Religions and religious taboos in Malaysia


Malaysia is comprised of three ethnic groups, Malay, Malaysian Chinese and Malaysian Indians, with different religions, cultures and customs. 90% of Malay population believe in Islam. Most Malaysian Chinese believe in Buddhism and Taoism, while the Malaysian Indians believe in Hinduism. It's stipulated in the Malaysian constitution that the Islam is the official religion of Malaysia. Most Muslims in Malaysia belong to the Sunnite.

The Muslims in Malaysia are generally pious. They pray five times a day and show great respect to the people who have been to Mecca for hadj. September in the Islamic calendar is the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. In that period, they are normally forbidden to eat during the daytime and permitted to eat at night, except for those people who are ill, old, vulnerable, pregnant or who are out for traveling.

The Malay generally love eating spicy food and are prohibited to eat pork. In Malaysia, the males normally do not take the initiative to shake hands with the females, unless the females reach out hands first. The people in there think that the left hands are filthy and do not receive or hand over anything by their left hands. They are prohibited to point at people or roadside with forefinger, cross their legs when sitting or touch the heads of the children with their hands. Alcohol is forbidden in Malaysia, so does printing images of animals and people on the objects. The mosques are where the Muslims hold the religious rituals. When they are open to public, the females should wear robes and kaffiyehs, otherwise they will be refused to enter the mosques.

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