Definition of a Malay Culture

Topics: Malaysia, Southeast Asia, Borneo Pages: 4 (1245 words) Published: December 8, 2011
Definition of the Malay Culture

Mankind is the only civilized creatures in this world. Culture can be defined as the integrated system that relates to values, beliefs, behaviors, norms, artifacts and the other works of any society. In the human history, this is the culture that divides human beings or separates one community from another. Specifically, many aspects of Malay culture encompassed within this definition are the universal aspects such as philosophy of life, art, literature and language, means of livelihood, food, traditional ceremony, equipment, dress, artifact, building, traditional medical treatment and other Malay norms.

Philosophy of life is a concept or mindset about humanity and surrounding situation, which is used to obtain a meaningful life. It comes from the response and answer to the significance of human existence. Every single person has its own philosophy of life including the Malay people. Malay as a cultural identity is often associated with Muslim holding Malay custom-adat and occupying Malay areas. However, such definition merely produces reductive definition on what is Malay since not every Malay is Muslim occupying Malay areas and holding Malay custom-adat.

From this point we may say that Malay is not solely a single and homogenous cultural entity, but indeed it is a very heterogeneous one. Malay is like a house occupied by people with different points of view as the consequence of different religions and beliefs. Many of the beliefs and some of the cultural practices of the Malays have developed as a result of the inter-mingling of cultures, and the religious experiences of the Malays over the last two thousand years or so. Within a Malay household that continues to maintain the traditional code of conduct inherited from the past, the children or younger persons are strictly bound by custom to look upon their parents with respect.  To them are due unquestioned loyalty and total obedience, and these qualities must be...
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