Mittwoch, 15. Mrz 2023, 17:00 - 18:30 iCal

Wednesday Seminar

When the Islamic Cultural Industry Call: Lee Kum Kee in Malaysia (Eva Nisa)

Hörsaal C, Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie (4. Stock)
Universitätsstraße 7 (NIG), 1010 Wien


From Michelin Star chefs to home cooks who love Chinese-influenced cuisine, most people are likely familiar with the Lee Kum Kee Panda brand of oyster sauce. However, are they aware that this oyster sauce and other sauce products of Lee Kum Kee are halal (permissible according to Islamic principles)? Why has Lee Kum Kee gone halal? Does it matter for large and wellknown brands like Lee Kum Kee to halalise their products? Drawing on ethnographic research on the Islamic cultural economy in Malaysia from 2021 to 2023, this presentation focuses on the current state of the halal industry in Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur and Selangor), the leading player in the industry. It focuses on analysing how the multinational company Lee Kum Kee went halal and what this process reveals about the current development of the halal industry in Malaysia and beyond, as Malaysia is also exporting halal Lee Kum Kee across the regions. The topic of halal is subject to contention and is often mentioned as a source of community polarisation. Essentialist approaches to halal often consider halal as the way Muslims preserve their exclusiveness. However, current developments force us to think of halal industries as products and services that have been touched by the global market. From the halal journeys of Lee Kum Kee and other multinational companies, we can gain understanding about how halal (religion) has shaped the global economy and, in turn, how societies have been reshaped by the influences of religion, modern nation-states and the global economy.


The seminars will be held in a hybrid format, please check the event website for details.

Zur Webseite der Veranstaltung


Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie


Hanna Vietze
Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie