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Cultural Values and Communication Norms: A Comparative Analysis of Two Cultures

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Communication is one of the most important aspects of our lives. It is a process that ties us together and helps us to get most of our work done. Communication plays a big role in transmitting cultural values from one generation to the next. Communication can be categorized as two; verbal and non verbal. In a multiracial country such as Malaysia good communication can be considered as a savior to keep everyone united. Being a multiracial country, it shows the existence of cultural diversity in Malaysia. Cultural diversity often leads to society’s biggest challenge.
For this paper, a comparison between my culture; the Indian culture; specifically the Hindu culture and the culture of the largest ethnic group in Malaysia; the Malay culture, will be made.
As we all know the Indian community in Malaysia is the smallest of the three main ethnic groups, accounting only 10% of the country’s population. Indians first came to Malaya when the barter trade started; beginning from traders coming from and to the former Straits Settlements of Singapore, Malacca and Penang. The Indians who came to Malaysia brought with them the Hindu culture such as the unique temples, delicious cuisines and colorful costumes. Hindu tradition remains strong until today within the Malaysian Indian community. Tamils, Malayalees and Telegu-speaking people make up over 85% of the people of Indian origin in the country. Among the reasons I chose to write on Indian culture is it being my roots and also to go deeper to learn more about my own culture.
Indian culture actually has a big influence to the Malay culture, which is why I chose to make a comparison for these two cultures. Early Malay literature is almost completely derived from Hindu epics; Ramayana and t...


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...itayama, S. & Ishii, K. (2002). Word and Voice: Spontaneous Attention to Emotional Utterances in Two Languages. Cognition and Emotion, 16(1), 29-59.
9. Lailawati Mohd Salleh, (2005). High/Low Context Communication: The Malaysian Malay Style. Association for Business Communication Annual Convention, Association for Business Communication. Ohio University
10. Osman-Gani, A.A. & Tan, J.S. (2002). Influence of Culture on Negotiation Styles of Asian Managers: An Empirical Study of Major Cultural/Ethnic Groups in Singapore. Thunderbird International Business Review, 44(6), 819-839.
11. Philippidis, A. (1999). Wrong Gifts May Tick Off Potential Trading Partners. Westchester County Business Journal, 38(41), 6.
12. Wafa, S.A., Tee, L.I. (1997). Malaysian Managers: A Study of Their Personality Traits and Conflict-Handling Behavior. Malaysian Management Review, 32(3), 42-54.


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