• Indonesia!

    Indonesia: Lombok. Go Now!

    Indonesia
    This archipelago nation is culturally diverse from big cities to isolated islands. Begin Your Journey!

  • Nepal!

    Nepal: Phewa Lake. Go Now!

    Nepal
    This landlocked country mixes the cultures of the Indian sub-continent with the high Himalayas. Explore Nepal!

  • Japan!

    Japan: Traditional foods. Go Now!

    Japan
    Japan has a rich culture that is visible today in the country's dress, architecture, language, food (pictured), and lifestyle. Begin Your Journey!

  • Qatar!

    Qatar: Dhows in Doha Bay. Go Now!

    Qatar
    Although little more than a deserted peninsula, Qatar has a thriving culture based on technology and immigration, with Doha (pictured) taking the lead. Explore Qatar!

  • Kyrgyzstan!

    Kyrgyzstan: Tian Shan Mountains. Go Now!

    Kyrgyzstan
    The mountains, including the Tian Shan Mountains (pictured), give Kyrgyzstan a unique culture, partially formed from this isolation from the mountains. Go Now!

Culture & Identity of Malaysia

Introduction

Malaysia is a country that mixes tradition and modern society seemingly with ease. Although many traditions have been maintained from their historic culture, many people have a way of life that more closely reflects that of modern urban society found elsewhere in the world.

Nearly three quarters of Malaysia's population live in urban settings and most of the employed workers have jobs in the services sector. For many of these people public transportation makes movement easy as many people begin the day off to start work at about 8:00 am. For many people these jobs are in modern sky scrapers and can be in any number of fields from finance to being a sales clerk. The work day generally ends at about 5:00 pm, but many positions require work later into the evenings. Again public transportation get workers and many students home in the afternoon and evening.

However, the country of Malaysia is very diverse and a significant number of people live in more rural areas, many of whom work as farmers. For these people life is more reliant on the daylight, weather, and seasons as opposed to a clock. None-the-less, life's schedule is dependent on work and school.

No matter the location, Malaysia seems to be a rapidly progressing and changing country as technology is driving the people forward. In this setting competition is rising and parents strongly encourage their children to succeed, but not with the societal pressure found in some Far Eastern countries. It is the children that seem to come first for many in Malaysia as this is truly the center of most people's worlds and remains at the heart of the culture.

Identity

The ethnic Malays tend to identify as Malaysian or Malay and this is defined with a fairly stable set of traits. The people are ethnically similar, they speak Malay, and they tend to be Muslim. Due to the vast number of ethnic minorities in Malaysia, including the Chinese and Indians, the indigenous people have truly united to form the Malaysian identity and a culture associated with this term. In many ways, this identity stands in contrast to Indonesia, where most local cultural differences have been magnified, the local ethnic Chinese, and the local ethnic Indians. The foreign ethnic minorities, such as the Chinese and Indians have not adapted many of these local cultural aspects and cling to their ethnic identities, which are primarily defined by a person's ethnicity.

This page was last updated: November, 2013