Indesso and Firmenich Indonesia held “Halal bi Halal” event on 31 July 2017, inviting a respected religious leader, K.H. A. Mustofa Bisri or also known as Gus Mus as the speaker. Taking place at Indesso Cileungsi Plant, the event was attended by around 600 employees of both companies. Opening the Halal bi Halal event, CEO of Indesso, Robby J. Gunawan expressed his respect to the famous figure, “We are so honored having Gus Mus here, someone who is a well known Ulama, a writer as well as a humanist.” Among the audiences, there was the board of directors from Indesso and Firmenich Indonesia, also the representatives of local authority.
Halal bi Halal is commonly held not long after Eid Mubarak. However, though it is related to a religious event, Halal bi Halal is actually a tradition unique to Indonesia. “People tend to think that ‘Halal bi Halal’ is a term from Arab, but I’ve spent many years in Arab and never heard of this term outside Indonesia. The word ‘Halal’ indeed has its own meaning, which is the opposite of haram (forbidden or proscribed by Islamic law), but ‘Halal bi Halal’ has no meaning in Arabic. So, this term is unique to Indonesia,” Gus Mus explained. He further said that probably the initial meaning of ‘Halal bi Halal’ was to encourage people in forgiving each other. The speech was kept going for about an hour, then the event was ended with a prayer and a feast.