Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Date with dentist

Dental care is important part in oral hygiene. There is clear difference in low income countries where health insurance is not pursued and high income countries where health insurance is part of daily expenditure. India is going to implement some mechanism for health insurance system for citizens and will bear most of the expenses of health insurance for the Indian poor, a great step for citizens in general and to the people below poverty line in particular.
There are many kind of health insurance schemes. Here in Korea every Government Scholarship Student have health insurance which cover almost all part except few like dental care, and skins etc.
However, here cost of the health treatment is extremely high. So even though small kind of health insurance exclusion costs a lot to the students. There are many cases where students suffer due to the small area of health insurance exclusion. And I am one of the victim for the same.
I would advice my fellow friends to take special care for dental hygiene. Visit doctor at least once in a year.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How Japan would be different with Korea?

Human being do their best to excel in this world and some time forget the actual success and even though some time redefine success as per their need. However, the true success is the success after here (world).
God has created this wonderful world with great diversity. Within a continent there is great variation even within a country. This variation may be in the form of geographical, historical, language or others.
After spending about 2 years in Korea, I am planning to travel more eastern Asian country like Japan and see how it differs with Korea. I am sure there would be similarity in both the countries but there must be some differences too.
I hope next blog will be some comparative experiences in the mid of next month.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

an interview to GSES bi monthly magazine

인도 Vs 한국 (있어요 Vs 없어요)

저는 인도를 소개하겠습니다. 인도의 인구는 16억이고 면적은 328 Km2 입니다. 인도의 인구 한국의 216 이고 인도의 면적 한국 33 입나다.

인도의 도시인구는 총인구의 28% 입니다. 하지만 한국의 도시인구는 총인구의 80% 입니다. 인도에서 33 개의 광역도시들이 있습니다. 한국에서 7개의 광역도시들이 있습니다.

인도에서 타지마할 포함해(Including) 27개의 세계유산등록지가(World Heritage Site) 있고 한국에서 8개의 세계유산등록지가 (1.창덕 2.고창 / 화순 / 강화지석묘 3.경주 역사유적 4.해인5.6.제주도 자연유산지7.8.석굴암 하고 불국) 있습니다

Soft Exploitation of Hangan in Seoul

All bigger cities in the world are located along the sources of water. The role of water bodies have been changed with time, however the basic roles haven’t changed to fulfill basic need of human being.


Seoul Metropolitan Government’s Hangan River Project provides a full overview of existing schemes along Hangan and upcoming projects. Various presentations, documents have been further clearified city government intention for maximum utilization of Hangan potentials. Two forms of interventions are notable, soft and hard; soft interventions means any intervention without disturbing natural line and flora and fauna of Hangan, while hard intervention means certain type of physical intervention. The hard intervention should be minimal to reduce impact. Various projects of Hangan are impressive and few projects, mostly concentrated with urban design perspectives are depressing too.

Similar projects in Indian cities

In India the bigger cities are either located on river side or on coastal belt, for example, Mumbai, Chennai are located on Coastal belts and Delhi, Agra, Patna are river cities. In my observation none of the indian cities' best practice can be applied for Seoul. Against Hangan, Indian cities have exerted negative impacts on rivers. The liquid wastes are normally flown into rivers without proper treatment. The river water is no more suitable for drinking purpose, for example, Yamuna water in Delhi.

In India, rivers are assumed as sacred place and used for various religious purposes including community bath as well as used for last ceremony of human being.

In spite of these issues few cities have exploited water for recreational purpose, for example, Mumbai developed Water Park around coastal side.

Some positive intervention

I would like to see some soft intervention in Hangan for making it more attractive. These interventions have excluded what is already in practice in Hangan.

1. Night ferries: Hangan river authority can exploit Hangan by night ferries project. This type of project will be of cultural or exotic in nature. In case of Mumbai, Night ferries organize various night club, dance club etc. It is very famous among tourists in Mumbai. This projects work like floating house.

2. Transportation Network: Hangan divide Seoul into North and South and it passes from West to East. It can be developed as transportation network. But it viability are full of challenges due to coast consideration, however it can be integrated with existing transportation mode like Subway and Bus not only in terms of accessibility but also in term of affordability. Tickets can be integrated with other mode of transportation.

3. Hangan as a cultural corridor: Seoul is vibrant and cultural city. It organizes a number of programs throughout the year. Hangan can be developed as cultural corridor on different time line.

4. Self sailing program: To exploit it further, we can provide low coast (fare) boat to tourists or visitors. They can use it from few hours to a day. This can be used for conducting special study academic as well as non academic purposes.

5. Floating Housing/Cultural Center/Aquarium: The viability/feasibility of floating housing/cultural center/Aquarium can be explored based on length and width of Hangan. Floating house can be used as part of other activities which is very common in Seoul. These can be developed in special location for specific purpose. For example, some parts of Hangan may be developed for some special recipes of Seoul, clubbed with famous Nooreban of Seoul and Arts center etc. This may be unique place in itself and it would may be must visit place in Seoul due to their unique in nature as well as dynamism in it.

Last but not least city government should be cautious in case of using any hard intervention across the Hangan. Any hard intervention may lead to certain advantages but it would be almost impossible to U-turn in terms of ecological flora and fauna.

Exploring the feasibility of halal food in Seoul

Seoul, a global and cosmopolitan city, consists of more than 10 million populations. Presently, about 2.2 percent of its population is based on foreigners and the inbound foreign tourists in Korea are about 6 million annually and most of them visit Seoul including other part of the Korea like Busan, Deagu etc.

Korea’s foods are not only delicious but also possess high level of nutrients. However, most of the Korean foods usually contain meats, which are not Halal. Halal is an Arabic term meaning “permissible”, it refers to food that is permissible by Islamic law. This project focuses on why halal food in Seoul is advantageous to city government and how it can be done within its purview. It is notable that presently mostly halal food stuffs and restaurants are located in Itaewan.

It is tough to estimate the halal food consumers among the foreign residents and tourists in Seoul. However, the number will be significantly high around 15-20 percent among them. Moreover, Korean Government’s policies towards Arab countries and vice versa and its emergence in global economy would surely enlarge the number of halal food consumers in near future.

How this project would be beneficial to government

It has many direct benefit and co-benefit for government. If implemented, Seoul will be more culturally diverse by respecting other cultures. It would ease the life for halal food consumers. In term of co-benefit, it may enhance business prospects by attracting foreign business partners especially from Muslim World. And it would be consume by all irrespective to halal food consumer, therefore overall a win-win situation.

As a planner, we should take consideration of existing situation as well as future needs and demands. As discussed above, t would enhance its face value towards pro-halal consumers. It is worth to note that Muslim populations are about 1.6 billion (about 20-25 percent of world population) which only consume halal food and beside that it can be equally consumed by native consumers too. Second, a tourist can extend their stay in Seoul if they will get culturally acceptable food which will definitely enhance tourism economy. Thirdly, halal food market is an emerging market either in the form of informal sector or small market; the city government can enhance economy by expanding halal food market in Seoul and its vicinity.

Now the next question arises within the purview of City’s government how it can be implemented. The City government can facilitate to channelize it in Seoul. It can be done by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Muslim organization of Korea, like Korea Muslim Federation. The City government can provide some incentive for keeping halal food stuff in selected city based daily need existing shops. Korean restaurants can be promoted as a hub for halal restaurant which will prove Seoul as a sacred place for halal food consumer which will further enhance tourism potentials.

In the same way, Seoul is also educational hub of not only Korea, but it is also emerging Asian educational hub. This system can be implemented in Universities too. Almost all of the universities have a couple to dozens of cafeterias. The university can dedicate a restaurant to serve halal meats and vegetables. Korean Universities usually have cafeterias and not attached dining hall system against Indian Universities and mostly students have no choice to cook, but to eat at cafeteria. If it is not possible to dedicate one cafeteria for halal food then at least part of one restaurant can be easily dedicated to halal foods and vegetables. By doing the same, the Korean Universities can cope cultural differences and attract more students especially from Arab countries.

This article is based on perception and some interviews with halal food consumers. An in-depth research can be conducted on the modalities of halal food market in Seoul. I am well convinced that it will add a new dimension to Seoul in socio-cultural and religious besides providing an economical opportunity to Seoul government. Seoul can be transformed from ‘soul of Asia’ to ‘soul of east and the west’.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ramadan in Seoul, bridging the cultural gap from dormitory to workstation

I was cooking in common kitchen at the international house located in Dehagno, Seoul, one of my Chinese friend, offered me to taste her food, as usual we use to do in our common kitchen. The international house has students from several countries and obviously from multiple cultural backgrounds. I replied that I am observing fast so I can’t taste now but after sun sets only. She curiously asked me a series of questions concerning fast and the Ramadan. This is a new culture and environment for me so her questions brought little bit anxiety but didn’t bother me. In background of her questions, I was thinking how we are eager to learn each other despite cultural differences. Thanks to the common kitchen, probably, this is the place where we interact with each other and taste multi-cuisine. In Indian plural society, where I born and brought up, is a mosaic of cultures, religions and languages, in spite of our cultural differences, this type of incidents never happened. We learn rule of the game in the institutional setting in the country and gain skills to respect, defend and criticize each other. Probably, in this sense India is the best laboratory for showing unity in diversity.

These type of incidents take place around us, even though, in cosmopolitan city like Seoul, which shows lack of awareness across the cultures, in the same way, as I was unaware about the rich cultural heritage and tradition of Korea before landing here. As a student, it is our duty and responsibility to exchange our thoughts regarding our cultural heritage and tradition to bridge the gap.

Ramadan is the ninth month of Islamic lunar calendar. Islamic lunar calendar has 12 lunar months in a year of about 354 days. In almost all the religions there are concept of fasting but in diverse way. However, in Islam fasting is obligatory and it’s the fourth pillar of Islam. Firstly Iman; faith or believe on oneness of God and the finality of the prophet hood of Muhammad (peace be upon him), secondly Salah; offering daily five time prayers, thirdly Zakah; charity of 2.5 percent of earned income, fourthly Fasting, which is topic of discussion here and finally pilgrimage to Makkah for those who can afford.

Fasting is done in the month of Ramadan. In Islam all the basic pillars are derived from holy Quran, a revealed book on Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him); and Hadith, recording of his saying and deeds. This month is pious due to many reasons to Muslims including revelation of holy Quran in this month. Holy Quran says “Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an as a guide to mankind also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spent it in fasting, but if anyone is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you He does not want to put you to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.” (Quran 2:185)

It is ordained in the second year of prophet’s migration to Madeenah, means in 2nd Hijri. Hijri is an Islamic calendar started with migration of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) to Madeenah. During fast everything is prohibited to consume during days from sun rise to sun set. Holy Quran says “seek what Allah hath ordained for you and eat and drink, until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread; then complete your fast till the night appears” (Quran 2:187)

Fasting has multi-fold benefits from psychological, spiritual to medical. It is extremely useful for acquisition of taqwa (piety). It suppresses lowly desire and provides feeling for poor and hunger engender. It provides nearness to almighty, acts as a tool of acquiring politeness and cultivates good manners. A numbers of medical studies reveal benefit of fasting. It is useful in weight management, for rest of digestion track and for lowering lipids. It improves health and stamina against the general believes that it causes weakness.

The fast is ended with a big celebration, called ‘Eid ul-Fitra’. In that day, Muslims wear their nicest cloth and offer Eid ul-Fitra prayer in mosque or Eidgah. After Eid prayer they greet and hug each other by saying “Eid Mubarak”.

Korean society which is known for their hospitality, therefore I am sure that they would extend support towards people who are in fast during Ramadan. Here are some ways to interact with them in this month of fast. It should be avoided to ask for party or staying late during Ramadan. It would be better for them, if they open their fast with family and friends and attend religious congress ions. And of course they shouldn’t be invited for lunch, however in Korean perspectives late dinner will be acceptable (after sun sets only). They should be provided some ease in doing physical as well as mental works if possible. It would be better to avoid trips or parties in this month as much as possible. In Islam alcohols are absolutely prohibited so there is no need to mention about it.

In Korean Universities teachers could also extend some ease to Muslim students. However, most of the Korean Universities’ professors are well versed with multi cultural societies based on their diverse backgrounds. Thanks to the Korean education system which hires not only the best minds but the diverse minds educated from east to west. However, there is special need for due consideration to those who works in science and engineering laboratory.

I wish this Ramadan will enrich human soul by bringing piety, politeness, nearness to almighty and expand peace across the Globe.


aredia lawsuit

Site Meter