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Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Every country has its own religions, superstitions and beliefs. While most countries are made up with one race, Malaysia is a multi-racial country and consists of Malays, Chinese and Indians.

Since I’m a Chinese Malaysian, I will start off with Chinese ones which come parallel with those from Hong Kong or China.

Chinese superstitions

Nians scared by a firecracker

1.   During Chinese New Year (aka Lunar New Year), we play firecrackers to ward off the monster “Nian” that carries an appearance of a lion, with a single horn on its head. Folklore says that Nian is afraid of red things, noise and lights as well as clean environments. 

2.   When being inside the woods (doesn't matter day or night), you never supposed to call someone by real names: only use nicknames. Or, evil spirits will lock you in their realms and you won’t be able to escape ever again. 

3.   During pregnancy, a pregnant woman must not cut or sew anything on her bed or the newborn child might have a torn or ugly mouth.

Malay superstitions

Sayuri dressed up like a ghost. Not sure it's whether Pontianak though.
Read more about Sayuri here

1.    Bomoh (Malay shaman) started off around the 1980s and is very well known among the Malay society. Till this very day, even a few Chinese and Indians have been summoning a bomoh by performing rituals.

2.    Pontianak (a female vampire) is believed to reside in a banana tree during the day, and they are usually pale-skinned women with long hair dressed in white. Some say they have a beautiful appearance to prey on men. How do you know if they are nearby? Soft baby cries. Ok, that’s creepy.

3.   Malays believe that pregnant women should not kill animals either accidentally or intentionally because their child will take up the features of the animal.

Indian superstitions

The younger feeding the older
1.   On Diwali night, Indian folks gamble. Legend says that goddess Parvati played Chusar with her husband and won the game. She was amused and gave a boon to whoever gambles on Diwali night that brings prosperity throughout the year.

2.  To Indians, crow symbolizes karma and is regarded as ancestors. So offering food to crows is thought of as an act of pacifying the hunger of ancestors.

3.   Indians believe that during an eclipse pregnant women must not wander out, as it is believed that the Sun is swallowed up by the demon. Therefore, they must stay indoors in order to ensure that their babies are not born with deformities. Also, pregnant women are often not allowed to sew or cut vegetables during an eclipse.

Lastly, the feng shui. No doubt it’s a Chinese belief, however, people’s mindset changes and even Malays and Indians apply to it nowadays. Feng shui discusses "invisible forces" that bind the universe, earth, and humanity together, better known as qi.

Now that you got to know about some superstitions in Malaysia, how about telling us a little about yours too?

More Malaysia


Written by Elley

Born, fed and grew up in Malaysia and have a strong interest in Korean language & culture too. Love travelling and taking pictures that doesn't seems attractive to others and believe that determination brings success in the future.

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