Skip to main content

There are countless ways to delve into the culture of a country. You can chat to people, you can wander around streets or watch the local TV. One of the best ways to understand cultures quickly is through reading books newspapers and magazines.

In Melacca, Malaysia, I found that I didn’t even need to open a book to begin learning.

The following list is shelf categories from entrance backwards in a bookshop called MPH:

1 – Self Help
2 – Health and Fitness
3 – Family and Relationships
4 – Cooking
5 – Local Interest: Asian/Isamic
6 – Children’s
7 – Novels

Self Help books right at the front of the shop? Surely at least have a try at health, fitness, family and relationships before resorting to desperate literary measures.

I have, though, seen many a Malaysian reading books concerned with life, death and how to deal with both. My initial impression is of a culture where rules dictate everything from family values to fashion trends. Deviations from the prescribed norm can be remedied by helpful books such as these.

Having already received a few slaps on the wrist for inadvertently breaking a few bizarrely pointless rules, I can’t imagine it will be long before one of these books is passed my way. Perhaps this would be an appropriate further foray into Malay culture, but I’m not sure I’m that fussed – sorry!

Leave a Reply