You Know You're Becoming Malaysian When...

7:43 PM


After nearly 11 months in the country, I consider myself pretty Malaysian. Here's some of the habits/ ticks/ words I and other exchange students have picked up that have made us "Malaysianized"

You know you've been Malaysianized when...

  • You know when to use lah, leh, lo, lor, meh, and ma all correctly
  • You know the pros and cons of using DiGi, Maxis and Celcom
  • Why do like this meh? is a completely okay question to ask
  • You don't go out if it rains. Or even the day after it rains if it's a bad storm. Actually the rain stops all plans, and who wants to deal with the jam anyways??
  • You think of KL people as city folk
  • "We see how first" are words to live by
  • You know the words for eat and tea in Tamil, Malay, and a few dialects of Chinese
  • Complaining about how hot it is while soaking in the aircon/ fan is a completely justifiable way to spend a day
  • As is going on facebook, twitter, and 9gag for 7 hours straight
  • School holiday? Sleep until noon
  • You know you should be studying but instead go on to twitter to complain about how much homework you have to do
  • Shaving is optional
  • You know at least 1 Malay and Tamil song
  • You know whether to call someone "anne" or "abang"
  • You'd rather call a women that looks slightly older kakak than deal with the consequences of calling an older looking woman that's young mak cik
  • Arguing with the taxi drivers to use the metre isn't so difficult
  • Crossing a busy street? No problem, use the hand
  • You know how to use chopsticks and eat with your hands
  • You've slowly forgotten how to eat with a knife...
  • You get scolded by the prefects for not buttoning your baju kurung 
  • You know what food stall at the canteen has the best food on what days
  • There are people in your class that speak better English than you
  • You know exactly what drama went down on twitter last night
  • You always take a Chinese friend with you to eat dimsum because the dimsum women always try and rip you off
  • People back in the US don't understand your English
  • It's really hard to understand a non-Malaysian accent
  • It's really difficult to form an English sentence without using a Malay or Chinese word
  • You've used the phrase "special discount untuk mat salleh boleh cakap bahasa melayu" countless times
  • You get really angry when someone thinks you're a tourist
  • Hearing someone talking about you in Malay and approaching them and saying saya boleh faham bm is the best. thing. ever.
  • You've never watched a Korean drama but still know what's going on in at least 3 of them from your talkative classmates
  • It's second nature to bring tissue with you everywhere
  • You've learned to not be offended when a Chinese or a Malay auntie tells you how fat you've gotten
  • Whatsapp is crucial to survival
  • You can't go more than one week without eating roti canai or nasi lemak...
  • ... or one day without eating some form of nasi
  • You can tell how sweet the teh o ais is going to be based on the race of the pak cik or mak cik that makes it
  • You know what night market is open when and where
  • You feel vaguely uncomfortable when you're in a new place and the call to prayer goes off and it's not the one you're used to
  • You can tell what app someone is using on their phone based on the azan it plays
  • You know what the call to prayer sounds like on at least 3 different radio stations
  • You start to spell things the British way
  • You know and taste the difference between Malay and Chinese char kuey teow
  • You know which way to fold and your banana leaf and what it means after eating banana leaf rice
  • Everyone goes to you with their problems because they know you don't know the names of anyone in school still
  • Life without roti scares the crap out of you
  • The GE is all you can talk about
  • You laugh at the amount of political flags hanging up
  • You still don't know the name of two girls in your class
  • You know the LRT and Monorail system better than your host family
  • The Starbucks baristas know you by name because you hang out there so often
  • Malaysians know more about American pop culture than you
  • You still can't recognize school people when they're not wearing their uniform
  • People start ridiculous rumors about you (I DID NOT MOVE TO CHINA FOR 2 WEEKS)
  • It doesn't phase you when you find out it was your English teacher that started the rumor
  • You're tired and lazy all the time
  • Going on a run is literally a joke
  • People keep telling you the rainy season sudah pass but it still rains everyday
  • There is no such thing as too much milo
  • You started saying going back to America instead of going home, because Malaysia is home
  • You don't know if you have friends/ who your friends are back home, but that's okay
  • The thought of leaving Malaysia makes you cry. Really, really hard.
  • You know that you'll be back one day!!

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27 comments

  1. You can always come back. It's a pleasure having you here in Malaysia! :)

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  2. Please come again. Malaysia is your home :)

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  3. when r u goin to be back?
    do update okayy eventho ure not here!
    Take care ;(

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  4. Islam is the religion of Peace. May one day you will find the right path, no matter where you are.

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  5. Hahaha this is great! Special discount for orang mat saleh yang boleh cakap bm. XD
    Well I'm glad our people had made you feel like home here in Malaysia. :)

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  6. Wow, even though I'm a Malay, it seems like you're more Malay than I am! :D Totally Malaysianized!
    Looks like you love it here, glad that you do! :)

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  7. welcome back anytime~ so malaysian lah~

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  8. :(( i know you love it, but i miss you during the summer bebeeeee <3 let's go back to virginia and ride the two person bike in the rain again!

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  9. This: "You've never watched a Korean drama but still know what's going on in at least 3 of them from your talkative classmates"
    and this:
    "It's second nature to bring tissue with you everywhere"
    Terbaikkkk

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  10. good luck for your undertakings..
    ...^^...

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  11. Malaysia always welcomes you, minah saleh yang boleh faham bm ;)

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  12. Crossing a busy street? No problem, use the hand.

    It's really difficult to form an English sentence without using a Malay or Chinese word.

    Glad that you've enjoyed your year here. All the best in your future undertakings.

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  13. i am amazed...you are more Malaysian than me and some ppl i know..hahha
    glad u gain so much on ur stay here~

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  14. Congrats! You have proven that u r totally Malaysian!

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  15. Post awak yang ini buat saya senyum hehe:)

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  16. comelnyeee budak Hannah ni.. *cubit pipi* hahaha

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  17. Hannah..you have hit the right buttons on your comments, i could not have done better myself as a Malaysian.
    Hope you will come back again to Malaysia after your tenure is over!

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  18. Hi Hannah, I like reading and understanding Malaysia thru your perspective and experiences. Looking forward to knowing how things will be for you when you're back to the States. Do keep posting! :D And yeah, feel free to call Malaysia your home, 1Malaysia 1Hannah :p Take care.

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  19. haha it strikes me on how true all your points turn out to be. gosh you remind me how to be malaysian again (currently studying abroad)

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  20. Enjoy reading as always. .this is your home girl.. .I love you and ben bradshaw gigi putih...bcoz I know americans are usually ignorance of things outside the country.. I once told a lady I'm from Malaysia when she "pow" my cigarette at Cleveland airport and asked me back which part of Mexico Malaysia is? Damn..that's the furthest she could think of

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  21. Tempat yang kita jatuh lagi kita ingat bukan? inikan pula tempat yang memberikan banyak kenangan manis.. jemput datang kembali ke malaysia, banyak tempat dah berubah, banyak tempat yang belum kamu lawati lagi bukan?

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  22. Yes, it is pretty nice post which shows that you are true Malaysian!

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  23. Haha, it's not that crucial for not having Whatsapp on our phones. Anyway, do you have that phone app?

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  24. where did you studied when you was in malaysia ? which school ?

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  25. You forgot something: It's completely normal to see/use toilet paper to wipe your mouth and utensils with in food stalls and coffee shops =)

    ReplyDelete

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