Malaysia Culture have you experienced the warm hospitality?
Populated by the three (3) major races found in Asia, Malaysia culture is a melange of Indian, Malay and Chinese influences.
As distinct as the culture of each race may be, the intermingling of the population also gives rise to a special blend of culture and hospitable warmth that the Malaysian people are so famous for.
This is particularly evident during the festive times like Devapali, Chinese New Year and Hari Raya Adil Fitri where you get everyone holding ‘Open houses’ to welcome visitors into their home.
The infusion of cultures among the various races didn’t happen overnight but spanned over centuries, beginning from the time of the Indian Srivijaya Empire during the 7th century. Traces of Indian influences in the culture of Malaysia today can still be found in the key words used in the Malay language.
The warmth of the people in this country stems from the adherences to the traditional beliefs and social system called ‘Adat’ which has its roots from ancient Hindu. ‘Adat’, whose literal English translation means: customs, places great emphasis on collective responsibility and maintaining a harmonious existence.
Perhaps the most noticeable sign of this cultural intermingling can be found in the cuisine of the country.
Malaysia is also well known as being the food paradise in this part of world, due to its varied and tasty cuisine. In fact, there is a standing joke that, the British conquered half the world in search of a good meal and they found it in this land.
The liberal use of curries in some Malay dishes is testimony of the influence that the Indians had on the culture of the Malays. In addition, Indian bread like Roti Canai is now a common breakfast dish for most Malaysians regardless of race or creed.
The Hainanese Chicken Rice, a dish that is particularly popular in Singapore and originating from China, has evolved to reflect the local taste of the population to become roasted chicken rice.
Malaysia culture, with its multi racial population, stands out among other countries in the world because its people were able to assimilate the various cultures from the different races that emerged in the country.
Even though the official religion is Islam, religious freedom is guaranteed under the Federal Constitution and indeed, religious intolerance is frowned upon among the people in Malaysia.
Every festive time, you will find the various races of Malaysia culture celebrating together with their ‘open houses’, a practice rarely seen in other parts of the world.
Nevertheless, even with all the intermingling going on, each race still manages to preserve its own unique identity.
The Ibans of Sarawak still live in longhouses albeit in more modern ones for those living close to main towns.
The Kadazandusun of Sabah are still celebrating the ‘Kaamatan’ (Harvest festival) with vigour at the end of every June.
The Indians also still celebrate ‘Thaipusam’ by climbing the 272 steps of Batu Caves.
It is difficult to put into words and understand the unique quality of Malaysia Culture. You really have to get a taste of it, literally!
To really appreciate the beauty and hospitality of the Malaysian culture and its people, you will have to experience it first hand.
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