Gaining an insight into Malaysian Multiculture
Both Tom and I decided to join Alison on her tour trip with Reggae Tours. We needed to immerse ourselves into culture as its pretty hard trying to find some if you are walking about on foot.
We were feeling a little tired after doing a runner from the skybar after viewing the gorgeous Petronas Towers and hoofing it about on foot round Kuala Lumpur. But Kuala Lumpur was ready to throw what’s it got…even though it was slightly confusing what it was trying to tell us.
Don’t know what I mean? I urge you to read up on Malaysian history, the whole country is so mixed with Chinese, Indian, Malay, and many other minorities. Really, Malaysia is called the Federation of Malaysia comprising of provinces that each contain it’s own sultan or governor. Each brings its own eclectic mix into the region.
I was looking forward to this as I could identify anything with Malaysia except for its food and I was looking forward to be gaining an insight into this multicultural country.
First off, we visited the Chinese temple. It was very weird as it was situated upon top of many governmental buildings such as marriage license building and we were surrounded by heaps of advertisements and plasticine figures. Check out the pics.
We were quite privileged to see a Chinese wedding underway as well. I tried to get Tom and Allison to have a double wedding but they wouldn’t have it….aww don’t they make a cute couple…
I could even see the Petronas Towers in the distance so I know my way round KL rather than having to rely on Tom who kept getting me lost…I suspect he wanted to lead me down a dark alley…
After seeing the Chinese aspect, it was the to visit the Indian influence on KL. the capital has its own little slice of India very aptly named….Little India. As we walked down the main street, you could see that India was trying to outdo its bordering areas by having it colourful as possible. All the shops we saw advertised its saliva inducing food and blinding you with their colourful saris. I really liked the street decor. I’ll try to see if Hull, my hometown, can follow suit.
The next place we visited was the Grand Mosque to learn more about Islam, the official religion of Malaysia. It was quite strange to be in my first Islamic country but this was probably the highlight of my day. I learnt loads and appreciated the splendour of the building…only after I stopped pretending to be Harry Potter with my garment and shouting out ‘Expecto Patronum!’ tell me off? Tell off Tom as well. He was doing it as well.
Incredible isn’t it?
My next destination was Independence Square. It’s where Malaysia officially broke away from the British Empire. There’s a great art gallery that tells you about the history of the occasion.
You may be thinking what the hell with the mock Tudor houses in the picture. Well during the days Malaysia was in the British Empire, the British people wanted to be reminded of home so they built these houses…I’m not sure what they thought of the heat as its sooooooo humid
By then, Tom and I were loving Kuala Lumpur (name means muddy river!)
Feeling the hunger pangs in our belly, we were still being brought to places. This time to the Grand Palace over looking the capital. This is where it gets interesting about the King of Malaysia. Or should I rather say Kings. There is no lifetime king. As I said, each of the 13 provinces of Malaysia has its own sultan or governor. The 9 sultans take it in turns to be the King for 5 years. Currently, the king now has been King 45 years ago. He’s very old. But much to the annoyance of his son who’s already middle aged. If the king now suddenly passed away, the kingship would go to the next provincial sultan in line to the throne, NOT his son. He would have to wait for another 45 years which doesn’t look likely. The prince who wouldn’t be King. I would be really annoyed. I asked the question about the Palace. 5 years living there and then someone else comes in and changes the decor. I would be annoyed if someone changed all the effort I did…but it had to be done.
Giving into my stomach’s violent requests I bought myself an ice cream to tide myself over til lunch. I was sorely tempted to try the Durian Ice Lolly but watching others try it, they spat out. I certainly wasn’t going to spend my money on an overpriced lolly…I would try durian later on. The strawberry ice cream went down a treat in the stifling heat.
I licked the lolly as I looked at the War Memorial. You may notice that the figures in the memorial look decidedly European. The sculptor who also sculpted the memorial in Washington was commissioned to do this and he’s never seen a Malaysian before…
Crying out for lunch, we went straight out of town and had a feast of an Indian meal. No photos this time as it was too late to take a picture as it was scoffed already down to my stomach! To work off the belly, we headed to climb the steep steps of Batu Caves. I had my hearing aids out and safely installed in my pockets. Why? There were the evil monkeys hanging around that would grab anything loose. Last thing I wanted was grabbing the wire of my cochlear implant and running off with it. I even saw them attack people and pull the plastic bags of food out of people’s hands. They even bounded off people to get to another side. Told you, they are evil. But first, check out the statue waiting at the entrance!
Entering the Batu gave a breath-taking experience. The Japanese in the second world war used it as natural factories for ammunition to keep away from prying allied aircraft looking to bomb a place. It was absolutely massive!
On the way back down, I saw something that made me laugh…
getting late in the afternoon, we visited a pewter making shop and squeeeeee, a chocolate making shop! That’s when I had my very own taste of Durian Chocolate. It smelt horrible but it just tasted soooo good.vDurian Fruit is not allowed in public places I must add, it smells so bad that it can last for days. You will receive a fine if you are found to be carrying durian fruit on the Skytrain…
Exhausted, we finally arrived back at the hostel and treated ourselves to dinner at the food street of Jalan Alor. The picture of what I ordered, says it all…
Then it was time for a few pints with my England Shirt on watching the Euro 2012 championship while Tom and I discussed the adventures of the day…Harry Potter seemed to be the prominent saying! The capital is so diverse in its cultures that it’s impossible to give an identification of a singular thing to tie in with Malaysia. You just have to accept its very multicultural despite the clashes between the Chinese and the Malays in recent times. Perhaps it’s what makes Malaysia so god damn appealing.
What did you think of Kuala Lumpur?