Cultural differences between China and Malaysia

I was fortunate enough to study in China, but I’ve accidentally contracted Covid. It took two years to complete my studies, but three months in, I couldn’t go back after spring break. Although I only stayed in China for a short time, for just three months, I could still feel the cultural difference between Malaysia and China.

— China/Fujian, Fuzhou

1. "Eh, how can you Malaysians speak Chinese so fluently?”

  • This is the question I often get asked when I was in China. In fact, it is the difference in our languages we speak, as we Malaysians grew up in a multi-racial environment, so we are able to use multiple languages to communicate.
  • Although with the development of our current generation, English has become a mandatory second language in China. But Chinese people are generally Chinese-minded, and their native language is Chinese, so the Chinese language is still the preferred and prioritized language in their homeland.

2. "Yeah, we also have many kinds of food!”

  • Malaysia’s local cuisine is often praised by people of different nations.

  • We are very honored to have a wide variety of cuisines from different cultural backgrounds, and we can eat food from different ethnic cultures every day.

  • Compared to China, where Chinese dishes are usually very flavorful and full of spice, the locals have a high tolerance for spiciness.

  • But their Chinese food is really scrumptious, as the taste is quite different from most Malaysian cuisines.

3. "It's so hot!”

  • Malaysia has only one season compared to four- we experience long, hot summers, so it’s hot all year round.
  • On the contrary, China has four seasons. When I went there, it was autumn, and it was very comfortable. Even if the sun was shining down on us, we would not feel hot nor humid, it’s like being in an air conditioned room. But you have to wear sunscreen with high SPF, if not you will turn “dark”, haha!

4. "Chinese citizens, everyone is equitable "

  • All the citizens living in China are given equal rights and treatment no matter what. Whereas in our country… You know… it has a lot left to be desired, and has a lot to learn from other nations.

 

Living in Malaysia, you can be friends with people from different ethnic backgrounds and have everyone understand and immerse themselves in each other’s cultures. In China, although most people are Chinese, here, you can see a lot of their history and cultures that they still retain today.