Malaysia

Language 
The national language in Malaysia is the Malay. Other languages are spoken by different ethnic groups such as  Chinese, Tamil, Punjabi and Arabic. English is compulsory in schools and widely used in services, shops, transport stations and hotels.

Those are few useful phrases in Malay to help you socialize with locals.
• Hello ( assalamualaikum , used by muslims)
Good morning (Selamat Pagi )
Goodnight (Selamat malam )
How are you ? ( Apa khabar ?)
My name is (Nama saya …)

Religion

The variety of religions reflects the multiculturalism of the country. The latest statics made in 2015 shows that the major religion in Malaysia is Islam with 62 % muslims followed by buddhism 20%, christianity 9,2 %  and hinduism 6, 3%. All religions are respected and practiced freely in Malaysia.

Cultural activities
Malaysia is a hub of cultural activities. An entertaining  melange of art museums, food festivals, fashion shows, dance festivals, natural activities and a lot to discover… 

If you are a photograph, then Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival is the right occasion to show your talent. For Jazz lovers, the KL Jazz Festival is inviting you to enjoy wonderful jazz performances. You will also adore celebrating the Chinese New year with fireworks and dragon dances or attending the hindu Festival of lights which is a colorful event symbolizing peace and hope.

More and more events are waiting for you…. 

Cultural values

  • In Malaysia, family is considered the core of the society.
  • Relationships among members are full of trust, support and harmony.
  • Elderly people have a great value and are privileged.
  •  Malaysian are usually polite, speak gently and very welcoming with tourists.
  • The society takes seriously the matter of showing good qualities, keeping promises, trading fairly, avoiding anger and the members who doesn’t obey the ethics code are rejected.

General manners and etiquettes

Greeting:

  • Saying « salam » to a muslim is a nice way way for greeting and showing a lot of respect.
  • Young muslim people held the elderly people hand to express salam.
  • For chinese you can handshake the person (The woman should give her hand first) and say hello accompanied of mr or mrs.
  • Kissing a woman’s hand isn’t advised.

General:

  • You should always act politely, say “excuse me” “please” and “thank you”
  • Taking your shoes off before entering a Malaysian house, mosque or temple is obligatory.
  • You should act respectfully and dress conservatively when visiting a religious buildings.
  • Using the right hand is asked as the Malaysian consider the left unclean.
  • If you are invited to a Malaysian house, it’s recommended to bring a gift for your host like candies, cakes or maybe a souvenir. Avoid flowers as they are given for sick people .
  • You should not kiss or display affection in public.
  • For Malaysian putting hands in pockets is an expression of anger.
  • Avoid touching the head of anyone. It’s considered impolite.
  • Don’t wear revealing clothes as Malaysia is a conservative country.
  • Do not stare at muslim women.
  • Avoid discussing religious, ethnic or political topics.
  • It’s considered very rude to point with your foot to someone.

Dinner:

  • The seating is offered by the host.
  • Start eating after the host invites you to.
  • An essential step before the feast is to wash the right hand by dipping the tip of the finger into a bowl of water.
  • Rice is a considered a sacred plate so you should leave your plate empty.
  • Using left hand for eating is strictly avoided.
  • It’s disrespectful to speak while eating.
  • Traditional feasts are set on the floor however modern houses have tables and sweaters.