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Malaysia - Culture Smart!: the essential guide to customs & culture Paperback – June 3, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Culture Smart! has come to the rescue of hapless travellers, Sunday Times Travel - ...the perfect introduction to the weird, wonderful and downright odd quirks and customs of various countries, Global Travel - ...full of fascinating, as well as common sense, tips to help you avoid embarrassing faux pas, Observer - ...as useful as they are entertaining, Easy Jet Magazine - ...offer glimpses into the psyche of a faraway world, New York Times.

About the Author

VICTOR KING is Professor of South-East Asian Studies at the University of Leeds and Executive Director of the White Rose East Asia Center, a joint research—training venture in Chinese and Japanese Studies between the East Asian Studies departments at Leeds and Sheffield. He spent most of his career in the University of Hull, where he was Director of the Center for South-East Asian Studies, Dean of Social and Political Sciences, Director of the Graduate School, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor. He has undertaken anthropological and sociological research on Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei, and supervised research projects on these and other countries. A frequent visitor to Malaysia and the wider region, he has written extensively on its societies and cultures. He has recently coauthored an anthropological study of Southeast Asia, written an introduction to the sociology of change in the region, and coedited a book on tourism in Southeast Asia.
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Product Details

  • Series: Culture Smart!
  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Kuperard (June 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857334574
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857334579
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.5 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #873,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Scott C. Locklin VINE VOICE on July 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I actually read this after my trip to Malaysia. It's pretty good: I think in broad strokes, it gets most of the important things correct. However, there were a lot of things I learned about on my trip, whether from simple observation, or from talking to locals, that were not covered here, but which should have been covered. It also fails to get the *feel* of the place right.
Malaysia is a tremendously complex place, legacies of British colonialism and the aftermath. While the book does mention the different tribes of people who make this place home, it doesn't mention how they are different. I don't even remember the book mentioning the natives in any detail (he does mention Dayaks, but I was under the impression that there are other tribes). Typical of Westerners, who don't like to talk about such things, he doesn't talk about the social position of the different tribes at all, or the various political upheavals which got them this way. It's a difficult and painful subject, and this dumb American said a few things which violated the local version of political correctness. From my observations: the Malay upper classes own everything. The Chinese effectively run all the businesses (many of which are owned by Malays). The Indians comprise a lot of the manual laboring classes. Vietnamese people (an important group of recent immigrants) work in the factories. Malays are the dominant tribe (as one would expect) make up all levels of society. There were horrific race riots mostly involving resentments against Chinese people, and the insurgency seemed to be funded by China as well. These are huge sore spots still, with Chinese residents.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TheFivePillars on June 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
This pocket sized little book covers general travel advice such as food and where to stay. But it also does a little more than that - it explains how not to put your foot in it when communicating with the locals.

It also does this in a fun way that is aimed at both the casual traveller and those travelling to Malaysia on business. The chapter on business etiquette is both informative and very interesting.

This is an indispensable guide and make sure you take a copy if you intend to visit Malaysia. It will certainly help you to get the most out of your trip.
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By Ama Su Nilia on January 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you have never been to South-East Asia and Malaysia is the first country you visit, this is a book for you, as you will find a good wrap-up of dos and don'ts while visiting the country, things that are important for you to show respect and courtesy to locals, and for you to earn the respect of the locals as well.

If you have been to South-East Asia before, then, the book is too basic and you might need to check other books to dig into Malaysian culture. and nuances. Many local ways of courtesy are similar to those of neighbouring country, so you already have an advantage and know many of the things said here.

Overall, the book is well written, clear and very useful. A bit to basic, perhaps.
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I'm planning on visiting Malaysia in a few months, which is why I read this book. I'll probably be in a better position to write a review after I return from my vacation. That said, I found the book very informative. The author emphasized the importance of understanding how structured and polite Malaysian society is and how ethically and religiously diverse the nation is. He also gives detailed advise on attending and hosting business meetings and attending and hosting entertainment.
I found the book very informative.
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Malaysia - Culture Smart!: the essential guide to customs & culture
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