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Key Characteristics That Make Up A Culture

Decent Essays
Malaysia is divided into two parts, Peninsular and East Malaysia. The first is situated in the southern part of the Malay Peninsula, sharing borders with Thailand and Singapore. East Malaysia occupies a part of the island Borneo and shares borders with Indonesia and Brunei. Malaysia is a country that is multicultural and diverse. Cultural Awareness “is the foundation of communication and it involves the ability of standing back from ourselves and becoming aware of our cultural values, beliefs and perceptions” (Quappe & Cantatore, 2007). The terrain of Malaysia, as well as the different cultures residing there, result in a greatly diverse country. In a situation where the U.S. Military needs to interact with Malaysia, understanding…show more content…
Since there is such a diverse population, many different languages are spoken. Malay is the official language, while English is the “language of business” (World Culture Encyclopedia, 2017). Other languages include Cantonese, Hokkien, Mandarin and Tamil, which is spoken by Indian Malaysians. Military members should take the customs and traditions of the different cultures into consideration when it comes to meeting and greeting individuals. When greeting the Malays, it is okay to use a handshake because they are familiar with western customs. However, Malay woman are not allowed to shake hands with males, only with other females. In the Chinese culture, women are allowed to shake hands with males, but the female must extend her hand first to initiate the handshake. In the Indian culture it is only okay to shake hands with the same sex, and when introduced to the opposite sex, one only nods (“Malaysia Guide”, 2016).
Urban and rural areas of Malaysia are composed of different ethnicities. Malaysia adheres to a caste system, which is the distinctive stratification of social classes. One’s position in the caste system can depend on ethnicity, skills, political connections, and money (Countries and their Cultures, 2017). The agricultural areas are mainly populated by the Malay and Indigenous people. The cities are mostly populated by the Chinese, with most of the city
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