?ref=share).
The hardworking and dedicated team includes Mayeesha Farzana Khan, Tahosina Mehnaz Shithi, Nusrat Jahan Noboni, Arif Anzum Hamim, Sumaiya Khan Shova, Talha Nabed Utsaw, Tasmim Jara, Israt Jahan Tonima, Anika Nooshin Shoshi, Azmira Khan Chaity, and Ismail Parvez. They raised BDT 20,200 at the two-day event, "Hope World Project", aptly titled in celebration of J-hope's birthday. On February 17, they worked hard all day, cleaning and clearing out local tourist spots like the Mawa Ghat area, which has been polluted by non-biodegradable plastic and is inevitably harming the environment. In due time, they also distributed surgical masks to the tourists in the area.
Today, a team of 15 ARMYs fed biryani to 100 children at Chandpur Boro Station. After lunch, they hosted a cultural programme for the kids, and cut a cake.
Mayeesha Farzana Khan, one of the main hosts of both the events shared the inspiration behind the initiative. "Bangladeshi ARMY, because of their small scale, are often known only by their name, not by their work. So, I intended to use the power of our dedicated fandom to do something which will not be just for us or BTS, but for our country," she says. "BTS always do their best to give back to the community — both individually and as a group. Most recently, they donated $1, 000, 000 to the Black Lives Matter Movement, and ARMY promptly matched them with another $1,000, 000 within 24 hours. Working together, BTS and ARMY also raised over $ 2300,000 for their Love Myself campaign to end violence with UNICEF. Being an ARMY has inspired me to work in BTS's footsteps and make positive changes in Bangladesh, no matter how small they may be."