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Malaysia - Truly Asia - Essay Example

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Malaysia - Truly Asia

It has been termed as “Malay dominated plural society” where all the religions have the freedom to practice their respective ethnicity (as cited in Yeoh, 1993). In this paper, we shall discuss various aspects of the Malaysian culture which will enlighten us about this country’s social, economic, religious and political scenario. Elements of Malay culture observed in Malaysia In Malaysia, cultures have been meeting and integrating since the very beginning of its history. Despite being Muslim dominated, the people in Malaysia believe in respecting all the different religions and cultures. The Malay culture covers more than half of the population and though they have been rapidly moving towards modernization, the traditional customs and rituals still play a big role in their life. The key events of birth, engagement, marriage and death are carried on in the traditional manner. Every Malay follows Adat, an act which requires a person to conduct oneself according to the prescribed rituals rather as per his own whims and desires and he/she should regularly scrutinize his/her own acts to ensure that it is concurrent to the society. Most importantly, family still holds the utmost position in a person’s life as was in the traditional Malay culture. ...
For example, it is mandatory for Muslim women to wear a Tudung, a piece of cloth which covers their head, ears and chest. Thus, we can see that despite living in a multiethnic society, the Malays have maintained their culture and traditions (“Malaysia: Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette, ” n.d). Extent of Influence of Westernization and Modernization on Traditional Malay Culture The economic and infrastructural development of Malaysia has greatly brought modernization as well as westernization in the Malay culture. Even members of native families speak English language and pursue the contemporary culture of going to pubs and partying. Malaysian art, music as well as dancing have been influenced by the western culture (Lad, n.d). Despite of existence of different opportunities for men and women based on ethnic values and social class, stringent gender separation has never been a part of the Malaysian society. Though cooking and cleaning are deemed to be female tasks, in affluent families where both men and women work outside their homes there has been an increase in the trend of hiring domestic servants. Modernization has influenced urban Malays where matters of physical contact between the opposite genders are concerned. Moreover, Malay women are allowed to wear western clothes like jeans and trousers, though revealing clothes are prohibited (Williamson, n.d). Moreover, development of new technologies and availability of modern day equipments has drastically altered the lifestyle, consumption habits and cuisine of the Malay people. For example, in traditional Malay weddings, guests were offered food in the table served style. However, today it has given way to the ...Show more

Summary

The slogan “Malaysia, Truly Asia” stands absolutely correct for this Malay dominated nation. With its highly varied ethnicity and religious structure, it has created a unique identity of its own, attracting tourists from different corners of the world…
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