Malaysian Culture Highlighted by Awareness Week

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The Malaysian Student Association participated in South and Southeast Asian Languages Awareness Week by hosting a Malaysian food exhibit.

Participants got a taste of Malaysia’s multi-ethnic culture through traditional food, educational videos and trivia questions.

Tom yam bihun and nasi goreng cina were among the first dishes served at the Malaysian food exhibit.

The Food

The food: nasi goring cina, karipap, tom yam bihun, homemade by members of MASA, was a hit with attendees.

The group also demonstrated how to make teh tarik, a popular pulled Malaysian tea.

The Malaysian Student Association printed out recipes so participants can recreate their favorites at home.

Ashley Chong, president of the Malaysian Student Association, said finding authentic ingredients can be challenging in Athens. Some ingredients can be found in the area stores, but many require traveling to a bigger city. Even then, the recipe may not turn out as expected.

“Just because it is the same ingredient doesn’t mean it will taste the same as home, just because you probably sourced it from a different source, or a different method,” Chong said. “That’s why a lot of times you won’t be able to replicate the taste of the food we have back home, but it’s better than nothing.”

MASA member Abdullah Razali said his favorite part of the event was the food.

“I think it really shows what Malaysia is, the variety of food that we have, with different race and different culture mixing together, and that truly represents what Malaysia is,” he said.

Cultural Awareness

Chong said these cultural events help break down stereotypes.

“A lot of people have misconceptions about Malaysia, the most common one being there’s only Muslims in our country, or it’s mostly a forest,” she said. “Simple misconceptions like that can be fixed with one event like this.”

Members of MASA were proud to show off their culture, and explained what it feels like to live in Malaysia.

“Malaysia is a country which is very friendly, where you meet very friendly people who are really very respectful, and you will meet people from different backgrounds,” Razali said.

South and Southeast Asian Languages Awareness Week will continue this week, featuring Indonesian dance lessons and a Thai novels exhibit.