Our Facebook Page

Culture of Malaysia

Malaysia has nothing if not culture. And what’s more, it’s not one culture, but many- Malay, Chinese, Indian, hints of a bygone colonial age. You can’t get more multicultural than Malaysia. Traditional dances like Wayang Kulit, Menora, Mak Yong and Ronggeng are of course instances of Malaysian culture; but so are the dragon boat races, the colourful processions and the fireworks, which mark festivals like the Chinese New Year. You might enjoy the spectacle of kite flying, or you might watch (and play!) traditional games like sepak takraw (a game similar to volleyball) or congkak (akin to backgammon).

Walking down a street you might see more durable signs of 'culture’- like a centuries-old mosque (and of course, while making your way down the street you’ll probably eat some delicious food from a roadside stall. Also culture).

And- when you go out shopping, you’ll probably end up buying souvenirs or handicrafts- beautifully embroidered tekat, batik, exquisite silverware- all signs of a fascinatingly rich cultural heritage. Malaysia is known for a few interesting handicrafts. One of the most famous products of the country is pewter; the pewter industry began in 1885 after the discovery of huge deposits of tin in Malaysia. Since then the industry has expanded considerably and the world’s largest manufacturer of pewter, Royal Selangor, is high on the list of Malaysia’s attractions: each piece produced by the factory is totally handcrafted. Other than pewter, silver too is a well-established cottage industry, especially in Kelantan, which produces some of the most exquisite silverware.

Malaysian batik (beautifully painted or dyed fabric which involves the use of wax to produce patterns), handloom silk, `songket’ cloth (a special fabric in which patterns are created by incorporating gold and silver threads), and `tekat’- gold embroidered velvet- are find examples of the expertise of Malaysian craftsmen. Besides these, woven palm leaf mats, `labu sayong’ pottery (indigenous to Perak), traditional puppets and kites are some of the other handicrafts you will probably see.

Culture of Malaysia