Moving To Malaysia - A Guide for Children
January 7, 2019
Moving overseas is both an exciting opportunity but also one full of caution. Your family may experience some difficulty, particularly for children who are leaving their familiar surroundings. When considering a corporate relocation that involves children, you might also consider removalists that have a broad range of services, particularly those that have a well prepared children’s program. This just might overcome some of the natural concerns they may feel.
Moving to Malaysia is no exception. Your children will have many questions such as where is Malaysia, what language do they speak, what do they eat, what is the weather like and what can I do? Here is a quick reference to help you along the way:
Malaysia – Where is it?
Malaysia is in South East Asia and has two parts – Peninsula Malaysia and East Malaysia. About 22 million people live in Malaysia, most are Malay, but about one-third are Chinese, Indian and other ethnic backgrounds. The capital is Kuala Lumpur or KL.
Is the weather hot or cold?
Malaysia has a tropical climate. This means that it is hot and humid most of the time. However, to cool things off it also rains for part of the day, often in the afternoon. November to January are especially rainy months. Malaysia has two seasons – the rainy season and the dry season.
Will I understand what they are saying?
The two official languages of Malaysia are Bahasa Melayu and English. With other nationalities living there, Mandarin, Cantonese and Tamil are also spoken.
Bahasa is based on the Malay language and often the words are spoken exactly how they look. Many children learn Bahasa and speak with their Malay friends. Your family might also have an amah or live-in maid and that will help learn new words and phrases.
What transport is there?
Many of the local people travel in their own cars. You can take a taxi or a bus if you wish. The taxis are cheap and air-conditioned – great for the hot and humid weather.
Will I make new friends?
As you get to know kids from other countries you might try new foods and new games. You will also learn about their customs and is respectful to honour those customs. For example, when you visit your new Malaysian friends, remember to take your shoes off at the door. You should not touch another person’s head or hug and kiss in public.
What can I see?
You will never be bored and here are some of the attractions to be enjoyed:
- Sunway Lagoon is a theme park with a water slide and great fun to splash around.
- The Mines Wonderland gives you a break from the heat and has an ice-skating rink and a snow-making machine.
- Golden Village Cinemas show overseas films and serve hot popcorn and chocolate dipped ice cream.
- Batu Caves are very large caves outside KL that contain Hindu temples. There are lots of steps going all the way up to the temple and lots of monkeys to see.
- Central Market is the place to buy all sorts of Malaysian souvenirs, arts and handicrafts.
- Taman Negara is about 3 hour drive from KL and is one of the world’s oldest rain forests. There are many trails for hiking and seeing many plants and animals. You can also go white water rafting and fishing.
- Cameron Highlands is where many things are grown in Malaysia. This includes vegetables, tea, roses and strawberries. It is a great place for a weekend trip because it also has parks, waterfalls and shopping.
- Fraser’s Hill is another good weekend retreat. Here you will find jungle walks, waterfalls, horse riding trails and even a roller skating rink.
What can I do?
The most popular sports are football (soccer), badminton and cricket. Many of the country clubs have sports facilities.
KL junior athletics is for children between 4 and 14 years old while there is a children’s cross country running event called the Hash that usually takes place through rubber plantations.
Kids Sports offer two activity centres, one in KL, the other in a suburb called Bangsar. They offer great entertainment including gymnastics, aerobics, dance, computer games and many other fun activities.
Malaysia has many festivals and holidays because they have diverse cultures.
Hari Raya Puasa is enjoyed by Muslims after a month of fasting during Ramadan. It begins by praying in brightly decorated mosques and then families and friends visit to celebrate, enjoy each other’s company and eat lots of great food.
Chinese New Year is the most important festival in the Chinese community. Marking the first day of the Chinese calendar it begins with a reunion dinner of family members. Ang Pow gifts of money in red packets are offered to children by the elders. Lion and dragon dances and clanging cymbals are also a big part of the celebrations.
Deepavali, celebrated by the Hindus symbolising the triumph of goodness over evil is also known as the Festival of Lights. Special clay lamps filled with oil and wicks light up Hindu homes and a visit to the temples is customary on Deepavali morning. Of course special Indian foods are always served.
What type of food will I eat?
You will enjoy many new foods in Malaysia and the great thing is that it you can any type of food.
Roti Canai is a pancake served with plain curry sauce or can be wrapped in meat or vegetables. Satay is a small kebab of chicken, beef or mutton and served with a rick peanut sauce. Of course, you will find some of your home country food available in Malaysia. Other dishes are chicken curry, rendang, rice with coconut milk and many exotic but tasty fruits.
Don’t’ worry you can still have some of your favourites like McDonald’s, Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Just remember that Muslims and Indians eat with their right hand and Muslims do not eat pork.
You are going to a country with many things to see and do. You will make many new friends, eat new foods, see new things, learn about new customs and perhaps learn a new language.