Malaysian Culture

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Malaysian Culture.
INTRODUCTION :
Malaysia’s has a multicultural and multiethnic population consisting of Malays, Chinese, Indians and Bumiputra of Sarawak and Sabah, in which people of different religions, countries of origins and race live in a peaceful and harmonious society has influenced its arts and culture. Each of Malays, Chinese, Indians and Bumiputra celebrates different festivities that they hold from their great great grandparents. BODY :

1) First of all, Malays are the largest community in Malaysia. Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji are the most significant festivities that they celebrate with families and friends. Hari Raya Puasa, the day of celebration of marking the end of Ramadan (which is a month-long period where fasting takes place from sunrise to sunset) is the biggest event of the Muslim calendar.

This is a time when you will see Malay families dressed up in their best traditional outfit like baju kurung and baju Melayu to mark this special occasion. Similar to the Chinese during Chinese New Year, the Malays also have the tradition of giving Angpau but on this occasion it is known as duit raya and is given in green packets.

Being a Malay and Muslim in Malaysia, the tradition is that, once a year during the festival of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, they prepare luxurious festive food such as ketupat, beef rendang, lemang, satay and the Raya cookies.

Then, Hari Raya Haji is celebrated approximately after 70 days the celebrations of Hari Raya Aidilfitri. The ancient Muslim festival of Hari Raya Haji, also known as the “Festival of Sacrifice” that is celebrated over two days by Muslims worldwide. The festival starts off with prayers by male volunteers and the sacrifice of sheep, goats and cows to symbolize Phophet Ibrahim’s readiness to sacrifice his own flesh and blood.

2) Next, the second major population is the Chinese people. They celebrate Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival and Hungry Ghost Festival. The date of the Chinese New Year is determined by the lunar calendar and it often falls annually in either January or February. Being a major event on the Chinese calendar, the Chinese residents celebrate this occasion in stylish red or gold colours. Spring cleaning for this festive season is essential to most Chinese and it is a common sight to see red pieces of paper with Chinese calligraphy bearing good wishes placed onto doors and walls. The distribution of Angpau (red packets containing money) by parents and relatives to unmarried children is a common practice during this festive season.

The Mid-Autumn Festival also known as Lantern Festival which falls on the 15th day of the eighth Chinese Lunar Calendar. This is a historical festival rather than a religious one. It marks the successful rebellion against the Mongol ruler dated back in 14th century China. Legend has indicated that the secret about a plot against the Mongolians was hidden inside the moon cake and the moon cake was distributed widely. Lanterns were used at night as signals from higher grounds and hilltop. Today, this festival is celebrated with moon cakes and lantern hanging in the house. The lantern and the moon cakes have attracted many children and adults attention.

Next, the seventh month of the lunar calendar is when the hungry ghost festival is celebrated. This event is a traditional Chinese festival celebrated worldwide by Chinese people and it involves the offering of food and burning of offerings for example incense and papier-mâché material items such as clothes, gold, cars and houses as a form of ancestor worship with the meaning of extending filial piety from descendants to their ancestors even after their deaths. These offerings can be seen along roadsides and on open grounds as a means of appeasing and respecting the departed. In some areas of Malaysia you may even have the chance watching the Chinese operas which are staged to entertain the wandering spirits. During this festival, puppet shows are...
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