Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Culture Shock! Malaysia

ReviewReviewReviewMar 18, '12 2:10 PM
for everyone

Genre: Travel
Author:Heidi Munan

Culture Shock! Malaysia from Heidi Munan Is one of my most wanted books ever . I was looking for it 5 years ago and now i am very happy to own it after finding it on amazon.co.uk on mid February this year.

Before to continuing , I will pass thru some history. Several years ago I bought a related book from a 'local' bookstore from UK called "Malay customs and traditions" edited by Alwi BIn Sheikh Alhady which is quite informative though as old as me (published on 61!!!)

MY aim was to look for a similar but more recent book of the above. Since that time after 'hard googling' i found Heidi's which was unfortunately out of order. And was very happy to find it again and intended not to lose the opportunity to own a copy of it !

Being an old customer of Amazon since 2000 I was very much disappointed with their policy not to accept drafts checks or cash even by remittance. This made me stop any communications with them. But never resigned.

In mid February, in my work place a friend and mate of me assisted me in ordering the book. He is also a subscriber of Amazon and owns a credit card . One of the reasons he accepted was the reason to hurry before the book was out of stock . But kudos to all (him and Amazon ) that the process was very successful with the books arriving in order , just one week with the proper packing. Also even to him as he forwarded to me all the correspondence before and after the dispatch .

Unfortunately my mate did not assist me further for ordering again from Amazon , forcing me for something I never intended to do: own a credit card. The second order has already been made and is 'on the road' and again comprises to books related to Malaysia , you will see more in later postings here !

Now back to the books of the first order :

My order comprised of these books:

  • Culture shock Malaysia /Heidi Munan
  • Culture smart ! Malaysia
  • Collins Malay phrasebook with CD.

Here I will post only a short [p]review for the two related books (C!shock and C!smart ) after two blazingly fast readings

Culture shock! Malaysia will  be the first part of this review !

This book from Heidi (woman) Munan, the editor , has different perspective from what I was expecting though not so much disappointing. Initially my interest was to be at the highest detail possible for the ethics and traditions of Malay people as nearly as Alhady's traditions etc (look at the start of this post) with the aim to do a special study .
It has a very nice design, Magazine style, with many greyscale pictures and colourful pages, separated from the text in two parts Each chapter starts with a funny picture followed by a proverb or a sentence by a famous person There are several short examples from her life, mentioned as anecdotes in small separated boxes. And a very female point of view !!

Here is a short description of the book :
Heidi gets into analysis for the soon to be resident in Malaysia. The book also shows in highly abridged form (as related to Alhady's detailed info of ca 70 pages ) the traditions and the festivities of not only the Malays but the Chinese and Indian . She has her story of finding a maid there. But also some interesting info on the different ways of cooking in between the 3 nationalities .

  • A short part with lessons of Malay and several phrases of 'Manglish' such as can ah? How can or the hybrid 'lets go for makan '
  • A quite useful chapter with some at a glance interesting point such as telephones , info on the country (reminds me the CIA fact book), several famous people as Mahathir Mohd , Siti Nurhaliza , P Ramlee , Zang Toi , Jimmy Cho
  • A quiz with some comments
  • A short history of the country in the first chapters of the book in just 7 pages , 2 of them with pictures.
  • A resource part with telephones and addresses including internet, hotels accommodation and entertainment
  • And a book reference on the end

One of the most interesting points I liked was that pointing with your finger is very rude . The correct way is pointing with your thumb on the top of your loose fistful (though still somehow rude as she notices). This is also noticed in one book review in the Amazon store page,as well in the other book.

Anyway this book is comes with lots of interesting info Rating for me 3.5/5

Next part  will be for Culture smart

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