BROADER HORIZONS: Raja Muda of Perlis Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail tells international students to get to know Malaysians and learn about local culture
KANGAR: RAJA Muda of Perlis Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail has urged international students to learn about Malaysian culture.
Speaking at the Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house held by Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) for its international students, Tuanku Syed Faizuddin told the students to mingle with locals to learn about the various religions and cultures and how Malaysians live together in harmony.
"It is best for you to interact with locals so that you can understand and get to know the people, learn about our culture and our traditions."
He said this could facilitate the international students' individual growth in terms of language, personality and intercultural communications.
He noted that, besides Hari Raya, Malaysians also celebrated other major festivals such as Chinese New Year, Deepavali and Christmas.
"As a multiethnic nation, we Malaysians have learnt to live harmoniously and embrace our diversity as a unique feature of Malaysia.
"Although some of us who are present here this evening do not celebrate Hari Raya or Eid, due to religious difference, in Malaysia it has become a shared celebration. In fact it is arguably the most celebrated occasion for Malaysians, regardless of their beliefs and backgrounds.
"For the students from overseas, I can tell that your move to Perlis must be a new and overwhelming experience. Being far away from your relatives and parents, I hope you will enjoy every moment and gain as much experience as you can while you are here.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure which can broaden your horizons and be as an eye opener."
He added that social integration between international students and Malaysians would take place when students took the time to immerse themselves in local culture.
"Studies show that this kind of integration serves as a bridging support for new students as they adapt to a new environment.
"I hope all international students at UniMAP can develop a love for Malaysia and stay away from wasteful activities that can tarnish the name of your own beloved country."
Tuanku Syed Faizuddin also reminded them to concentrate on their studies and self development so that they could contribute to their society and nation in the future.
"It is during this period that you will have the opportunity to interact with new friends of other nationalities. All of you have to grab this chance to expand your network and discover new insights. I myself had the opportunity to study abroad and it helped me to understand that, despite of our differences, we have many things in common. Therefore, we must not confine ourselves to our comfort zone and only mix with people from the same circle. Instead, we should take the initiative to get to know as many people and, make friends with everybody no matter who they are," he said.
The event was attended by more than 100 students from Vietnam, Uganda, United States, Japan, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei.