I started crying as soon as I heard "Permission to Dance."
BTS is officially back in the United States! On Saturday, Sept. 18, they arrived in New York City ahead of their appearance at the United Nations General Assembly, which marked their third time attending the conference. They went to support South Korean President Moon Jae, who appointed them his Special Presidential Envoy for Future Generations and Culture on July 21. This time, the group not only delivered a moving speech to inspire youth, but also gave an exciting performance of their latest single, “Permission To Dance.” These tweets about BTS' 2021 UN General Assembly speech and performance show ARMYs were filled with pride over the group’s accomplishments.
At this year’s conference, BTS shared their experience as youth living in a world amid the ongoing coronavirus. According to a translation by Soompi, the group said it hasn’t been easy, but they’ve been able to push through thanks to others’ words of encouragement. “There were times during the past two years when we too felt confused and troubled. But here, there are people who cry out, ‘Let’s live on, let’s live the best of this moment,’” Jin said.
Jungkook said one of the saddest parts of dealing with the virus has been missing out on big life events. “It is upsetting to lose the moments that should be celebrated moments in one’s life,” he said. “As for us, we were disappointed to have to cancel the concert tour that we had prepared for so long, and for a long time we missed the moments that we wanted to complete.”
Although it’s been hard, Suga said the experience has taught them an important lesson. “We needed time to mourn for the things that we lost to COVID-19, and time to discover how precious the moments that we took for granted were,” he said. J-Hope then took the opportunity to raise awareness about climate change. “We just spoke about mourning, but it’s hard to even think about the mourning for the Earth. Everyone agrees that climate change is an important problem, but it’s not easy to talk about what the best solution might be.”
V said that he thinks youth will change the world. “I hope we don’t consider the future as nothing but darkness. We have people who are concerned for the world and are searching for the answers. There are still many pages left in the story about us, so I hope we don’t just talk about it like the ending is already written,” he said.
RM then brought up a misconception about youth living amid the ongoing virus. “I have heard people in their teens and 20s now are called the ‘COVID lost generation.’ It means that at a time when they need the most opportunities and challenges, they’ve lost their way. But just because adults cannot see the road for themselves, it doesn’t mean that they’ve lost their way,” he said. Jin added, “Therefore, I think that instead of the ‘lost generation,’ the ‘welcome generation’ is a more appropriate name. Instead of being afraid of change, this generation says ‘welcome’ as they walk forward into the future.”
That’s when Jimin shared photos of youth adapting to the changing circumstances and doing their studies online. “In online spaces, they have continued to meet with their friends in new ways, started learning new things, and have tried to live more healthy lives,” he said. “Rather than looking lost, they’ve found new courage and are taking on new challenges.”
BTS ended their message by confirming they’ve all been vaccinated and emphasizing the importance of others getting the shot as well. “Vaccination was like the ticket for meeting our fans and being able to stand here today. Just like we said today, we too are doing the things that we’re able to do right now,” RM said. V added, “Like the vaccination efforts, people are continuing to work on moving this new reality forward. I believe the day that we can meet face-to-face is not far away.”
Watch BTS’ speech at the 2021 UN General Assembly below.
BTS also gave a surprise performance of “Permission To Dance” at the conference.
To say that fans were overwhelmed by their speech and performance would be an understatement. They even got the phrase “You did so well” trending on Twitter.
ARMYs couldn’t be prouder of BTS for all they’ve accomplished. And who can blame them?