It’s been 62 years since Malaysia has achieved its independence. The months of August and September are always a more patriotic time of the year with Merdeka Day and Malaysia Day celebrations. Being Malaysians, there are certain quirks and characteristics that distinguish us wherever we are in the world. How many times have you travelled to a foreign country and were able to notice a Malaysian in a blink of an eye? In conjunction with these patriotic holidays, here are some quirky facts about Malaysians that we know and love.
1. We speak a unique and unofficial language
As Malaysians, it’s common for us to be able to speak at least 2 different languages. Heck, some of us can even be considered polyglots with all the different dialects added in together. But what makes us different is that we all have a pretty unique skill – the ability to speak an unofficial language, “rojak”.
(Photo credits: Alaba Malaysia)
Rojak is basically a mix of different languages into one sentence. Be it with family, friends, or even just strangers we meet outside, we all naturally mix a few different languages into one sentence (and not forgetting to throw in some lah, meh, weh, and so on into the mix).
When a friend doesn’t invite you to lepak together: “Eh you went to lepak last night? Bojio”
When you’re trying to decide what to eat: “What do you want to eat?” “I taktau leh. Cincai la”
2. We’re all big foodies
If there’s one thing we Malaysians are passionate and united about it’s definitely about our food! Whenever we go visiting our friends or family, the first question we always get asked is “Have you eaten?” or if we make plans to meet friends, most of the time it’s to lepak or have yumcha sessions at the mamak. From classics such as nasi lemak, roti canai, and even cendol, we love our share of Malaysian food.
(Photo credits: Lipstiq)
Let’s be honest, whenever we travel overseas, the first thing we want to do the minute we touch down at the airport back home is to dig into some good old Malaysian food.
3. We’re a big fan of holidays.
As Malaysians, we are spoiled with a plethora of public holidays – thanks to the various cultures our country is made up of. Did you know that Malaysia has the most public holidays within Southeast Asia?
(Photo credits: Cilisos)
Despite that, we never say no to any additional public holidays that come our way. We get together to cheer on our country’s sports teams and deep down pray they win so we get a celebratory day off the next day.
4. Malaysian timing
In Malaysia, we are always and forever “On the way.” (or rather we will always know someone in our family or friend group who is like this).
Interesting fact: Do you know that the local time in Peninsular Malaysia has been adjusted a total of 8 times? The final adjustment was made to sync with Sabah and Sarawak on January 1, 1982.
Despite the tendency to be always “On the way”, we make it a point to never miss out on important events that unite us together. Like always being on time to watch and cheer on Lee Chong Wei’s badminton match during the Olympics or Harimau Malaya during the Suzuki Cup finals.
(Photo credits: AFFsuzukicup.com)
5. We share a special bond with each other.
In Malaysia, everyone is like family (literally). We greet everyone from our next-door neighbour to owners of your favourite food stall by “uncle”, “aunty”, abang, or kakak. If someone is not our distant relative, then they are at least our “boss”. As odd as that may seem to foreigners, this special bond is what brings us closer together. Nothing means love as much as your favourite nasi lemak stall makcik calling you sayang when you stop by to grab something to eat – that’s true love right there, or having shopkeepers greet you as leng lui (pretty girl) or leng chai (handsome boy) when they tend to you.
Putting all jokes aside, there are so many things that make us grateful and proud to be Malaysian. Living in a multi-cultural country gives us the opportunity to experience so many different things (and also enjoy lots of diverse food!). The diversity instilled within us in everything we do is what truly makes us Malaysians no matter what the race.
Once a Malaysian, always a Malaysian lah.
We at Fave would like to take the opportunity to wish everyone Selamat Hari Merdeka and Selamat Hari Malaysia!