Intercultural relationships in Malaysia


We invite you to share some fun anecdotes and information regarding intercultural marriages and relationships in Malaysia. This will provide some insight to current and future expats regarding relationship norms in mixed relationships and marriages in Malaysia.

What are some of the best things about being in an intercultural relationship/marriage?

What are some challenges that you have faced or are currently facing? How do you address them?

Are intercultural relationships/marriages common and accepted in Malaysia?

What are the benefits to being in an intercultural relationship/marriage?

Do you have any fun or interesting anecdotes to share regarding dating norms and rules for intercultural relationships/marriages?

Thank you for sharing your experience,


I don't have this experience but in my view world is the home of human either they are belongs from different part of the world.Love has a various emotions it's all about feelings.Love never ask where are you from who you are?they just only need happy life.People get chance to exchange culture and many more.

I am married to a local and I am British. Misunderstandings etc can arise due to the cultural differences. Being from the UK I am independent and have relied little on my family, leaving home at 17, getting a part-time job to finance my way through university.
So it was a big shock for me to have so much 'assistance' and 'interference' from my in-laws even when we were married and living in our own place. This involved our finances, our house purchase, how we named and brought up our kids, etc. I am fortunate in that my parents in law have treated me well, I hear many horror stories but I must say I had to allow their culture to supersede mine particularly in the early days. Currently, my kids are grown and living abroad so now I am more relaxed and take everything with a pinch of salt, if I want to engage I do, if not I just stay away and do my own thing. It works for me.

I was there jus for two weeks, it’s anaz how people treat me like a real human, not like object like here in USA..I really need to come back but I do need help from people who live there..

It’s me again what I try to say is amazing country and the people it’s great, I live here in USA, but I never feel my self so loving, so I will like to come back, but I don’t know how things work there, can please someone help me and explain me. Were I can stArt my journey to Malaysia?

I am an ex-malaysian with a Western partner.  We often visit Malaysia and enjoyed the food and environment.  Currently seeking a visa to stay long term.

Our challenges stems from me when I return to Malaysia; this is when I pick up the accent and pronounce the road names in Malay.  Whereas my partner pronounces them in the "English way".  You can imagine the mis-heard words whilst I was guiding him as he drives.  He used to say I am his GPS from USA directing him in France.  We sound so wrong. The way he reads malay words or sound them is so different from a person who understands the language.

Sometimes I forget that to him "kiri and kanan" does not mean left or right; just funny sounding words.  I also tend to forget my multilingual capability is his handicap and eventual mine.  When I am ordering food in a restaurant,  I will be ordering in chinese and sometimes asking him in chinese if he agrees.

After many occasions of doing this - the poor man just nods.  Once we have some privacy he will say "what exotic foods are we having tonight?" with a wink.  We will both laugh, as this is when I realised I was not talking in English to him.

There will always be challenges but alot of acceptance will be required from one or two parties.  For me as someone who have been living overseas for most of my life, amalgamating the two cultures have become easier over time.  Whereas my partner still struggles at times as he has been in Europe and USA most of his life.  Asian culture and way of living and perspective are different from a Westerner; being able to laugh is always a good way to get around the hurdles.

Either through university education or a professional job (work permit)

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