Exploring the Impact of 3 Popular Culture in Malaysia on the Younger Generation

Exploring the Impact of 3 Popular Culture in Malaysia on the Younger Generation

Malaysia is a country known for its diverse culture and heritage, blending traditions from Malay, Chinese, Indian, and other ethnicities. In recent years, the younger generation has been exposed to Western and Korean cultures, leading to a bicultural shift in the country. This article aims to discuss how 3 popular cultures in Malaysia, namely Western, Korean, and Malay culture have impacted the younger generation.

The Western Influence

Western culture has been influential in Malaysia since the country’s independence. English is taught as a second language in schools, and Western music, movies, and fashion are widely available. Malaysian youth have been influenced by Western culture in various ways. For instance, they have adopted a more individualistic lifestyle, challenging traditional Malaysian values of collectivism. Additionally, Western culture values self-expression, and young Malaysians have embraced this through social media and fashion trends.

The influence of Western culture has not been all positive. Young Malaysians have been exposed to excessive materialism, resulting in a rise in consumerism. This trend has resulted in many Malaysians acquiring more debt in the form of credit cards and personal loans. Additionally, Western cultural norms and beliefs have also challenged traditional Malaysian culture, leading to a sense of identity crisis for some young Malaysians.

The Korean Wave

The popularity of Korean culture in Malaysia has grown exponentially in recent years, with K-dramas, K-pop, and K-beauty gaining a massive following among Malaysian youth. The Korean Wave, also known as Hallyu, has impacted Malaysian youth in various ways. Fans of K-pop and K-dramas are known to emulate the Korean style of dress and grooming, consuming Korean beauty products and following cultural practices such as eating Korean cuisine.

The Korean Wave has also impacted the Malaysian economy. The number of Korean-owned businesses in Malaysia has increased considerably, with more Korean restaurants and beauty stores operating in major Malaysian cities.

Despite the positive influence of Korean culture in Malaysia, there are also some negative impacts. The Korean Wave has led to a rise in consumerism, with many young Malaysians purchasing Korean products they cannot afford. Additionally, some Malaysians have developed an unrealistic perception of beauty, aiming to achieve unrealistic Korean beauty standards.

The Malay Culture

The Malay culture is the dominant culture in Malaysia, with much of the country’s traditional values and heritage rooted in Malay culture. The younger generation is exposed to Malay culture from a young age, learning traditional values and practices through family, school, and religious institutions. Malay culture promotes collectivism, respect for elders, and family values, which Malaysian youth still hold in high regard.

The promotion of Malay culture has also had some negative impacts. Malaysians who do not identify with Malay culture may feel excluded or alienated. Additionally, Malay culture can be seen as limiting, with little flexibility outside of traditional norms and practices.


In conclusion, the impacts of Western, Korean, and Malay culture on the younger generation in Malaysia have been significant. While each culture brings unique and desirable values, there are also negative impacts on Malaysian youth. As Malaysia continues to develop and grow, it’s essential to strike a balance between traditional values and modern influences. Through embracing Malaysia’s rich and diverse culture, the younger generation can foster a unique identity that values tradition while utilizing modern influences.

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