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Malaysia is a state in Southeast Asia. Today our tourists are just beginning to discover Malaysia, so we will try to dispel the main myths about this country.
In Malaysia, you can communicate exclusively in Malay. Another extreme would be the statement that you can do without knowing the local language altogether. Our compatriots living in Malaysia state that they still have to learn the Malay language for 3-5 years of residence. But the fact that you can't live without him at all turned out to be untrue. In trade and business, English is the main one, and different ethnic groups use this particular language for communication. You can, for example, hear the conversation of Indian women who communicate with each other in bad English, and not in Malay or their native language. A similar situation is observed with the Chinese living in the country, they are so used to communicating in English that even at home they continue to use this language. Interestingly, in Malaysia, the majority of the population speaks two languages - English and Malay, and the local Chinese and Indians also have a third, their own language.
There is Islam in Malaysia, which has an extremist orientation. It is often mentioned that the women in this country are completely wrapped in black, and that bearded men in white robes walk with them everywhere. In fact, these are not locals, but Arab tourists who come to take a break from their hot climate. In Malaysia itself, it is not at all necessary for a woman to wear a headscarf; the choice lies exclusively with the person and is more connected with family traditions and upbringing. Islam is the state religion, especially since 70% of the population is Muslim. By the way, the laws of Islam apply exclusively to Muslims, but the rest of the population, which professes Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and other religions, is subject to secular laws. In the country, along with Muslim holidays, non-Muslim ones are also celebrated. At Christmas, everything is decorated with Christmas trees, which are strewn with foam snow, Santa Claus walk around and the corresponding songs are played.
In Malaysia, it has become a tradition to invent English names for themselves so that foreigners can remember them more easily. When faced with a Malay named Peter or John, this myth seems to be true. In fact, these names are not English, but Christian. And this faith in Malaysia is professed by about 10% of the population, mainly Catholics and Protestants. In this country, you can find the Chinese Stephen Ong or the Indian John Amaladass. And for them their own names are not at all outlandish, since they themselves are Christians, this faith of their ancestors. So the names are not born to please the visiting Europeans. Interestingly, Malaysian Christians are more sensitive to religion than the average English Protestant or Italian Catholic, knowing much more about their faith.
Malaysia is a godforsaken corner, as it is located at the end of the world. Geographically, of course, the country is indeed significantly removed from Europe, being, by the way, at the equator itself. Further than Malaysia are only New Zealand and Australia. However, thanks to the developed tourism, the country is connected by flights with many countries of the world. This promotes high competition, which means low prices. A flight from Tashkent to Kuala Lumpur will cost the same as to Moscow. And the best resorts of Southeast Asia are located nearby - only 1-3 hours of summer, which allows you to visit them on weekends, as if visiting a dacha.
Malaysia has no connection with the outside world, existing on its own. Many tourists believe that the remoteness of the country leads to the fact that the mail goes to the country with long delays, and phone calls are very expensive. In fact, communications in the country are quite developed and cheap. Calls to Moscow are much cheaper than from Moscow to Malaysia. In the countries where the calls are most often rates are much lower, this applies to England, India. Foreign companies are happy to discover Malaysia. This is due to the fact that the country is officially open to foreigners from a legislative point of view, and the local population is very friendly to visitors. There is also practically no language barrier, as mentioned above, almost everyone speaks a special dialect - Malaysian English.
Malaysians prefer extremely spicy food. In fact, this myth is very close to the truth. For the most part, Malay and Indian food is quite spicy or abundantly spiced. And for an unaccustomed European, such food will still seem spicy. But there is always the opportunity to sample Chinese food. The fact is that 30% of the population is Chinese, so that many Europeans at first eat exclusively Chinese food, which is present in abundance. If you wish, you can also find Western food restaurants, which range from fast food to prestigious restaurants of various European cuisines.
In Malaysia, there are completely different food products, there is not even the usual potatoes and bread. In fact, potatoes are on sale, while there are several varieties, and its price is unremarkable. Yes, and the main, familiar to us fruits are, and the price is comparable to Asian countries. Only if you want to eat a variety of foods, and not just fruits, you will have to either use local products or lay out a tidy sum. Bread is also baked, only its purpose is different - it is used mainly for sandwiches. The loaf is sold already cut, and the composition is unusual, it seems soft and wet. But this is not a problem either, because in any bakery you can buy ordinary "European" bread, which, however, is more expensive.
In Malaysia, the seasons follow each other, as elsewhere. For Malaysians, the phrases "last fall" or "this winter" are obscure. Theoretically, there are only two seasons in the country - the rainy season and the dry season. Do not think that there is little rainfall in the dry season - there are quite a lot of them, just in the rainy season they become even more. The equatorial climate is to blame for everything, so in Malaysia there are no seasons in our understanding, and sunset and sunrise are observed every day at almost the same time - at 7.15 in the morning at 19.15 in the evening.
In Malaysia, everything is twice as expensive as in Singapore. For some reason, our tourists believe that everything in Singapore is much cheaper, bypassing Malaysia. Singapore is a really interesting country, but not in terms of prices. Everything there is twice as expensive, starting with the exchange rate. What costs S $ 5 in Singapore can be found in Malaysia for RM 5. And this despite the fact that the Singapore dollar is equal to 2.5 ringits. Unsurprisingly, many Singaporeans travel to the border state of Johor to buy cheaper gasoline and food there.
All home appliances in Malaysia are literally a penny. Indeed, most of the equipment, from mobile phones to plasma panels, is cheaper in the country than in Russia or Europe. However, the price is not several times lower, as many believe. In Malaysia, there are a large number of fakes, which are precisely distinguished by their low cost. There are places in the markets where cameras and phones are simply piled up in a big heap or in a basket - all for ridiculous money. But it's better not to ask about the origin of this technique. Yes, and such places are unpopular even among the Malays themselves, who prefer to purchase original products. True, love for real products does not relate to music, films and software - just like in Russia.
Malays have no sense of humor. In fact, jokes, of course, go around the country, although a different mentality leaves its mark. For example, humor is not so much funny as clever; Malays like to have a certain subtext in it. Respectful local residents do not particularly like to tell jokes about rulers, limiting themselves to insignificant characters or representatives of the opposition. As in Russia, there are jokes about local Proton cars, just like about our Zhiguli, but they don't like to laugh at ethnic themes.
In Malaysia, everything is ruled by the sultan. The country's political structure is absolutely unique! It is the only state with a constitutional elective monarchy. The fact is that there are 13 states in Malaysia, 9 of which are monarchies. Every five years, monarchs elect a king and a viceroy from their midst, usually on the basis of seniority or length of rule. However, the positions of both the king and the sultans themselves are representative, the country is actually ruled by parliament and the prime minister.
Singapore has never had anything to do with Malaysia. First, being so close and not having anything in common is simply impossible. Secondly, when the state of Malaysia (as a union) was created in 1963, it also included Singapore. However, the friendship was short-lived, and two years later, Singapore declared independence and was admitted to the UN. Today, 14% of Singaporeans speak Malay, and the country's national anthem is also played in the same language.
There is nothing interesting for tourists in Malaysia. In addition to just getting to know the colorful country, it is highly recommended to visit the three main museums of Malaysia: the National Museum in Kuala Lumpur, the Sarawak State Museum, and the Sabah State Museum. They display the richest archaeological and ethnographic collections. In Kuala Lumpur, be sure to visit the Lake Garden, in Kuching - the palace of the white rajas, in Georgetown - the pagoda of 10 thousand Buddhas, in Seremban - the Seri Menanti palace. In general, the tourist will not be bored if only the travel route is carefully planned.
The death penalty is imposed for possession of drugs. And it really is true. The law, which provides for the most severe penalties for possession and distribution of drugs, was adopted in the country back in 1975. True, an incident occurred recently, the court acquitted two twin brothers, one of whom was accused in this case, since it was impossible to determine which of them was the culprit. Their physical appearance and DNA were identical. In general, the law is harsh, regardless of social status.
In Malaysia, people's heads are cut off, a hand is cut off for theft, you can go to jail without a trial, etc. There is indeed a death penalty in the country - shooting, but no cutting off of fingers or limbs is observed. The state for minor violations (spitting in a public place) is content with large fines, although it does not monitor this as strictly as, say, in Singapore.
Malaysia has a very good education. Malaysia is the former dominion of England, which has led to the fact that the country has many branches of the largest universities, while the cost of education is relatively low. Naturally, a good knowledge of English is required. At the same time, the 3 + 1 system is widespread, according to which the last year you can study in the country in which the main university is located. The cost of studying in Malaysia at a prestigious university is 2-3 times less than in England. Therefore, many residents of eastern countries, including the Central Asian republics, are increasingly sending their children to study in Malaysia.