Malaysia - Culture

When I come to realise I’m becoming more Malaysian

I write down the moment when I realise I’m becoming more Malaysian.


1. Put chilli padi & soy sauce for everything

I never used it at first in Malaysia.

2. Enjoying breakfast makan time at office

There is no such time at office in my country Japan.

3. Stopping to use indicator when driving a car shifting the lanes, without realising it

In my country Japan, it is illegal not using indicator even when shifting lanes.

4. RM8 meal became standard when eating out

Rm15…!? Expensive lah!! In my country Japan, I cannot eat anything with Rm15…well, maybe cheap Gyudon (Beef bowl)….

5. Started practicing to drink warm water

I think this is influence from Chinese friends/colleagues. They say drinking cold water is not good for your health.

6. Craving Nasi Lemak bungkus at least once a week

I did not like Nasi Lemak first few months in Malaysia, thought it’s strange and heavy. Now…I’m addicted…trying not to have more than once a week, not good for healthy diet.

7. Spoken Chinese by Chinese passer-by people in Chinese/Cantonese without fail

99.99% of Chinese Malaysians speak to me in Chinese/Cantonese. I feel how critical I need to learn Chinese language…! One time, a taxi driver repeatedly saying to me as many as 5 times…”Aiyo—you look Chinese Malaysian! Not Japanese!”

8. Started feeling new year begins in February

This must be brainwash from Kong Xi Fatt Zai song hearing everywhere now….my new year starting used to be 1st of January. No more, 1st of January became just a one day off, while Japan has nearly whole week off from 1st Jan for cerebration of new year. Japan used to have Chinese calendar though, as our Japan culture has some similarity to Chinese culture.

9. Putting on weight

I don’t make excuse…lol I was skinnier before coming to Malaysia. The reason could be lot more chances of eating carbohydrate and lot less walking in this car society. And, addiction to Nasi Lemak.

10. Feeling scared walking outside even daytime

Some areas are safe, like Chinese local kopitiuam towns. Though, basically cannot walk along the big roads. If I do that, it’s so obvious and become target for motorbike snatcher.

11. Drive the car for 10-15 mins walk distance

The reason is related to above, also influence from Malaysian people. Safety, hot weather etc…

12. Firmly hold my bag on the other side of road when walking

Avoiding motorbike snatcher. Already 5 of my Japanese friends/aquaintances are victim of motorbike snatcher. Nealy 10 if including local friends. I never need to do this in Japan.

13. Stopped putting my bag in front seat of the car

Your bag may be taken by snatcher too if you do this. My Japanese friends also experienced this. Glass broken, bag taken. Both when parking, also when stopping at red light.

14. Not speaking my own language for a long time, sometimes for like a month

I often forget to speak Japanese especially business formal ones…seriously. Because I don’t converse in Japanese in my daily life. I sometimes mistakenly speak English to Japanese friends without realising it.

12. Started using ‘Lah’, ‘Alamak’

Influence from friends…I tend to copy language sometimes unconsciously. Lah is the one of them. Though, I don’t practice yet for ‘Meh’, ‘Lor’, ‘Leh’, ‘Arh’, ‘Bo’, ‘Liao’ etcetc…

13. Becoming feeling normal to have swimming pool and gym at home (condominium)

At first I felt I was a celebrity. My condominium housing has swimming pool and gym! My unit is so spacious! It’s impossible in Japan…I’m celebrity ya! Now I feel it’s just normal.

14. I get used to be asked ‘How much is your rent?’ from first time meeting person

Not just friends, first-time meeting people, like Grab drivers, or friend’s acquaintance…who I just met for the first time, often ask me ‘How much is your rent?’

I was quite stunned for the first period in Malaysia being asked the price of rent from who I don’t know well yet. Now I’m used to it…..(They never ask me my age, my income, my weight for the first time meeting….but they ask me price of my rent!)

15. Started feeling my own country is inconvenient

Was Japan supposed to be advanced country…? Now I feel opposite way…inconvenient. No Grab allowed. No Airbnb allowed unless holding proper official permission. Everything is on paper, process time is so long…Tax too high, Petrol too high…cannot survive there lah!

16. Malaysia is more comfortable living than my own country

This is what I feel now, after 3 years of Malaysia life. Now I’m seeking the way I settle here permanently. Japan is still great country for traveling for me. Though, living there is another story.


I add some more extra, when 4 years passed, now my 5th years of living Malaysia.

17. Finally started speaking in Bahasa Malaysia

I struggled to learn bahasa, its difficult for me. When I was in Indonesia, tidak is as ‘ti-da’, you can pronounce as it is. Over here, tidak is ‘ta’. ‘Saya tidak hendak’ is shorten to ‘tak nak’. ‘Apa’ sounds in formal and informal different too. Found out that spoken malay comes with English too, as saya to I. Also English is widely spoken here, opposed to Japan, nearly no one can speak English, so I have been spoiled.

Finally…saya boleh cakap bahasa sikit.

Saya dari Jepun, tingglal 4 tahun. Saya suka Nasi Lemak. Saya belajar lagi.


I list up as much as possible what made me feel I’m becoming more Malaysian. There must be few more that I am forgetting, I will add if I remember.

I feel so natural living here, just except local language inability (Bahasa Malay, Chinese, etc…), other than that, Malaysia laid back culture suits me comfortably.