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Concepts You need to know to Understand the Malays (1)

Even though I am born from Arab and Indian parents, I have always see myself as part of the Malay community. The food I eat, the language I speak, the people whom I regard as my best of friends and my views about life and society are all shaped by my experiences with the Malays.

Indeed, I love the Malays so much that I ended up marrying one of them. But what is it really about the Malays that made an Arab-Indian like me want to be part of the community? Here are some concepts which Malays hold on too which made us such a lovely group of people. These concepts have now been forgotten by many of us who are now influenced by the culture of materialism and individualism.

I must say though that these concepts may not be unique to the Malays themselves and can be part of other cultures. Precisely because of this tst the Malay World has been a melting pot of so many different people.

There are 10 concepts so let’s start with the first one which we should put to action in our daily dealings:

1) Harmony (or keharmonian)

Malays love living in harmony with one another and shun argumentation and unnecessary debates. Little wonder that when we read many of the old Malay hikayats, much emphasis is placed on avoiding conflict and battles.

Bersatu (unity) is emphasized in these texts and in society to ensure that people live harmoniously. To maintain harmony in the Malay society, a lot of effort has been put in to teach the young people Adab (refined mannerisms) to shape their personalities and the ways by which they communicate with elders and other members of society.

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