One of Toronto’s greatest culinary discoveries is satay, the popular Malay dish consisting of meat barbecued on bamboo skewers and dipped in sweet chili and peanut sauce. Satay, along with the experience of eating a communal meal around a fire, is offered at the Malaysian restaurants that have sprung up in the city in the last two decades.
Malaysia, located in Southeast Asia, is a member country of the Commonwealth. Formed in 1963, Malaysia comprises the Federation of Malaya, Sarawak, and Sabah. Its population includes the Malays, Chinese, Indians, and other ethnic groups.
Between 1973 and 1980, Malaysian clerical workers arrived in Canada, followed by industrial labourers and professionals in the areas of science, engineering, math, and medicine. Students also form part of the Malaysian population. The Malaysian government is the only foreign administration to have established a separate students’ department in Toronto to look after the welfare of its students.
The Malaysian Association of Canada serves as a meeting place for Malaysian and Singapore nationals, and assists newcomers in adjusting to Canadian society. Community organizations and student associations also encourage an awareness of Malaysian cultural traditions. Holidays are celebrated with festivals that include exhibitions of art, food, fashion and other aspects of life in Malaysia.
THE BIRTHDAY OF HIS MAJESTY, YANG DI-PERTUAN AGONG is celebrated on June 7. The country is an independent constitutional monarchy and the date is set aside by the government to honour the supreme head of state.
MALAYSIA DAY is August 31. In 1948, Great Britain established the nine Malay states as the Federation of Malaya. Full independence was achieved in 1957. In 1963, Malaysia became a sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations.
MALAYSIAN ASSOCIATION OF CANADA, (Tel. 416-618 0966, Fax 905-629-0421, 89 Donalda Cres). A non-profit organization bringing together Malaysians and non-Malaysians through educational, social, cultural, and economic activities. President: Gopal Simon.
Traditional and local costumes of Malaysian people.