I've been to South Korea for 3 times so far, but I NEVER get tired of it!ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ People around me asking is it easy to find HALAL food in Korea?? Well of course as Muslim I searched for Halal restaurant before boarding to Seoul.ㅋㅋㅋ For Muslim HALAL is one of most COMPULSORY aspect for us! However how many Koreans knows about it???? For anyone who have Korean friends try to ask about "Halal" to them, I'm sure some of them might be like O-o (this)ㅋㅋㅋ
Do not blame them though!ㅋㅋ This is because Islam is a MINORITY religion in Korea compare to Christianity, Buddha or paganism. Some of them might even NEVER heard a word "HALAL" entire of their life!ㅋㅋㅋ We can see there are so many expatriate living in Korea isn't it?? There are many INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL but I have NO idea about their syllabus as well in which language they using. I asked some of my Korean friends, but they also unsure about it as they said international school fees is very EXPENSIVE! That means NOT many Korean had interaction with international community (especially Muslim) since they were young.
Their school system is good (I mean accredited system) , I don't want to talk about their education system though because I don't think I have a RIGHT to says so (I never attend school in Korea).I did asked my Korean friends about their NORMAL school, their syllabus, they said during school time they just learnt BASIC about other RELIGION.However ISLAM didn't have HUGE impact on their history, so it DIDN'T cover much about it. That's one of reason why KOREAN have LESS idea about Islam and its culture.
Since "HALLAYU" wave swept globally. INTERNATIONAL travelers flock in to Korea every year including MUSLIM traveler. The rise of Muslim travelers CREATE many OPPORTUNITY for NEW industry which is HALAL! Yet KOREAN still have LESS knowledge about it.This is because they ONLY FOCUS about Islam as RELIGION not a WAY OF LIFE (related in daily life). Some of them ONLY knows that HALAL is popular in FOOD aspect!ㅋㅋ However actually in Islam, HALAL is applicable in DAILY life and almost in EVERYTHING!ㅋㅋㅋ Halal aspect also COVER in finance, buying selling, measure (buying and selling), cosmetics, fashion, personal care products, daily living products, pharmaceuticals, food ingredient, and food contact material.
For those who have ZERO idea about HALAL, they might wonder HOW COME it can be RELATED to finance and other aspect isn't it?? Well its such a HUGE topic to discuss here.ㅋㅋㅋ Maybe I will write about it in different entries someday when KOREANS understand about ISLAMIC BANKING SYSTEM and others!ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ (Wonder when it will be, but I think that day will come soon!)ㅋㅋ Due to the RISE of MUSLIM traveler to South Korea, their President take an initiative to START providing GOOD THOUGHT about it.
These days, some of their mainstream MEDIA start letting PUBLIC knows about HALAL industry. ^^ One of good news is South Korea will HOSTING the very FIRST ever Korean Halal Expo 2015. Yes for MUSLIM, HALAL is very IMPORTANT aspect but for NON MUSLIM this can be opportunity for them in business (opportunity to export their product in ISLAM COUNTRIES)ㅋㅋ or simply new knowledge for them! ^^ This event also open for HALAL Industry/company WORLDWIDE! For more information about it, you may refer here.
p/s: Islam also a MINORITY RELIGION in THAILAND, however they are HUB for HALAL FOOD INDUSTRY WORLDWIDE!~ I think you guys must wonder why isn't it?? Its because they saw HUGE POTENTIAL/PROFIT/MARKET in this industry!ㅋㅋㅋ
p/s: Some of KOREAN COMPANY already get HALAL CERTIFICATE from various HALAL ACCREDITED BODY, and they earn new VOLUME as they manage to EXPORT their product in ISLAM COUNTRIES!~ One of the company is NONGSHIM .
p/s: I saw KOREA HALAL EXPO 2015 page, yet wonder why there are NOT MANY HALAL companies from Thailand and MALAYSIA join in! Maybe they DIDN'T promoting much about it in international level??
p/s: This event had OVER however I think they organize the SIMILAR EVENT over and over again at VARIOUS places. /This WEEK they ORGANIZE it somewhere near SECHO-GU, Gangnam. For more information, VISIT here.
Photo Credit: koreahalal.org