Traveling in Asia can be fascinating since life happens out on the streets. People meet, talk, eat, sleep, and party outside. It is the total opposite of life in many western countries where most activity takes place indoors, and where streets are mostly devoid of people except for the ones in their cars.
In Asia you can just walk around and you will find something going on in most places. I live in Thailand which is primarily a Thai culture with some Chinese and Muslim mixed in.
Malaysia, however, is a country (right next to Thailand) with three distinct cultural groups: Malays, Chinese and Indians. They all have their own languages, customs, festivals, religion and culture.
When I spent a month on the island of Penang in Malaysia, I stayed in the Indian district of town, called Little India. This is a colorful area with women dressed in bright saris, while men often dress in traditional Indian garb. Video shops blast out loud music day and night and street vendors are selling fruit, coconuts and sweets.
I came across several very entertaining events during my stay. One was a street party where young Indians put on a ‘cool’ dance performance. Although they blocked off the street, nobody would have thought of complaining. It was too much fun to watch, and the cars just found another route.
Luckily I had my video camera on me and I recorded the event. Such street parties are mixed in with temple ceremonies, shop opening parties, wedding processions, and musical performances. Penang, Malaysia, is one of the most pleasant cities in southeast Asia and well worth a visit.