Diverse yet progressive cultural essay of Malaysia

A thorough essay on Malaysian history and culture

Malaysia is a country known for its cultural diversity. It is also the place which has caught the eyes of the world for its beauty, which is why it attracts a huge number of tourists. The Malaysian population consists of Indian, chinese and native Malaysian people. Moreover the natives of Malaysia, known as Malay also reside in other parts of the world. They are spread across the world but make sure to stay close to their religious and cultural beliefs. Thus, one highly important aspect to study in the life of Malaysian people is their culture and religion. This is why this essay enlightens the readers about the various cultural values possessed by people of Malaysia.

History of Malaysia

Malaysia has its tribal history dated back to approximately 40,000 years ago. However, the kingdoms of Hindu and Budhists monarchy started to spread in the time zone of 3rd century BC. Further, the muslims entered the peninsula in the 13th century with the entry of Indian and Arab traders. Furthermore, with passage of time, Dutch and Portuguese established their colonial powers in the country. However, from the 18th century, British began to dominate the country at a highly increasing speed. This resulted in creating an even wider dominance of the british empire over the Malaysian regions.

Moving, in 1857, the port cities of Georgetown, along with Malacca were conjoined by a new city called Kuala Lumpur. This came out to be the first capital of the province and then the national capital of Malaysia. Starting from the years 1948-1960, there were a number of violence incidents which were known as Emergency. This resulted into a wedge between the native Malaysian and the Chinese population. After a course of negotiations and incidents Malaysia became independent in 1965.

After attaining independence, Malaysia has been experiencing an upward movement in the developmental graph. The country has emerged to be one of the most powerful nations in the Southeast Asian region.

Culture of Malaysia

Malaysia as a country has been recognised as the blend of three cultures. The country has been blessed with the diversity of three cultures namely Malay, Chinese and Indian. The country has also been referred to as the ‘Asia in Miniature’. Further, the cultural origin of the region has been said to stem from the ancient times. That is when the Malays moved to the region, followed by Indian and chinese who entered the region as traders. The country also has a pertaining influence of regions like Arab, Persia and Britain.

The country therefore enjoys a variety of cultural beliefs practised by the people belonging to different cultural groups. Unity in Diversity, is the concept in which the people of Malaysia believe and they practise. There is a huge variety of ethnic values which are solely owned by the people of Malaysia. Moving further, art and music form an important part of the Malaysian culture. Which dates back to the Malay Sultanates. The traditional art forms of the country include weaving, silversmithing and carving. Also, the cultural influence of India over Malaysia can be seen with the popularity of performing arts and puppet shows in the various regions of the country. Moving further, the music of Malaysia has originated from various backgrounds and operated by percussion instruments. The literature has also expanded in recent years with new additions of Indian and Chinese literature added a few years back.

Population groups

Population groups

The country of Malaysia is divided into various population groups. The country experiences an uneven distribution of population in the Peninsular and East Malaysian regions. The maximum population of the country resides in Peninsular Malaysia. In this region, the population can be divided into four groups. These people generally vary on the basis of their appearance which include the Orang Asli and the people who do not originally belong to that region. There are Malays, chinese and other South Asians living in the region. Additionally, the people situated in this region comprise of smaller groups such as Eurpoeans, Thais, Americans, Arabs and Eurasians.

The first group Orang Asli can be first classified into further small groups. One is Jakun, the people who speak Malay dialect, while the other is Semang and Senoi, who are known to use the language of the Mon Khmer family.

The next group is of Malays, which are known to have originated in various regions of peninsula and archipelagic Southeast Asia. These people form the most powerful group of the country with half of the population constituted by them. Along with being a numerically dominant group, they have little variation in their cultural practises. Though the language they speak is Malay but the difference in their culture is largely due to the place they live in.

Next is the Chinese group, which constitutes 1/4th of the population of Malaysia. These have been said to have migrated from the regions of southeastern China. Also, these are known to be culturally diverse and speak varied languages.

Further there are population groups formed by people coming from the regions of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Though these people are comparatively less in number but form a significant part of the Malaysian population. Also, these people speak various languages but Tamil speakers form the largest group.

Greeting style of Malaysia

Greeting style of Malaysia

The societal practices in the country of Malaysia are dominated by the cultural and the religious beliefs of the people. The majority of the practices can be seen dominated by the Muslim Malays, Hindus of the Indian origin and believers of the chineese religions. One of the most popular greetings is Selamat, which is used by Bahasa Melayu but Assalamualaikum is even more practised by the Malays. The male of the Malay society are generally titled as Encik and women as Cik, whereas married women as Puan.

Moreover, greeting is considered as the first step to form a relation with the other person. The way a person greets the other conveys his feelings about him. Also, the oldest person is supposed to be greeted first and should be given high respect. Further each individual should be addressed as Mr, Ms, or Mrs as a regard for this individuality. The elders of the society are called as ``pakcik” (uncle) or “makcik” (aunty). In addition to this, the common verbal used by Malay people is Salaam.

The people of the Malaysian culture believe that touching their hands to the chest is a sign of giving respect. Also, while shaking hands, the touch should be gentle and a relaxed wrist should be proposed to the other person. The people from the chinese and the Indian origin have been believed to practise the western cultures of addressing. Further, the practise of hospitality should always be carried out in warmer note and the guests should be given the highest authority. Moreover, while entering the house, the footwears should be removed outside and the religious beliefs of all the people should be respected in an equal way.


The official religion of Malaysia has been declared to be Islam as around 60% of the counntry’s population follows the Muslim religion. However, the country has a significant population of Hindus and Budhists. The country also has chinese Malaysians who follow the traditions of Taoist and Confucianism. It also forms habitat to the tribal people of Borneo in addition to other areas with remote presence.

Further, Islam is the factor that differentiates Malays from non- Malays as by lay, all the Malays are Muslims. Moving to the chinese population, they do not have any particularly dominant religion. However, they follow the moral principles of Buddhism or Daoism. Moving to the Indian population, maximum number of Indians practise Hinduism, whereas the sikhs who belong to the Punjab region follow Sikhism as their religion. The Malaysia also has population from the country of Pakistan and its people largely follow Muslim religion and practise its values.

Coming to the Non- Malay Indegenous people, these constitute of Orang Asli, who have adopted Islam as their religion. There are also many of them, who still follow their local religions and respect the ethnic values of the same.

Malaysian family traditions

Malaysia is a country which is not only culturally diverse but also respects the individuality of every religion. Maintaining the dignity of every religion is the utmost duty of every mayasian. Same has been imbibed in the family traditions of the country. Though, the traditional practises vary as per the regional difference, still giving due respect to every person as per their age is very much in the blood of Malaysians.

One prominent culture that is practised in the various regions of Malaysia is the culture of extended family. Though modern Malaysia is now adopting the values of the nuclear family, there are still some agricultural and rural areas, which still include the practise of extended family. One prominent exercise which can be seen followed in the Malaysian society is the difference in age gap of husband and wife. The Malaysian men prefer to have a large number of children, due to which they prefer to marry women who are younger than them.

Father or the male figure is often considered as the patriarch of the house. He is one who takes most of the important decisions of the family. Furthermore, the elder people of the home are consulted before taking a final decision on some important matters.

Malaysian cultural etiquette

Malaysia is a country known for its cultural values and traditions. Its people are known to love each other with great respect. Few of the common cultural etiquettes followed by the Malaysian society, include:

  • Shaking of hands as a gesture to meet and greet at the time of meeting and saying goodbye.
  • A person has to be polite towards the other and show respect to him in every manner. The people of Malaysia essentially follow the traditional concept of ‘bUDI’.
  • The word ‘Budi’, is known to comprehend the ethics of wisdom, virtue, good etiquette and respective moral values in a person.
  • Malaysians generally portray a nice and calm behaviour while talking to the society.
  • They are also known to be gentle and kind human beings who are often modest and follow a patient approach towards life.
  • The people who follow this refined and positive behaviour are called to follow ‘budi bahasa’. Whereas the ones who are contrary and aggressive or loud or called as ‘kasar’ or rough people of the society.
  • However, the younger generation is moving towards a more direct and open form of communication. It is much because of the online space of communication, which needs a more direct and progressive manner of communication. Also, the country has also experienced a major shift in its cultural practises after the concept of globalisation.

Communication styles followed by Malaysian people

The land of Malaysia is a multicultural and a multilingual country. One can witness a number of languages being spoken in the country due to the presence of a considerable population growth since its independence journey. However, Bahasa Melayu is the official language of Malaysia and English is much accepted and used by the locals due to its global accessibility. Other languages including the chinese languages such as Cantonese and Hokkien and even others like Tamil and Iban are practised by the people living in minority communities of Malaysia.

Moving further to the business style of communication, the country follows a very different way to convey the messages. In case of bad news, the people prefer to communicate the ame in a coded form, so that it is tough to interpret. Further in depth diplomacy and politeness are said to be the center of every business communication. The people of Malaysia make sure that no talk is done with rude or unethical behaviour with the people inside or outside the home. They further ensure to follow certain protocols when delivering bad news or in case of talking to seniors.

Furthermore, they also understand the importance of sharing pleasantries, before beginning any formal communication. They do understand that this particular process helps in breaking the ice between two unknown people. This process even adds better results to the communication that is going to proceed in the near future. Moreover, one important thing to mention is that the people of Malaysia do not often use the word ‘No’. It is used only on rare occasions. Talking about the business language, most people English as the mode of communication. https://www.worldbusinessculture.com/country-profiles/malaysia/business-communication-style/

Some Do’s and Don'ts in Malaysia

To understand the Malaysian culture properly, one needs to Clearly grasp the Do's and don'ts of the the Malaysian culture.

The Don'ts.

  • One should never confuse between a Malay and the Malaysian. Malay is the ethnic group of the Malaysia which follows the religion of Muslim where as every citizen living in the country of Malaysia is a Malaysian.
  • Do not shake hands with Malaysian women. It is often considered as an offense to shake hands with the women because it is not a part of their culture.
  • Public Display of attraction is often considered indecent and inacceptable in many parts of the Malaysian society.
  • Pointing out with the finger is again considered immoral in the society of Malaysia.
  • One should not give tips when they go to Malaysia. The people of the country believe in making their living by themselves and do not rely on the service driven benefits. https://sandinmycurls.com/25-dos-and-donts-in-malaysia-to-make-you-a-better-traveler/


  • One should always adore the Malaysian atticates when in Malaysia. This includes the dining and communication styles that one should follow to gracefully accept the culture of the country.
  • Making sure to follow the dressing code of Malaysia is again an important way to show respect towards the culture of the country.
  • Further one should talk slowly and make use of polite and less words.
  • Next important way to stay connected with the culture of Malaysia is to learn the local language. This particular asset helps a person to adjust in the new environment easily.
  • Always respect the elders and must not initiate any violence actions during conversation with the Malaysian or any person in the country.

("25 Dos and Don’ts in Malaysia to Make You a Better Traveler • Sand In My Curls", 2020)

Essay on Malaysian culture

The students of the college usually get essays as a part of the college assignment. This section helps to write a descriptive essay on Malaysian culture. one can learn the formats and the structure to write a high scoring essay through this example. If a student is not able to understand or does not have time to write an essay for college assignment. Then he can easily contact Assignmenthelp4me. Our company insurance to write the essay in a much defined way which will help the student to get HD grades in his college assignment. The essay example below talks about an essay on the Malaysian culture and the growth it has achieved in the recent years.

Malaysia- An embodiment of success with multicultural environment


The Asian countries of the world have been blessed with the power to embrace diversity at its best. From enjoying the diversity of being multilingual, these countries also practice the values of various religions. One such country which practices a mix of religions is Malaysia. It is known as truly Asia and is a highly preferred tourist destination by the people of the world. The country has made a mark in the world in spite of the cultural diversity it has. In fact, this very diversity has helped the country in achieving ambitious goals in terms of financial gains and progress. This essay defines the reasons cultural diversity has positively impacted the growth of Malaysia as a country and brought more harmony and unity in the ideology of the people.

Malaysia- An embodiment of success with multicultural environment


First and the foremost thing is the diversity brings creativity in the workspace. It's when there are people from different religious backgrounds working at the same place, then they bring variety in their ideologies along with them. It is further with this mixture, the employees adapt versatility in their creative outlook. They get to learn to think with different mindsets for people with different views. It even helps the company to cater to the contrasting demands of the client. In addition to this, it produces advantageous opportunities for the employees to learn and perform with excellence. One such example can be taken of the hotel industry of Malaysia. This particular sector enjoys a huge turnover and has a positive impact of the diversity of the country. Moreover, a workforce with a diverse background is beneficial for the hotel industry as it gets to serve clients from various religious and regional backgrounds. (2020)

Moving further, cultural diversity in an organization has been seen to witness production of employees with a growth mindset. If a particular organisation favors the cultural diversity in its company’s work culture, then it becomes very easy for the employees to adapt themselves in the company. Moreover, it brings an element of mutual respect between the two and both of them invest their best interest in each other. This further leads to the generation of highly motivated employees, who are ready to put in their heart and sweat in the growth of the company. These are the employees who see their personal growth with the growth of the company. In addition to this, in a company where cultural diversities are regarded and respected, the employees do not feel leftover. In fact, in spite of being an odd one, he feels to be a part of the company, which becomes the guiding force to his constant and conclusive contribution towards the company’s high productivity. The same has been supported by a study with the name, The Effect Of Diversity Inclusion On Employee Growth Mindset In Malaysian 4- And 5-Star Hotels. The results of the study state that it is important and constructive for the growth of a company to include the elements of cultural diversity in its working environment. It boosts the growth mindset of the employees and maintains a harmonious relationship between the employees. It also gives strength to the employee- employer relationship in a company. (2020)

In addition to the private and government sector companies, which are the major driver of economic growth in Malaysia. The education sector also experiences a great surge due to the adoptance of cultural diversity in the country. It is no denying the fact that students are the growth booster for any country. If a particular nation invests significant resources in the upliftment of the education sector. Then, that country is sure to witness a progressive growth in its financial stock figures. The education that students gain in their early years of schooling and college, helps them define their true personality and potential. Moreover, when the students get to learn from other students of varied cultural backgrounds, then the intensity of the learning multiplies. The country, parents and the students themselves can see a significant change in their attitude and belief towards the society. These changes have helped the students of Malaysia adopt an optimistic attitude towards the diversity in the country. They have now started to embrace the change rather than putting down the growth offered by people from other cultures. As per a study done by Najeemah Mohd of Yusof School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, the role of a teacher is instrumental in helping the students accept cultural diversity. In his study named as MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION: MANAGING DIVERSITY IN MALAYSIAN SCHOOLS , he underlines the importance and tells the ways through which teachers can aid the students in accepting the change. (2020)

On the contrary, there are people and organizations who state that cultural diversity can result in a confusion in the mind of the students. They not only become more confused because of the various cultures, but it also becomes difficult for them to bring up their point of. The language and the culture difference inhibits the students from bringing forth their true personality in front of the other students and teachers. The same is the case with the employees who tend to develop a communication gap because of the varying cultures in the company. Many times an employee steps back from the job, or even secludes himself from the rest of the company, just because of the diverse cultural environment.

("Educational Diversity, Social Learning, and Multicultural Citizenship — The Malaysian Experience", 2020)


To conclude, it can be said that multicultural societies have proven to be an element of boon for the Malaysian economy rather than the bane. This very cultural concept has boosted the confidence, capability and growth levels of the students as well as the working class of the Malaysian society. It is much because of these efforts of the country’s government that the students of Malaysia are easily able to adjust in other countries of the world and pave a luring career for themselves. However, there are some drawbacks also but these can be dealt with by giving more attention to the flaws and working on them. The teachers can pay more attention to students and put in more efforts in building positive relationships between the students with cultural variability. In the similar manner, the employers can employ some better policies to ensure no disrespect is given to any culture or religion of any employee. Further, the government can also design strict rules to ensure the individuality of each religion and culture of Malaysian country. It is with these positive steps, the Malaysian economy can continue to soar greater heights with its multicultural environment.

The country of Malaysia has always welcomed new cultures and practises. This is the reason that this country is growing fast and inviting new companies and businesses to grow on its land. Thus, cultural diversity has in every way helped the Malaysian nation experience growth and prosperity from the very beginning of its conception.


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