Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Halal Neighborhood Market

I have never seen this on a truck before. JD’s market is in an area near the local college, near the hub of the bus system, and near a lot of stores people can walk to. It is a neighborhood rich in immigrants, rich in opportunities for work, rich in transportation options – and it just tickles me to see a truck advertising “halal meat” on it.

00halal.jpg

You hear complaints in Kuwait and Qatar, and most of the Gulf countries, about the Americanization of the world – the supersize-me fast food outlets, the same western stores in every mall, the spread of western – and particularly American – culture.

Look closely. It’s not a one-way street. We are all influencing one another, more than we know.

August 9, 2007 - Posted by | Community, Cross Cultural, Customer Service, Hygiene, Living Conditions, Locard Exchange Principal, Photos, Shopping, Spiritual

5 Comments »

  1. No we are not. These are small scale neighborhoods that cater only for a certain ethnicity. I have an Indian neighborhood near my house in the States, I rarely see any Americans shopping or eating there. It’s not the same, your argument is analytically ill.

    Comment by lulu | August 9, 2007 | Reply

  2. I disagree, Lulu – this is the first step in a longer-term integration process. Italian food, Chinese food, Mexican food – all these were once ghetto’ized as ‘ethnic’.

    The website Zabihah lists halal restaurants all over the US – a service much like the ones my practicing Jewish friends use to find American restaurants that observe the laws of kashrut. (Of course Muslims can opt for non-meat dishes if they are concerned about a particular restaurant, while for practicing Jews the need to keep separate kitchens for meat and dairy meals makes dining out more challenging.)

    The next step will be when QFC, Top and the other big grocery stores start offering halal/kosher meat :).

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | August 9, 2007 | Reply

  3. Lulu, when I was growing up, pizza was considered a foreign food. The only ethnic food we ate was Chinese food, and it wasn’t available in the supermarket. Now, every market carries Chinese food, and all the things needed to make Chinese food. Most markets here carry some Middle East items, some Indian food items, a lot of European items – internationalization has arrived.

    I saw the same thing while I lived in Germany. And when I lived in Qatar, they have entire shelves of Japanese foods! We can’t help it; the world is internationalizing.

    Comment by intlxpatr | August 9, 2007 | Reply

  4. I agree with you in comment (3)
    People should embrace change and integration or at least a sharing of cultures.

    Comment by jewaira | August 10, 2007 | Reply

  5. Jewaira – I think it happens whether we want it to or not. I think that often the changes are so incremental that we barely notice until significant time has passed and then we say “Oh!” in surprise.

    Humans flow. Haven’t the original Kuwaitis come from pre-Saudi Arabia, and mingled with the Ottoman, Iraqi, Iranian, Indian, Omani, African? When I eat Kuwaiti foods, I taste the influence of a rich melange.

    Comment by intlxpatr | August 11, 2007 | Reply


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