Malaysia, Why Do I Love Thee?


posted by Jan on , ,

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I am not Malaysian but I am married to one and have been in Malaysia for 5 years and 7 months now. For this period of time, I have learned so much about Malaysia, its diverse cultures, food, festivals and even "pantangs" or superstitious beliefs as you call it. Being here this long helped me learn and discover a lot of nice things about Malaysia and its people. And indeed I have fallen in love with Malaysia. So Malaysia, why do I love thee?

Let me count the ways.

  • I love the beautiful sceneries I see everytime my husband and I are on travel. My husband travels a lot and sometimes I go with him. The beautiful roadside hills and mountains you see when on Karak Highway are quite stunning.
  • I love Genting Highlands and Cameron Highlands. Those are my two favorite holiday destinations. Gentings, mainly because it's a cool and fun place for a family. It's where I took my first rollercoaster and spaceshot rides. Indoor games are quite fun too. I love the archery and shooting archives games. Cameron Highlands is good for family retreats. I and my family have been there a few times for rest and retreat. Tell me, who can resist having an afternoon tea and scones in the middle of a tea plantation?
  • I love the way how different cultures are so distinct. There are 3 major people groups here: The Malays; The Chinese; and The Indians (and some other people groups like Eurasian Orang Aslis (tribal people), Kadazans, Melanaus, etc). When you are with Indians, you would feel like you are indeed in India because they have preserved their traditions and ways of life. You would feel the same thing with Chinese and Malays. Each group will have their own customs and traditions that are still existing. A good example would be the postnatal confinement. After giving birth, for a Chinese, you cannot bathe for 30 days! And when a baby reaches his/her 1st month birthday, they will have a moon cake party for the baby. The mother will have a special diet and will be attended by a special 'carer' (confinement lady) for 30 days. Indians will have a 45-day confinement in which the mother will have to be covered from head to toe without having any fan or airconditioner in the room. The baby will have a special ritual after reaching his first month by having a smoke bath. The first month will be spent with pulling of noses and lifting the mouth palette to create a sharper feature. Malays will have a special massage or urut as they call it for postnatal woman. Their stomach will be bound by a long piece of cloth, to help the woman regain her figure. And of course, there are a lot more varieties of traditions and you can find it out once you come and live here.
  • I have a flair for Malaysian food, too. My favorites would include nasi lemak, roti canai, briyani rice, curry laksa and banana leaf rice. Banana leaf rice served with freshly-made yogurt is to die for. One thing unique about Malaysians is that they eat 6 times a day: breakfast, morning tea , lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and supper. Hmmm... no wonder I'm gaining so much weight here. I have a hard time controlling my food intake. By the way, have I told you yet: most of restaurants (mamak stalls) here are open till wee hours of the night? That's because Malaysians love to have fellowship over a meal even when it's like in the middle of the night. And we call that meal a supper. That's one thing unique about Malaysia.
  • One more thing. The sun rises at around 7:30am and sets at about 7:30pm also.
I took this shot while my family and I were holidaying in Kuantan.
Beautiful Malaysia.
  • lastly (not to say the least), i have fallen in love with a Malaysian. Do I need to say more?

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