So I recently subscribed to this amazing blog Mystery Date With a Book, where the author writes primarily about books. It is definitely worth checking out. So anyway, one of her blog posts really caught my eye and led me to another interesting and fascinating blog about books and travel, which I know you will enjoy: Drizzle and Hurricane Books.
The author, Marie, has started a fantastic new initiative called Souvenirs From Across the World where bloggers share with each other stuff about their countries or their hometowns.
For those interested you can check out the guidelines in the original post here
I am from a South East Asian nation called Malaysia. Home to 29 million people, Malaysia is a cultural melting pot with the three primary races being Malay, Indian and Chinese. The West of Malaysia, which is part of Borneo itself contains a number of races such as the Iban and Kadazan. However, Malaysia’s beauty and easy immigration laws ensure that many people from all over the world have decided at some stage of their lives to call Malaysia home.
Being a tropical nation, Malaysia only has two seasons, really really hot and the monsoon.
For the most part, the three races live in harmony and peace and we share and participate in each other’s festivals, cultural practices and adopt each others traditions. The national language is Malay, but there are numerous other languages spoken.
Malaysia Truly Asia – Headline of the Tourism ad but also apt considering it combines the best of Asia in one place
Malaysia is home to some of the worlds most beautiful natural beaches. From Redang Island to Sipadan and Mabul in Borneo to Pangkor Island in the West. A fun fact: Barracuda Point in Sipadan is consistently voted in the top 5 of the best diving spots in the world. The resorts range from budget which are perfect for many Scuba Divers to 5 star hotels which are ideal for luxury and pampering.
The oceans are also home to so many fantastic animals including the Green and Hawskbill turtles who come to the beaches to lay their eggs (you can actually watch this). I was lucky in that on my first dives, I managed to see a hawksbill turtle.
Being a tropical country, Malaysia is home to so many different rainforests that are ancient and rich in biodiversity. They make for some of the best locations for hiking and house numerous animals, including Tigers, Tapirs and Orang Utans – all of which are sadly endangered.
Malaysians are incredibly proud of their food. You can insult us and we are okay with it, but you insult our Food and we get angry, seriously. We take it so seriously that we actually have debates with neighboring countries like Singapore and Indonesia as to where a certain dish originated from.
In all seriousness, because we have so many different influences from neighbor countries like Thailand and Indonesia as well as settlers from China and India, Malaysia has so many different varieties of food and drink. We love to eat which is why most of our social gatherings and sometimes even business meetings involve or revolve around food. There are so many 24 hour cafes serving delicious food to fancy fine dining restaurants. As asians, our staple diet is Rice and we have to have it atleast once in the day. For me personally, when I am back in Malaysia I can’t go more than two days without rice. Its inevitable. Thats the beauty of rice though – you can have it with everything and anything and in so many different ways. We also eat noodles on a fairly regular basis.
We also have so many tropical fruits from the Rambutan to Lychees to the King of Fruits – the durian to my personal favorite -The Mangosteen (If you haven’t heard of these fruits, I urge you to give it a try!)
Malaysians are a friendly and relaxed people. We are kind, generous and incredibly helpful. Car stalled on the middle of the highway? You will definitely find a few people who will help you push your car, call a mechanic and wait with you till he arrives. You obviously get a few bad apples- which is only natural but all in all Malaysians are warm people.
- Malaysia is one of the leading producers worldwide of Rubber and Palm Oil
- We are famous for making Batik – which is both a type of cloth and craft. Artists and designers usually create wonderfully elaborate and colourful designs that are truly mind blowing.
- The Wau Bulan is a traditional Malaysian Kite mainly flown by men in the state of Kelantan. The kite gets its name from the lower half of its shape which is designed to look like a crescent moon. It’s incredibly intricately designed and one of the national motifs
- Our national Flower is the Hibsicus
- The world’s largest and smelliest flower – the Rafflesia can be found in Malaysia
- We are home to the King of Fruits – The Durian – which smells horrible but tastes amazing
- Our national currency is the Ringgit
Where do I Live?
I live in the Capital city of Kuala Lumpur. Like any big city KL is no different – skyscrapers, traffic, pollution. However, the best part of a big city is that there are so many things to do! From shopping to watching movies, going to art exhibitions and music festivals to going for a night out in a nightclub to simply singing your hearts out at Karaoke (we asians love our Karaoke!)
Although this post is supposed to highlight Malaysia’s unique qualities, I want to also point out its flaws: The government is highly corrupt, the forested areas are rapidly disappearing and there are many people still in poverty and the future doesn’t look good. Malaysians refuse to do menial jobs and so rely heavily on foreign workers and yet constantly complain that there are too many of them (Hypocritical much?). I also really hate that in trying to become more modern, Malaysia believes that the best way to do that is build more shopping malls and coffee shops – seriously they are spreading like the plague!
I did not talk about any of the festivals and celebrations we have because frankly that would take up a whole another post but I would be happy to explain it to you personally or if enough people ask for it then I will create another post.
PS: If anyone of you ever decide to visit Malaysia, give me a call! Ill be happy to take you around 🙂
PSS: I am not sure if you realized but the colours I have used – blue, red and yellow represent the different colours on the Malaysian flag.
Till next time! 🙂