Malaysian culture is unique. Regardless of one’s position, occupation, or relationship to us, we have our own special way of calling each other. It makes no sense at all, but it’s friendly and that’s the way we Malaysians like it. Here are 10 ways Malaysians love calling each other.
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In Malaysia, whether it is the Mamak waiter, the taxi driver, or the barber, anyone can be called a boss and you don’t work for any of them. Funny isn’t it? But it’s surely respectful.
Means older brother or sister in Malay. It is courteous to call our older Malay friends Bang or Kak even though you don’t know them. But remember never to call a sister Makcik.
Anneh is a Tamil language which literally means ‘elder brother’. It is especially common to use it at the Mamak stalls when ordering food or to scare the sh*t out of our little kids when they do not listen.
Macha actually means brother-in-law in Tamil but when you call your friend “Macha~~!!!” in a loud tone it somehow gives a firm pledge to your brotherhood.
Means big brother in Cantonese. When you call any Chinese Taiko, you’ll make them feel confident and respectful. You give them the oomph! Give it a try, but don’t quote us okay.
When you meet any older Chinese man, you call him Tauke which means boss in the Hokkien dialect. You can never go wrong since 9 out of 10 Chinese men run a business. It is also a form of ‘giving face’, you know lah Chinese 🙂
7) Leng Chai/ Leng Lui
Means handsome boy and pretty girl in the Cantonese dialect. When you call any Chinese leng chai or leng lui, you send them to the moon and back. Yes you can call anyone that (even though you do not think so).
A friendly way to call your guy friend. If you would like to emphasize the brotherhood, you can call your friend ‘brothaaa’ instead of the short form ‘bro’. The longer the word, the stronger your brotherhood is.
In Malaysia, you don’t need to be relatives or family to call the elderly Uncle or Auntie. This is what makes us all Malaysians one family.
10) Dato’ or Tan Sri
We don’t mean calling the Real-Dato’ Dato’ here. We mean calling our friends who are obviously-not-Dato’ Dato’. You salute and greet them loud too. Likewise you can call them ‘Tan Sri’. This is how friendship works right Dato’?