The rich history of Malaysia began over 50,000 years ago with the migration of an indigenous people from Africa. These people, called Orang Asli, hunted and gathered food and lived off the land. With three individual tribes, they thrived and became the first people to inhabit what is now Malaysia. The Semang, Senoi, and Proto-Malay soon became many people with many different languages, customs, and ways of life. Thousands of years later, other migrating people came to the land for its resources and enslaved its inhabitants. Considered the “early people”, their ancestors still live deep in the hills today.
Malaysia is a country with a tumultuous past. Formerly known as Malaya during its earliest history and occupations by other nations, experienced many influences. One of the biggest cultural influences came from India. India influenced Malaysia for hundreds of years before other countries like Arabia arrived. From 100 BC to 1400 AD, Indian culture swept through the land. Temples, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Indian culture were the main ways of life.
In 1400 AD, Arabia traveled to Malaysia. With them came the Islamic religion. Although the Hindu religion was still a great part of the country, Islam became the country’s main religion.
The European empires discovered the richness of Malaysia’s land and wanted to make it theirs. Portugal conquered Malaysia first, followed by the Dutch, and finally Britain. During World War II, Japan briefly interrupted Britain’s occupation. Soon after losing the war, Japan retreated out of the country, leaving British rule to continue. In 1963, the name officially changed to Malaysia and became the country that it is today.
Modern day Malaysia is prosperous and thriving. One of the most civilized countries in South East Asia, Malaysia stopped relying on mining and agriculture. The country’s economy switched to manufacturing. Ranked high in the world’s economical standings, the country continues to do well.
Kuala Lumpur, the capital, is the largest city in the country. This city is the center point of Malaysia and the home of the Sri Mahamariamman Temple. Constructed by India in 1873 as a place of Hindu worship, this mosque represents one of the different cultures that have touched Malaysia. The Sri Mahamariamman Temple is the oldest and most important in Kuala Lumpur.
The Batu Caves are located just outside of the capital. Consisting of limestone tunnels and chambers, this site is one of the many Hindu places of worship. Standing right in front of the caves is the 42-meter high statue of Lord Muragan, a Hindu god. This is one of Malaysia’s most popular attractions.
Climate in the country is typically warm and sunny. The country is full of lush rainforests such as the Royal Belum. The Royal Belum is vibrant with animal and plant life.
Malaysia’s incredibly deep history and promising future makes this country one of the most interesting places in the world.
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