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Cultural Freedom

What comes across your mind when culture becomes the topic of a conversation? Is it the distinctive arts that is now put on display in museums, for the whole world to see?  Or maybe, it is the unique outfits that were creatively designed by our late ancestors? Culture is generally defined as the art and other manifestations of human intellectual achievements regarded collectively. This art is more than just physical goods. It is, too, practiced in the mind, instilling moral values into the mind and soul. It is no surprise that cultures are still highly practiced in some countries. After all, this is prime to make a nation distinctive.  

 If you are wondering of a land where diverse cultures are freely practiced, then look no further, for this can be found in our very own homeland. Malaysia is a country with many races and religions living together harmoniously. Being identified as “Asia in Miniature”, the various traditions and beliefs that are practiced within this country would have not been possible if there were no freedom accepted. The very first of our ancestors had lived in this beloved land as a native tribe. As generation marches on, these tribes soon evolved into the 3 main races we have come to know of today, which are Malay, Chinese and Indian. They have made their marks upon arrival, influencing the practiced cultures up to this day.

 Other ethnics, including the British and Arabic, have also influenced Malaysia in some ways. The Malays, who account for majority of the Malaysian population, uses Bahasa Malaysia as their mother language. Moving to the eastern region of Malaysia, Sarawak tribes are classified as Dayaks. This is just one of the many aborigines still existing in Malaysia. They are normally comprised of traditional ethnics living in rural places of Malaysia. Yes, they live independently; living in long houses, finding their own food sources, and even make their own clothes from scratch. For the Chinese, they have been settling in Malaysia for many generations. Being Malaysia’s second largest ethnic group, the common Chinese dialects spoken in Malaysia are Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka and Hainanese.

 On an artistic note, traditional Malaysian arts mainly focus on the crafts of carving or weaving, ranging from handwoven baskets to handicrafts of other materials. Textiles such as the batik, Songket and Tekat are often used for decorations, as it is a beauty for its pattern. 

 I personally believe that society had grown to become more accepting of these various cultures, letting one another embrace their own cultural beliefs without an issue rising. Despite this major improvement, there are still conceited individuals who are lost in their stuck-up oblivion. As we grow older and wiser, we must never abandon the cultures that our ancestors had long practiced. It should, instead, be appreciated and remembered for generations to come. Everyone is important, not one is any lesser than the other. The easier we come to learn to accept one another, - and the cultures that come along - the better our nation will grow as a whole.

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