Invisible culture


What isn’t appropriate for Malay
It is very rude to point at people, but that is rude in most of the countries. Never touch a person’s head on top, especially a child because for Malaysian, the head is home of the soul. And avoid touching anyone with opposite sex, because they believe in Islam in which affection is not shown in public. Malay people also expect you to use the right hand to eat, give money and to pass other things. They also expect you to use your right hand when you want to touch people. For them, the left hand is for treating something dirty.

Enjoying time with others
Malaysian people like to be in groups. Usually the number of family members is quite big, and most of the time they live close to each other. For them, seeing someone lonely is quite hard. So they always do something together such as having meal with neighbors. Also, group assignments are more common than individual assignments. All of the lectures have group assignments and you have to make a presentation after a group discussion. Usually, it is normal to have a lecture, discuss with others about the subject which was in the lecture that day and make a conclusion and present it. Not every campus does have activities for exchange students because some schools do not have many exchange students as others do. If the campus is small, it won’t have that many activities. But, others that are big enough have some activities for exchange students, such as exhibition, a photo contest, visiting other campuses,  and you can volunteer in elementary school or  go sight-seeing to popular places. You can choose whether to do those activies with groups or by yourself.  But most people choose to be together which will be cheaper and will be more exciting. Malaysian people also like to do sports. Badminton is the most famous sport in Malaysia because Malaysian has won the Olympic Games and the Thomas Cup. But there are also famous sports like field hockey, soccer, and watersports. One of the reasons that these sports are important is that you can do these sports in groups as well.


Limitations on gender
There are some limitations on gender in Malaysia because of religion. For example, women can not show their hair, so when they go outside of their house to do some shopping or go to school, you won’t  see them without their headkerchief. A Muslim man can marry 4 girls. This shows men have an ascendancy compared to women. But there are also things forbidden for both. Because of religion, it is prohibitied for Muslims to drink alcohol, smoke or to eat pork. Think about this when you want to go to a restaurant, because when you go to a traditional Malaysian restaurant, they won’t serve alcohol or pork. When going to a Chinese restaurant, there’s no problem with it.