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This is how you will enjoy your Christmas in Malaysia
When you think about Malaysia, Christmas is probably the last thing that comes to mind. Yet, despite its small Christian population, Malaysia is always excited to celebrate with the rest of the world. This is a good thing for international students studying abroad during the holidays. When they can’t go home to spend Christmas with their families, they can still find plenty to do to spread holiday cheer in their host nation. Here are seven ways international students can enjoy a memorable Christmas in Malaysia.
1. Share Cultural Traditions
When you first arrived in Malaysia, you had to learn about their traditions and social customs — for example, allowing a male Malay to initiate hand-shaking first or wearing more conservative clothing. While studying abroad, you can share your Christmas traditions with your new Malaysian friends. According to a 2020 Department of Statistics Malaysia census report, Christians comprised only 18.7% of the population — most Malaysians consider themselves Muslim. However, while Christmas is a religious holiday in other parts of the world, it’s considered a fun, secular public holiday in Malaysia. Since Malaysians embrace it as a non-religious celebration, it’s a cultural exchange opportunity most locals will likely look forward to.
2. Host a Gathering for Other International Students
International students make many friends abroad — why not have a holiday party for those staying behind with you during your exchange program? Surely, they’ll be looking for people who share their holiday traditions. It’s also an excellent way to learn about other countries’ Christmas customs. Study abroad programs comprise students from all over the world. Sharing cuisines, Christmas-themed games, and stories from home will allow everyone to connect and create a wonderful holiday memory.
3. Meet Assignment Deadlines
With the excitement of upcoming holiday festivities, you may feel challenged to complete your assignments before winter break. However, submitting your work by the deadline is essential to ensure good grades. International students can beat procrastination by eliminating distractions so they can concentrate on the tasks at hand. Practicing time management and setting goals are effective ways to get assignments handed in on time. Of course, completing the semester’s work early means you’ll have more time to enjoy a memorable Christmas in Malaysia.
4. Visit a Local Bazaar
There’s no shortage of bazaars in Malaysia, where artisans and vendors flock to sell their handmade goods. You can find everything imaginable at bazaars, from apparel to candles to homemade treats and stationery. If anything, they’re fun to spend an afternoon during the holiday season. Feel free to speak with artists about their work and Christmas traditions. It’s an excellent way to learn more about Malaysian culture and customs.
5. Check Out the Menus
Without their family’s holiday fixings to satisfy taste buds, international students studying in Malaysia may want to go out to eat this Christmas. Restaurants typically have specials and seasonal offerings during the holiday season. Because Christmas is more secular in Malaysia, many people go out to eat rather than cook at home. Plus, you might come across restaurants that cater to ex-pats and foreigners, offering traditional Christmas meals you grew up with. If you’re not interested in eating out for Christmas, stopping by a local coffee shop for a hot beverage can also put you in the holiday spirit.
You might also want to read: ASIA EXCHANGE VISITS UNIVERSITI PUTRA MALAYSIA
Although you’re away from home for the holidays, you can give back to your new community in your host country through volunteering. Volunteering boosts your well-being and promotes personal development by improving other people’s lives. One study found that participating in volunteer work resulted in an 8.54% increase in mental health, a 7.35% increase in life satisfaction, and an 11.11% hike in social wellness. There was also a 4.3% drop in depression. While everyone else exchanges gifts this Christmas, give the gift of kindness to someone in need.
7. Take a Vacation
After working so hard this semester, you deserve a break. Consider taking a much-needed vacation to create a memorable Christmas for yourself. Travel throughout Malaysia and visit some of the nation’s most renowned landmarks and islands. You might also decide to fly to another country for the holidays. That’s one of the benefits of being an international student — you have the entire world at your fingertips.
International Students Can Celebrate Christmas in Malaysia
Being without your family, friends, and community may be a difficult adjustment for you during Christmas. For whatever reason you find yourself in Malaysia during the holidays, there are plenty of ways to make it memorable. Celebrate with the new friends you’ve made during your exchange program and with people in the community. You might even adopt some of Malaysia’s Christmas traditions as your own. Let this Christmas in Malaysia be a memory that lasts a lifetime.
Do you want to study abroad in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia? Find out more about Asia Exchange’s study abroad programs in Kuala Lumpur
Asia Exchange is a Finnish company providing study abroad opportunities in Asia Pacific for students worldwide. Want to get travel tips and new blog posts straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! If you have any questions about studying abroad, feel free to contact us! We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.