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Ember 2002 defines culture as the customary ways in which a particular population or society thinks or behaves Culture consists of many aspects including language religious beliefs music food preferences and gender roles ibid Each country has its own unique culture and an aspect of it which it is well-known for For example the British are very polite Harzing 2004 Finland is the cleanest country in the world Anekicom 2004 the kiasu culture is extremely pronounced in Singapore 1994 and Thailand is known as the land of a thousand smiles Golfinasia 2002 So what about the Malaysian culture Is there anything unique about it In this essay I will attempt to answer these questions by analyzing various aspects of our culture Malaysia is well-known for its pluralist culture Its ethnic diversity first started taking shape around 150 years ago and is largely shaped by its history of trade KLIA 2004 There are three major races in Malaysia the dominant race is the Malay followed by the Chinese and the Indian Malays and other indigenous races make up 59 per cent of the population whereas Chinese and Indians make up 32 per cent and 9 per cent respectively Bloodbookcom 2003 The sight of many different races and religions coexisting side by side in apparent harmony has impressed many foreigners particularly those who are from countries that are experiencing or have experienced internal upheaval due to racial conflicts Bahasa Malaysia often known interchangeably as Bahasa Melayu is Malaysias national language English is the countrys second most widely used language These two languages serve as a communication link between different ethnic groups Capslock Sdn Bhd 2003 which are each allowed to preserve their own languages and dialects Both have been made compulsory subjects in government schools but the former is used as the medium of instruction Islam is Malaysias official religion The Malaysian flag bears witness to this its portrayal of a crescent moon is a symbol of
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