The multicultural Malaysia & BorneoPublished Jul 6, 2016
Malaysia is a multicultural country with amazing people and colorful sceneries. Three stories from Kuala Lumpur and Borneo show how non-racist and wonderful Malay are!
Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia. It is a city full of life. In Kuala Lumpur you can enjoy shopping in malls, nightlife and street food with a variety of flavors. From Kuala Lumpur you can take a flight to reach Borneo, the second biggest island, with an awesome sea and spectacular mountains.
Story No 1
He is around 35 years old, he is a sea diver and he loves underwater photography (and I am telling you I was thrilled of his pictures!)
"I come from a poor family. When I was young, around 16 years old, I was working in a diving center as an assistant, carrying the diving bottles. One day my boss told me that I earned the annual bonus as the best employee of the year. I told him that I didn’t want an extra salary, I wanted to have the training to get the diving license."
He liked photography, but he had no money to buy a camera. One day, he found a camera under the sea. He started shooting. After a few weeks and in order to get some extra pocket money, he started to take photos of the tourists in the retreat hotel where he was working. One year after, his mother got sick and he had to sell that camera. A year later, he met an American tourist who was angry of his "useless camera, with these bad pictures!"
"I asked him if he needs any help. He was quite mad and arrogant, but he challenged me “It’s a waste of money, you can do nothing!!”. It was the first time I used a digital camera. I checked the settings, the lighting and I started shooting. When he saw the pictures, he couldn’t believe it. He wanted to give me some money, but his wife insisted to give me the camera. And so, I had a camera again!!»
Today, he is the co-founder of a diving center. He works as a scuba instructor and he enjoys underwater photography.
"I became better photographer when I stopped taking pictures only to earn some more money, and suddenly I was earning more money!"
At the end he talked about his mother.
"She always had a way to teach me without being strict. When I was a kid, I didn’t like rice. So she used soya to draw letters on my rice, and for me it was a funny game to eat the letters"
Story No 2
I am asking from some guys how to get to the train station. They are probably Malaysian Chinese. One of them, helped me with the directions and he asked me where I am from.
“From Greece”, I said…
"You are beautiful" he says, and he starts singing in Bruno Mars’s rhythm as I am already on the escalator going up to the platforms.
When I see your face
There's not a thing that I would change
Cause you're amazing, Just the way you are
I have a bright smile on my face and I am walking towards to the platforms.
There are three young students waiting for the next train. I take a deep breath and I am asking if it is possible to sing “Happy Birthday” to my friend back in Athens. You see, Maria, a close friend, had birthday that day. They were quite shy, but they were pleased and excited to help me with that. After a few minutes, they started singing while I was taking the video with my mobile camera.
Story No 3
That day was hot. Me and my friend were waiting for the bus to get to the National Park while a car with a young driver and two girls wearing hijab, stopped and asked if we need any help.
"No thanks," I said, feeling suspicious and a little bit awkward.
“We can help you!”
"Thanks, but we are going to the National Park, we can get the bus"
"We can take you there, if you want, please don’t be afraid, we are kind people"
After a quick eye-talk with my friend, we are all in the car heading to the park.
“We enjoy helping tourists who visit our city and it is a way also for us to meet people from other countries.”
The following day, Khatijah and Shafick, picked us up from the hostel to get us to the airport, even though our flight was early in the morning and on the time for their morning prayer.
«Malay people are not racist. I was in a Christian school and it was fine! »
People in Malaysia are from different nationalities and different religions. Muslims, Indians, Chinese... a bunch of different cultures in a country that people carrying respect to each other. Thus, you can have an understanding of the train wagon that it is allowed only to women.
Well, if people you meet and the moments you share with them matter more when you travel, the cultural Malaysia and spectacular Borneo, was one of the most beautiful trips I’ve ever done!
Follow me to the next country… Ireland