Malaysia: A Multi-Ethnic Society

A multi-ethnic society

Malaysia is the country where I was born. Subsequently, I stayed in this land for fourteen years. As the opening line of its national anthem states: Negaraku, tanah tumpahnya darahku, the soil of this land was supposed to absorb the very last drop of my blood. It is a unique country, since its birth is marked by a multi-ethnic society, consisting of the Malays, the Chinese, the Indians and other indigenous peoples. Three major ethnic groups, with their different political parties (UMNO=the United Malays National Organization, MCA= the Malayan Chinese Association, MIC=the Malayan Indian Congress), formed the Alliance Government. They negotiated for and finally won their independence from the British colonists on 31.08.1957 (Here, we are referring to the Federation of Malaya, when Sabah and Sarawak were not yet part of this Federation). Therefore, all of these groups should learn to respect, understand and love the culture of each other.

Well, the above was what my history teachers always told me when I was in the primary school. During that time, I didn’t feel the Chinese to be different from the Malays, from the Indians or from any other peoples. Maybe we look a bit differently, maybe we speak a bit differently, so what?! I just felt so blessed to have been born in this multicultural country.

When the Malays celebrate Hari Raya Puasa (a day of celebration that marks the end of the fasting month), it means public holidays.

The "ketupat" (rice packed within palm leaves) are commonly used as decoration during Hari Raya Puasa. Photo taken from http://www.onsingapore.com/hari-raya-puasa
The “ketupat” (rice packed within palm leaves) are commonly used as decoration during Hari Raya Puasa. Photo taken from http://www.onsingapore.com/hari-raya-puasa

When the Chinese celebrate the Chinese New Year, it means public holidays.

The dancing dragons during the Chinese New Year
The dancing dragons during the Chinese New Year. Photo taken from http://www.wonderfulmalaysia.com/attractions/chinese-new-year-in-malaysia.htm

When the Indians celebrate their Deepavali (the festival of light), it means public holidays.

The festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil. Photo taken from http://www.holidaygogogo.com/deepavali-in-malaysia/
The festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil. Photo taken from http://www.holidaygogogo.com/deepavali-in-malaysia/

You know, there is really nothing better than school holidays for a little kid in her childhood! 🙂


One thought on “Malaysia: A Multi-Ethnic Society

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s