Thursday, October 29, 2020
Home India Indian Diaspora in Malaysia

Indian Diaspora in Malaysia

Malaysian Indians account 7.3% of the total population of Malaysia

By Akanksha Sharma

Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia, cleaved into two lands by the South China Sea. One part is located on a peninsula of Asian mainland which flaunts bustling cities, colonial architecture, tea- plantations and islands. Another part is located on the northern third island of Borneo which comprises of wild jungles orangutans, granite peaks and remote tribes.

India Malaysia locator. Wikimedia Commons
India Malaysia locator. Wikimedia Commons

Indian migration towards Malaysia

  • First Wave: Indians firstly arrived at Malaysia during the pre-colonial period, when Rajaraja Chola launched an attack via naval expedition conquering several Malay kingdoms.
  • Second Wave: In the second half 19th century, mainly Tamil and Telugu Indians were brought to Malaysia to work as laborers on plantation, ports, railway lines and ports.
  • Third Wave: After the 1990s, many Indians migrated to work as professionals mainly in IT sector and unskilled labor. There are also foreign spouses from the Indian subcontinent who married local Indians.

Today, Indian community consists of mostly Tamils (80%), followed by Keralites, Andhrites, Bengalis, Punjabis, Sindhis and Gujaratis. Malaysian Indians account 7.3% of the total population of Malaysia. A major portion of Indian community is engaged in rubber and palm plantation and a smaller section works in services like railways, police and food business.

Malaysian India Congress is the largest and oldest Indian political party in Malaysia. According to www.indiandiaspora.nic.in, at present, it has got 14 seats in Malaysian parliament which include one Cabinet Post, two Deputy Minister’s post and two Parliamentary secretary’s post.

Related Article: Ramli Ibrahim: A Malaysian steeped in Indian classical dances

Indian community has contributed enormously towards Malaysian cuisine

  • Indian Muslim restaurants and stalls are referred to as ‘Mamak’. The word ‘Mamak’ is a Tamil term for maternal uncle or ‘Maa-ma’. These restaurants are popular for dishes like Roti Canai (flattened bread) , Nasi kendar (steamed rice) and Posembur (Malaysian Salad).

    Roti Canai , Wikimedia Commons
  • Indian cuisine in Malaysia is mostly based on South Indian cuisine. Dishes like Idli, Vada and Dosa are very common for breakfast.
  • Snacks like Murrukku and Banana chips are made to mark on Deepavali.
  • Sweets like pasayum, halva and ghee balls are also very popular.

 Indian Malaysian Festivals

  • Thaipusam– the biggest Hindu festival is celebrated every year. It falls in the Tamil month of Thai ( January-February). It is devoted to Lord ‘Murugan’ and ‘Kartikeya’, the son of Shiva and Paravati. The celebration takes place on a huge scale at the Batu Caves. Devotees carry Kavadi , a wooden arc , as an act of atonement on this festival.

Devotes celebrating Thaipusam at Batu Caves, Malaysia. Wikimedia Commons

  • The popular Hindu festival ‘Festival of Lights’ – Deepavali is also celebrated by Hindu communities.
  • Pongal the Harvest festival is celebrated among Tamils and Onam is most popular among  the Malayalee community.
  • Other festivals like Makar Sankranti and Lohri are also celebrated.
  • Indian Muslims celebrate Ramadan.

Akanksha is a student of journalism in New Delhi. Twitter @Akanksha4117

 

 

 

STAY CONNECTED

19,120FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,780FollowersFollow

Most Popular

Trending Jewelry for the Celebration of Karwachauth

Karwachauth is a special occasion for married couples. In addition to its symbolic importance, women also lay emphasis on how they look. Karwachauth fashion is...

Here’s How to Make Equipment-Free Workout Effective

If you think going to a gym and using equipment is the only way to an effective workout, think again! "Your body" is the...

Connaught Place Witnesses Dull Business During Diwali

Even as the people have begun to venture out in the wake of relaxations in restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic, the footfall of potential...

Study Shows Rapid Decline of COVID Antibodies

Researchers in the UK have found that antibodies against COVID-19 declined rapidly in the hundreds of thousands of people across England. According to CNN, the...

High Intake of Vitamin A, E and D Leads to Fewer Respiratory Complaints

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have found that high intake of vitamins A, E, and D may be linked to...

Most Rely on Digital Communication to Stay Connected in Lockdown

COVID-19 has further accelerated the importance of digital connections in India, as a new survey on Wednesday revealed that nearly four out of five...

Scientists Reckon Risk of COVID Airborne Transmission

The continued increase in COVID-19 infections around the world has led scientists to study the dynamics of airborne transmission. In the study, published in the...

Hotel Occupancy Increased in India by 10-12% in September

The hospitality segment which was brought to a grinding halt by the pandemic is slowly witnessing an improvement in demand as hotel occupancy in...

Recent Comments