Malaysia: Entertainment & Leisure                         

  • Kite-flying is a favorite activity. Kites, called waus, are crafted in vibrant colors and patterns. Intricate floral cutouts are pasted on the kites, building up the design until the kite is ready for the bright paper tassels that complete the decoration. Kite construction is an ancient art passed down from the nobles of the Melakan court. Wau festivals are organized each year and draw participants from far away.

  • Another favorite pastime is top-spinning–a game requiring great strength, excellent timing and dexterity. Malaysian tops are not children’s' toys! A gasing, or spinning top, can weigh up to ten pounds and can sometimes be as large as a dinner plate. Gasing competitions are judged by the length of time each top spins. The tops are set spinning by unfurling a rope that has been wound around the top. A gasing expert can set one spinning for over an hour.

  • Silat, is a weaponless Malay art of self-defense and also a dance form that has existed in the Malay archipelago for hundreds of years. Like other martial arts, silat is often more about the spirit than the body.  Young people are especially drawn to this art. There are countless silat groups in Malaysia—each with their own style. Silat demonstrations are held during weddings, national celebrations and of course during silat competitions.

  • Sepak takraw is one of Malaysia's most popular sports. In a game reminiscent of hackey-sack (or perhaps the source of it), players use heels, soles, in-steps, thighs, shoulders and heads—everything but the hands—to keep the small rattan ball up in the air.