With an interesting history and so much influence from neighbouring Asian countries, Malaysia is diversified country like India – from architecture and religion to ethnicity of the country’s people.
The people of Malaysia are a mosaic of Chinese, Indian and native Malay influence. The Malays make up the largest ethnic group, and tend to practice both Islamic and Malay traditions, and speak in the native Malay language. The Malaysian Indians, who make up 10 per cent, tend to be descendants of Tamil-speaking South Indians who were brought in under British colonial rule.
The traditional Malay people speak Bahasa Malaysia, which has its roots in an Austronesian language. The indigenous people of Malay, known as the Orang Asli or original people, are found in the peninsular region and have several different groups with their own language and cultural traditions. Witnessing a local festival is a great way to experience the culture of Malaysia. Most world religions are prevalent in the country including Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism. Islam is the largest and official religion of the country. The Penang people used to practice animism although many have converted to Islam or Christianity.
All major festivals from Eid, Chinese New Year, Diwali, and Christmas are celebrated, as are several Malay festivals such as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, and Awal Muharram, as well as state-specific festivals such as Sabah Kaamatan and Sarawak Gawai. In addition, the country also hosts several smaller religious festivals, such as the Hindu Thaipusam festival, which includes a procession from the heart of Kuala Lumpur to the Batu Caves in the north of the city.
Leave a Reply