Photo of Halal-Certified Product Corner in Family Mart Store in Taipei

Discovering halal food poses a significant challenge for Muslim students residing in countries where Muslims are in the minority. But is it too difficult in Taiwan? The answer is, “It is slowly becoming easier now”.

So, how easy is it to find halal food in Taiwan nowadays? The Internet makes it faster!

The advancement of information and technology facilitates the rapid spread of information. It is now easy to access information about halal restaurants across Taiwan. Simply search for “Halal Recommendation in Taiwan” and you’ll find a comprehensive list of dining options. One such resource is the Taiwan Halal | 台灣清真 website. This website provides a user-friendly interface where you can specify your preferences by adding the address or region. It offers suggestions for halal-certified establishments, Muslim-friendly venues, places run by Muslims, or places where Muslims are welcome. Additionally, the website provides integrated maps for easy navigation to nearby locations based on your current whereabouts. Isn’t it easy to use?

Photo of Taiwan Halal Website Interface (Source : https://taiwanhalal.com)

Halal Card

Many non-Muslims may not fully understand the concept of halal, necessitating an explanation. It’s not as simple as asking, “Is this halal?” Instead, inquiries must be made about the ingredients and cooking processes to ensure compliance with halal standards. Language barriers further complicate matters, as not everyone in Taiwan speaks English fluently, and proficiency in Mandarin Chinese is not a prerequisite for postgraduate students.

A problem often comes with a solution. The Indonesian Muslim Student Association in Taiwan, known as FORMMIT (Forum Mahasiswa Muslim Indonesia di Taiwan), has introduced a practical solution: the halal card. This card serves as a guideline for communicating the halal concept to those unfamiliar with it, helping to prevent misunderstandings between consumers and food vendors and ensuring peace of mind when consuming halal food.

Photo of FORMMIT Halal Card

Muslim-Friendly Corner at Convenience Stores

Around 20% of the 6 million international arrivals in Taiwan are dominated by Muslims. This statistic prompted Taipei to collaborate with Family Mart, a chain of convenience stores, to establish halal or Muslim-friendly sections. Although currently limited to eight locations in Taipei, this initiative makes it easier to find halal-certified products such as cookies, sweets, beverages, instant noodles, and Fami-Collection merchandise. Hopefully, this program will expand to encompass a broader segment in the future.

Taiwan is a safe and welcoming place for foreigners, including Muslims. Being foreigner-friendly is a national initiative aimed at promoting tourism in Taiwan. Many foreigners, including Indonesians, reside in Taiwan as part of the DIASPORA, whether for study or work. With the assistance of Muslim-friendly apps and environments, finding halal food in Taiwan is no longer a challenge. The question is, are you ready to embark on your educational journey in Taiwan?

Author: Laras Swandayani

Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Advanced Technology and Multidiscipline, Universitas Airlangga