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Cultural Values And Communication Norms: A Comparative Analysis Of Two Cultures

2192 words - 9 pages

Communication is one of the most important aspects of our lives. It is a process that ties us together and helps us to get most of our work done. Communication plays a big role in transmitting cultural values from one generation to the next. Communication can be categorized as two; verbal and non verbal. In a multiracial country such as Malaysia good communication can be considered as a savior to keep everyone united. Being a multiracial country, it shows the existence of cultural diversity in Malaysia. Cultural diversity often leads to society’s biggest challenge.
For this paper, a comparison between my culture; the Indian culture; specifically the Hindu culture and the culture of the largest ethnic group in Malaysia; the Malay culture, will be made.
As we all know the Indian community in Malaysia is the smallest of the three main ethnic groups, accounting only 10% of the country’s population. Indians first came to Malaya when the barter trade started; beginning from traders coming from and to the former Straits Settlements of Singapore, Malacca and Penang. The Indians who came to Malaysia brought with them the Hindu culture such as the unique temples, delicious cuisines and colorful costumes. Hindu tradition remains strong until today within the Malaysian Indian community. Tamils, Malayalees and Telegu-speaking people make up over 85% of the people of Indian origin in the country. Among the reasons I chose to write on Indian culture is it being my roots and also to go deeper to learn more about my own culture.
Indian culture actually has a big influence to the Malay culture, which is why I chose to make a comparison for these two cultures. Early Malay literature is almost completely derived from Hindu epics; Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Even today, a major portion of Malay vocabulary is made up of Sanskrit words such as, putera (son), belantara (jungle), etc. Malay is the largest ethnic group in Malaysia and Malay language is their mother tongue. Malay language is Malaysia’s official language.
Before we go deeper into the communication aspect, let us analyse the general cultural values from these two major ethnic in Malaysia. The Hofstede Model of Cultural Dimensions can be a great use when it comes to analyzing cultures. Hofstede basically treats all Malaysian cultures equally. However, as based on the Hofstede Model of Cultural Dimensions, to compare both the Malaysian Malay and Indian cultures, both of these cultures actually falls under the high-context culture. High-context communication involves emotions and close relationships while low-context interactions use the logical part of the brain and are less personal. However, this does not mean these two cultures are equally the same with one another as there are similarities and differences between these two cultures.
As there are many aspects of cultures that can be studied and described about the two cultures, only few major aspects of cultural values will be discussed in this...

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