Malaysian Culture

Malaysian culture is a batik keris melting-pot of many different Asian cultures, all co-existing together in a single country. The biggest community in Malaysia is the , accounting for 50% of the population. In fact, it is because of this that they are afforded privileged position in Malaysias Constitution, where they, together with the indigenous folk are deemed to become Bumiputras (the literal translation getting son of earth). Most of the Malay families today can trace their ancestry back to Javanese, Bugis and Minang sailors from Indonesia.

All Malays are Muslims, as enshrined in the Constitution. The vocabulary most used within the community is Malay, also known as Bahasa Melayu (literal translation being Malay vocabulary) and their stance as moderate Muslims emphasizes becoming warm, good-natured and well-mannered. As many community, and given certain unique privileges due to their position as a Bumiputra, the Malays enjoy a dominant function in Malaysias politics.

Being the largest community, Malaysian tradition has been greatly influenced by Malay contributions, especially with Batik (patterned fabric), wau bulan flying (traditional kite flying), wayang kulit (shadow puppet theatre), dikir barat (traditional group singing with instrumental accompaniment) and silat (a stylized martial art). Because a significant part of the Malay families have a lineage that stretches back again several centuries to Indonesia, the music and artwork of the Malays bear some resemblance to those of its neighbours. Nevertheless, upon closer inspection, there are definitely distinct differences between the two. Thus, the Malays contributions to the countrys lifestyle are uniquely Malaysian.

Next we arrive to the Chinese, who take into account 26% of the countrys human population and is certainly Malaysias second largest community. The Chinese in Malaysia today are a legacy of the Chinese merchants who plied their trade in Malacca during the 14th and 15th centuries and the Chinese who immigrated to the country during British rule to be able to work the lucrative tin mines.

The Chinese have shown minimal assimilation. They possess adapted very well alive in this South-east Asian nation, but a huge majority of them still have quite strong ties with their parent tradition, and can even trace back their roots to Chinas several provinces. Many have also taken a pilgrimage back to China to trace or renew previous relations.

The main religious beliefs among the Chinese in Malaysia can be Buddhism and Taoism, though many also have converted to Christianity. Unsurprising considering that many of them can trace their ancestry back again to the Chinese merchants and traders of old, the Chinese in Malaysia have an incredibly strong entrepreneurship spirit, being very dominant in the countrys overall economy and business sectors. Because of their minimal assimilation, a large most the community are fluent in Mandarin or several other Chinese dialects. However, this may definitely not be the case among younger generation, a few of whom speak English as their initial language.

And we arrive to Indians, who make up approximately 8% of the populace and whose lineage follows the same line at those of the Chinese: Indian traders during the hey-days of the Malacca Sultanate and Indian immigrants, brought in during British rule to be able to work as laborers in the various plantations dotting the Malayan landscape.