Culture Shock : Malaysia

I’ve written about Culture Shock: Philippines a few months ago. Those are basically my Hubby’s ‘shocks’ and observation on his few visits and months stay in the Philippines, being around with Filipino friends and of course living with his Filipino wife.. :)

Now, it’s my turn to write all my ‘shocks’ and observation of Malaysian ‘culture’. I know some of these are not really culturally related but I’ll just have to write it down.

Note: These are just bases on my observation and limited experience and may not be necessarily true to all Malaysians or Malaysia as a whole. :) Peace!!

( My ) “Culture Shocks” in Malaysia :

1) Money Must only be Given from the RIght Hand – Well coming from the Philippines, as far as I know we can give our money from our right hand , left hand or even from our foot..! haha! just kidding! So, my HUbby had to constantly remind me to give money to cashiers, vendors and etc from my right hand.

2) If you eat with your hands, NEVER use your left hand! – So, if you’re like me who eats the finger lickin KFC chicken with both hands, then you better start practicing eating the chicken with just one hand. What is really wrong with this left hand, you might ask? Well, for the Malays the left hand is ‘supposed’ to be the dirty hand since it’s the one use to wash some dirty part of the body.. any more questions? :)

3) You can never leave your children unattended. If you have children, you must hold on to them with your dear life since it’s not a safe place. I’m not sure if I’m just being paranoid but I’ve read and heard so many cases of kids getting lost and kidnapped in Malaysia. If here in Thailand or in the Philippines, I could just relax and let my kids play around in the playpen, but in Malaysia , I just watch my daughter like a hawk to see if she’s safe.

4) You get ugly stares and even scolding if you look like a Malay ( like me) and be together with an Indian. It’s a No no for Malays to be with non- muslims that is. So, when my Hubby (who’s of indian descent ) and I ( Filipina who looks like a Malay Girl) were still without kids , we would get these stares when we’re out in the public place and what’s worse, my Hubby overhears them talking bad about us since they thought differently.

Oh, I think that’s all I could think of now. These are not really major culture shocks. If you’ve noticed, I didn’t focus much on the Malaysians ( people) since Malaysia has 3 major races i(n Malays n the country and each different race has there own different culture.

What about you? If you’ve been to Malaysia, what has been some of your experiences?

4 thoughts on “Culture Shock : Malaysia

  1. No. 1 and 3 is very true. As for no. 2 it is not really so. I eat with both of my hands and no. 4 only applies to only a few small minded people and also depends on where you are. I am a Malay and a Muslim but I have no problems with cross cultural relationships. In fact I would promote it! Have a good time in Malaysia!

  2. I learned something new today by just reading from your blog… I haven’t been to Malaysia – although I would want to some day… I might just be culture shocked as well when I go there then.

  3. I agree with Shaxx re. #4. Only small minded people think that way. We Malaysians (well, the one I'm friends with, anyway) is quite OK and used to multi racial relationship.

    There are bumiputras that look like Malay but is neither Malay nor Muslim esp coming from Sabah & Sarawak. So when you get the stares, it stems from ignorance. (or you can look it this way, they care about you!) :-)

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