Seoul International Buddhism Expo showcases an industry born of traditions and beliefs

Tens of thousands of people from all over the world come to South Korea this month for one of Asia’s most diverse exhibitions, which will showcase a global industry born out of the traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices of Buddhism.

Seoul International Buddhism Expo (BEXPO) 2019 will be held at Seoul Trade Fair and Convention (SETEC) from November 14-17. Organizers said they were expecting more than 70,000 local and foreign visitors from Asia, Europe and North America. The event will feature lectures and speakers led by internationally renowned Buddhist experts, 417 booths and 327 exhibitors. Participants and visitors will come from Canada, United States, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, among other countries.

“We expect our Expo to be a chance for the Buddhist industry to develop and communicate with the public, allowing more people to feel the essence of traditional Buddhist industry and culture,” said declared

Wonhaeng, chairman of Seoul International Buddhism Expo 2019 and executive head of Korean Buddhist Order Jogye.

The Jogye Order, the main sponsor and organizer of this seventh annual event, represents the largest segment of South Korea’s Buddhist population, administering approximately 1,900 active temples with more than 13,000 monks and nuns who lead seven million worshipers in all the countries.

“The spiritual and cultural heritage and the method of practicing Korean Buddhism, such as meditation, is one of the best mental and cultural gems that Korea can present to the world,” said Hong Seung-do, secretary general of the ‘Expo.

He said the Expo provides fertile ground for the exchange and development of the global Buddhist industry.

Ajung Kim, a Vancouver-based filmmaker, said the Expo showcased the diverse industry of Buddhism, which is an important cultural component in South Korea dating back around 1,700 years.

“We have always strived to share these cultural practices and messages with a global audience,” said Kim, head of global business development for Mind Design Inc., who has worked with the Seoul International Buddhism Expo committee since its start. creation.

“In North America, an increasing number of people are embracing Buddhist meditation and a conscious lifestyle, integrating them into science, medical discoveries and technological innovations,” she said.

Mindfulness practice and training, which has its origins in the teachings of Buddhist meditation, is now part of a global wellness industry worth billions of dollars. This includes over 1,300 downloadable apps, books and online courses. “We hope to bring elements of the Seoul International Buddhism Expo to Canada soon,” Kim added. Besides traditional Buddhist handicrafts, tea, arts, decoration and sculpture, the Expo will also feature temple food, which will be staged this year by Hyang Jeok Won – Bulguksa (temple), Gyeongju, Korea , Table in Nature – Tongdosa (temple), Yangsan, Korea and Mananim Recipe from Seoul.

Temple food refers to the cuisine of Buddhist monks and nuns and is considered one of the means of exercising the teachings of Buddha. According to the Korean Buddhism Cultural Corps, temple food includes the cultivation of ingredients for cooking and eating, as Buddhists respect all living things and are in harmony with nature.

They don’t use meat, fish, or artificial flavor enhancers. Five pungent herbs called oshinchae – green onion, garlic, leek, chives, and wild chives – are not allowed in the creation of Temple Food. Practitioners only use seasonal vegetables and soybean paste or soy sauce that they prepare themselves in the temples. About 130 temples across Korea run Templestay programs and some of them allow you to cook your own Temple meals.

For more information, please visit bexpo.kr