Malaysia

The Malays, long linked to the land as bumiputra, or sons or princes of the soil, generally prefer the sound of a cock crowing in the morning and crickets at night to noisy traffic horns and congested sidewalks.

As farmers and fishermen living in close-knit neighbourhoods, rural Malays cherish the simplicity of an uncluttered outdoor life.

Islam – the binding spirit : though the rift between the farm and the city widens as years go by, it does not threaten the strong unity the Malays drive from a comman faith. The laws of islam immediately set a Malay apart from his fellow Malaysians.

Pork, a food relished by the Chinese, is forbidden to the muslim Malays. Intermarriage between races is uncommon, though Malays will accept a foreigner into the family if he or she is a muslim.