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name comes from the Tamil words melai, which means "mountain"
and ur, meaning "city" or "land." This was later used
by the Melayu Kingdom, which ruled the region in the 600s.
Malay culture begins and ends with the country's
geography. As a country that is primarily divided into two sections, but also into
numerous islands, the people and their ways of life are very distinct, but also
united through transportation on the seas.
The people of modern day Malaysia have always been outwardly
focused as trade throughout the region always tended to pass Malaysia and the Malays
have nearly always had their hand in controlling or taking part in that trade. Because
of this, the people of Malaysia today are a mix of people, cultures, and customs.
They are people who readily accept foreigners as foreigners have been the crutch
of their historic economy, but they have also been a people who have had the intelligence
and determination to control the trade and the economy.
The way of life in Malaysia today is still a very outwardly
thinking society as the people in the country are ethnic Malays,
Chinese, Indians, and others. Despite this diversity,
there has been little tension or arguments among the groups as each seems to understand
the need for the other groups in order to thrive as a whole.
In the opposite way, the people of Malaysia are very
diverse as the above mentioned groups maintain their historic lifestyles as ethnic
Malays, Chinese, or Indians, holding
on to their religions, foods, and ways of life. Further diversity comes in the Malay
people themselves as these islander, especially those inland, have unique foods
and cultures that date back thousands of years and have failed to transfer from
island to island. For these people reliance is not on foreigners, but on the land
and the sea along with the food sources that each provide.
The people of Malaysia today are diverse as Malays,
Chinese, and Indians practice
Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism respectively and foods from every country can be found.
It seems the people are divided with no similar culture or way of life, but it is
what holds the people together that is more important to their way of life. They
are focused on economics and trade, always looking outward and willing to adapt
as the country continues to push forward technologically even today.
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