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Traditional Chinese

马来西亚 - 民族 Malaysia - People

Hello friends! It's time to open our Window on the World. We are visiting Malaysia this month. Today we'll find out about the people who live on East and West Malaysia. The population is about 20 million. The Malaysian population includes native Malay people known as ¨princes of the soil〃. Others who live there are from China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, and Europe. The official language is Bahasa Malaysia. English, Chinese, and Indian are also spoken there.

The oldest inhabitants of Malaysia are the tribal people and they represent about 5% of the total population. The traditional Malay culture centers around the village or "kampung." Many people live together in a dwelling called the "long house." They are often built on a river. The long house is a one-story building covered with a single roof Some long houses can have as many as 12 to 500 people living in them. Everyone who lives in a long house help each other and often look after each other's children. The Malay people do expect deep respect and obedience of children to their parents and elders.

Malaysian culture includes music and dancing. Gongs, drums and bamboo flutes are used as musical instruments. A beautiful dance that you would enjoy is called "candle dancing." Each dancer holds a dish on each hand. A small candle is balanced on the dish. As the dancer moves, the candle light shines and flickers brightly. People also enjoy the ancient art of kite making. Kites are beautifully decorated and then taken outside to fly them high into the sky.

The Malaysian people are so interesting. I know you will enjoy learning more about Malaysia next week when we open our Window on the World. I hope you will be listening next week when we will learn about the worldˇs largest flower that grows in Malaysia. See you then.

- updated every Wednesday afternoon -




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