Malaysian Travel Destinations – Malaysian Culture for Kids

Malaysia offers two very distinct experiences: the peninsula and Borneo (an island shared with Indonesia and Brunei). The peninsula is a mix of Malay, Chinese and Indian flavors with the modern capital of Kuala Lumpur. Malaysian Borneo features a jungle with wild animals like orangutans, granite peaks and remote tribes. About 2 million tourists visit the area each year. Most of them are citizens from neighboring countries like Singapore and Indonesia.


The Cameron Highlands was first developed by the British in the 1920s. It has a population of more than 34,000 people consisting of Malays, Chinese, Indians and other ethnic groups. The Cameron Highlands is known for its trails through the jungles. You can see waterfalls, tea plantations and tea factories.



Named after Britain’s King George III, Georgetown is located on the northeast corner of Penang Island. Most of the population is of Chinese origin. You can see the colonial style shops and unique architecture.

Taman Negara means “national park” in Malay. Taman Negara is one of the oldest tropical rain forests in the world. It is home to endangered species such as the Asian elephant, tigers, leopards and rhinos. You can see many birds, small deer, lizards, snakes and maybe even a tapir.

Tioman is a small island located off the east coast of Malaysia. The island is surrounded by many white coral reefs making it a great place for scuba diving. The island is forested and highly visited during November through February. At other times, the island has very few tourists.


With a summit height of 4,095 meters (13,435 feet), Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain in Borneo. The mountain is known throughout the world for its different plants and animal species. Over 600 species of ferns, 326 species of birds, and 100 different mammals have been identified here. The main peak of the mountain can be climbed easily by a person in “good” physical condition. It does not require any mountaineering equipment. However, climbers must be accompanied by a guide at all times.


The Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur were the world’s tallest buildings before being surpassed in 2004 by Taipei 101. However, the towers are still the tallest twin buildings in the world. The 88-floor towers are constructed out of concrete with a steel and glass facade designed to resemble motifs found in Islamic art and Muslim religion. There is a sky bridge between the two towers.


Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands in the Andaman Sea. The islands are a part of the state of Kedah which is adjacent to the Thai border. Pulau Langkawi is the largest of the islands with a population of about 65,000. The only other island with people living on it is the nearby island of Pulau Tuba. The islands have white beaches. Inland, there are jungle-covered hills and mountain peaks.


These islands are located off the coast of northeastern Malaysia not far from the Thai border. They have some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, as well as the waters offer an assortment of places to dive. The two main islands are Perhentian Besar (“Big Perhentian”) and Perhentian Kecil (“Small Perhentian”). Both of these islands have white sandy beaches and palm trees overlooking the turquoise sea.


The rehabilitation center opened in 1964 for helping the orphaned baby orangutans from logging sites, plantations and illegal hunting. These rescued orangutans are trained to survive again in the wild and are released when ready to do so into a reserve area. Today, there are about 60-80 orangutans living free.


The Mulu Caves are located in the Gunung Mulu National Park in Borneo. The park has caves and rock formations in a mountainous rainforest setting. The Sarawak chamber in one of the underground caves is the largest cave chamber in the world. It is so large that it is estimated that it can hold about 40 Boeing 747s without overlapping their wings! You can also see a huge colony of bats explore for food at night.

Malaysian Children’s Songs

Many of the children songs have words that talk about animals and birds.  There are songs that talk about things children do in the day.  Popular clapping songs, movement, finger plays and rhyme accompany the songs.  Shadow puppets help tell some children’s stories.  Shadow puppets are a traditional way to tell stories using shadows.

Mana Kuching?

Where is the Cat?

Lagu tiga kupang

Song of the Three Cents

Kalau Rasa Gembira Tepuk Tangan

If You’re Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands

Bangau Oh Bangau

Egret, Oh Egret

Chan Mali Chan

Chan Mali Chan (a folk song)

Burung Kakak tua

Cuckatoo, Oh Cuckatoo

Bangun pagi

Wake Up

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Malaysian Traditional Music and Instruments – Malaysian Culture for Kids

Malay traditional music is associated with the traditional theatre forms such as Mak Yong, Wayang Kulit, Joget Gamelan, Hadrah, Dabus, Kuda Kepang, Gendang Kling, Mek Mulung, and additional entertainment activities. This type of music is based on either the pentatonic 5-tone or heptatonic 7-tone scales. It is performed mainly by groups of instruments which include combinations of four types of instruments:

Aerophone (wind instruments) such as the serunai, pinai, seruling and selumprit flutes:

Membranophone (drum-sounds produced by membrane-covered musical instruments) such as the gendang, geduk, gedombak, rebana, kompang, tar and jidor drums:

Idiophone (percussion instruments of fixed immovable surface) such as gong, kesi, canag, saron, kenong, gambang kayu, boning:

Chordophone (string instruments) such as the rebab:

The basic element in traditional music is the drum (gendang).  There are at least 14 types, four of which are beaten without the accompaniment of any other musical instrument (i.e. the rebana besar, rebana ubi, kompang and tar).  The rebab is a type of three-stringed violin played in the Mak Yong dance-drama. Other musical instruments played during the Mak Yong performance are the gendang and gong.


The nobat is a special royal orchestra consisting of usually four or five people using the flute, trumpet, gong and drums. This type of orchestra performs during state ceremonies. The Wayang Kulit music is another type of music popular in the Malay community. Music is very important in the performance of the wayang kulit because it helps tell the story by making it more interesting. The wayang kulit orchestra usually consists of 12 instruments.

There is also music that accompanies traditional dances such as Tarian Asyik and other Malay folk dances.   Gamelan music is a form of traditional music widely performed in Malaysia during ceremonial occasions. The instruments used include gongs, xylophones and a cylindrical drum.

There are other forms of traditional music in Sabah and Sarawak. The Kadazans and Dayaks like to play the gong. There are four types of gongs:  the Tawag-tawag, cenang, gong agung and tenukol. There are many types of flutes made from bamboo. The Kadazans play a two-stringed guitar called sundalang and a trumpet-like instrument made from pumpkin and bamboo called the sumputon.

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Malaysian Names – Malaysian Culture for Kids

The Malaysian Chinese are the only large ethnic group in Malaysia to use family names.  Most other groups use a personal name and then a

patronym name.   For men, the patronym consists of the title bin (from So, if Osman has a son called Musa, Musa will be known as Musa bin Osman. For women, the patronym consists of the title binti (from Arabic بنت, meaning ‘daughter of’) followed by her father’s name. So, if Musa has a daughter called Aisyah, Aisyah will be known as Aisyah binti Musa. Upon marriage, a woman does not change her name, as is done in many cultures.Arabic بن, meaning ‘son of’) followed by his father’s personal name.

Traditionally Malay names were taken from other languages:

Malay, for example Kiambang, Mayang or Tuah

Khmer, Siamese or Cham, for example Tam, Som or Lai

Javanese, for example Ratnasari, Joyo or Kesuma

Sanskrit or Pali, for example Wira, Darma or Wati

Arabic names are popular. In addition, names form other languages are also used and include:

Persian, for example Jehan, Mirza or Shah

Greek or Latin, for example Maria, Marina or Johana

English, for example Tiara, Orked or Ros

Some names are taken from public figures around the world.  The majority of Malay males have Mohammad or Muhammad (after the founder of Islam) as their first name.

A few Malay families use surnames such as Tengku, Megat, Nik, Wan, Raja and Che.  Other common surnames include Sayid or Syed, and Teuku.  It is common to take two or three first names.   The Malaysian Chinese use traditional Chinese names of usually three words.  The first name is the Chinese family name.

Boys’ and Girls’ Names

Following are the 25 most popular boys’ and girls’ names for parents in Malay to name their children:

Boys’ Names:  Muhamad, Adam, Rayyan, Ahmad, Daniel, Darwish, Umar, Haziq, Irfan, Zikri, Aqil, Harith, Hakim, Aqif, Hadif, Ammar, Danish, Aidan, Jayden, Ashraff, Alif, Ariff, Syshmi, Isaac and Amsyar

Girls’ Names:  Nur (Nor or Noor), Zara, Hannah, Damia, Sophia, Alicia, Aishah, Humaira, Batrisyia, Safiyyah, Sarah, Iris, Alya, Adrianna, Amani, Keisha, Arissa, Balqis, Qistina, Arianna, Qaisara, Khalisha, Chloe, Marissa and Mia

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Malaysian History – Malaysian Culture for Kids

The Buddhist Kingdom of Srivijaya ruled Malaysia from the 9th-13th centuries.  Then the Hindu Kingdom of Majapahit took over.  The state of Malacca ruled by a Muslim prince ruled afterwards.  This is when Islam spread throughout the area. The first Europeans to arrive were the Portuguese. They took over Malacca in 1511 and then controlled the area for over 100 years. The Dutch in 1641, followed by the British in 1795 were the next conquerors. The British helped to develop some of the important industries this region has today.  The


production of rubber and tin were started by the British. Malaysia was occupied by Japan during World War II. Soon after the war, the country began to

move towards independence. In 1957, several of the British territories on the Malay Peninsula formed the Federation of Malaya. Malaysia was also formed and became a separate independent country in 1963.  Malaysia is a democratic monarchy. A Parliament helps run the country.

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Malaysian Games – Malaysian Culture for kids

There are many different kinds of martial arts.  Silat and Tomoi (a form of kickboxing) are traditional, popular versions.

Kite flying (wau-flying) is a traditional game. Competitions take place with judges giving out awards for craftsmanship.  Some kites are made to make a sound as they are pulled to fly in the air.

Sepak raga has been played for hundreds of years.  The players stand in a circle and kick a rattan ball using any part of their body except the arms and hands.  The goal is to keep the ball in the air.  Sepak raga is Malaysia’s national sport and it is even played in international sporting events such as the Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games.

Gasing is also popular.  You spin a top and see how long it spins.  Some players get their tops to spin for more than two hours!

The board game of Congkak is a version of the mancala game, which was invented in Egypt.  You move stones, marbles, beads or shells around a wooden board with 12 or more holes.

Traditional Malaysian Clothing – Malaysian Culture for kids

Before the 20th century, Malay women wore kemban. After the spread of Islam, they began to wear the baju kurung. In Malay culture, clothes and textiles are viewed as items of beauty, power and status. Among popular Malay textiles are Songket and Batik.

Men wear a baju (shirt) or Tekua (a type of long sleeve shirt), baju rompi (a vest), celana (trousers), a sarong around the waist, capal (sandals) and a tanjak or tengkolok (headgear). Traditional Malay dress varies between different regions but the most popular traditional dress in modern day are the Baju Kurung for women and the Baju Melayu (for men).

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Malaysian Food – Malaysian Culture for kids

The different regions are known for their dishes.  However, one thing the Malay cooking has in common is the use of spices.  Coconut milk is important in many of the dishes. Shrimp paste (belacan) is also used to make a condiment called sambal.  The paste is added to chillies, onions and garlic.  Nearly every meal is served with rice.  Food is eaten with the fingers of the right hand.  Beef, water buffalo, goat, lamb, poultry and fish are eaten for protein.  Nasi lemak, rice cooked in rich coconut, is a popular dish.  Curry and palm leaves are also popular.

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All About Malaysian Culture – Malaysian Culture for kids

The flag of Malaysia is known as the Jalur Gemilang (meaning Stripes of Glory).  There are 14 red and white stripes to stand for the equality of the 13 member states and the federal government.  A crescent moon and a 14-point star stand for the unity among them.

The crescent moon represents Islam, the country’s official religion.  The blue stands for the unity of the Malaysian people and the yellow star stands for the royal color of the Malay rulers.

The flag was first raised up on September 16, 1963 to symbolize the flag of the Federation of Malaya.  Before this time, each state in had its own flag.

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Malays (almost 28 million today) are an ethnic group of Austronesian people who live on parts of the modern nations of Malaysia, Western Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Southern Burma and Southern Thailand.  These countries are part of Asia.  The Malays population is descended from several tribes who lived in this region. The common language including dialects, Islamic religion and culture brought these tribes together who now share some similar traits.

The capital is Kuala Lumpur with 1.5 million people.  The area in Asia that the Malays inhabit is approximately 329,750 square kilometers, about the size of New Mexico – a southwestern state of the United States.

The geography of the region is a mix of coastal plains, hills and mountains.  The climate is tropical with two monsoon seasons (one dry and one wet).

The major products produced include rubber, wood products, textiles, and palm oil. The traditional Malay houses are built using wood.  The houses have front porches and high ceilings.  There are many wood carvings (on average about 20 or more) in a typical house.  There is a lot of timber on the Malay Archipelago and woodcarving is a traditional craft.

The Buddhist Kingdom of Srivijaya ruled Malaysia from the 9th-13th centuries.  Then the Hindu Kingdom of Majapahit took over.  The state of Malacca ruled by a Muslim prince ruled afterwards.  This is when Islam spread throughout the area.

The first Europeans to arrive were the Portuguese. They took over Malacca in 1511 and then controlled the area for over 100 years. The Dutch in 1641, followed by the British in 1795 were the next conquerors. The British helped to develop some of the important industries this region has today.  The production of rubber and tin were started by the British.

Malaysia was occupied by Japan during World War II. Soon after the war, the country began to move towards independence. In 1957, several of the British territories on the Malay Peninsula formed the Federation of Malaya. Malaysia was also formed and became a separate independent country in 1963.  Malaysia is a democratic monarchy.  A Parliament helps run the country.

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Malaysian Culture for Kids- Fun Facts and Famous Places

Fun facts


Silat show in wedding event;


Silat is an old Malay martial arts that has been passed down to each generation. Not just for defend, but can also be use to entertain people. The people who will perform the silat, that called “Pesilat” will perform their show in front of the married couple.


9. Famous place


Kota A Famosa Melaka;

This is the place where portuguese build their fortress to strengthen their power while conquering the Malay land long ago. This place has been marked as a valuable asset for tourism. There’re a lot of things that you can see while visiting this place.


Langkawi Island;

This island is the place where the legendary women called  “Mahsuri” has been killed because of accused by her mother in law. She jealous by Mahsuri beauty and respectful that she had. Because of that, she accused Mahsuri that she has done a discgraceful act by alone together with other man. The history of Mahsuri in Malay culture has make Langkawi Island is one of the famous place in Malaysia.