In Malay, the phrase Tanah Airku translates to “my motherland.” #Tanahairku is a campaign that asks artists to create murals to explore what Malaysia means to them and all the identities and cultures that the country contains. There is also an art exhibit alongside this campaign that showcases several dozen Malaysian commercials that focus on celebrating the nation’s diversity and unity. This mural is called “The Village and the City,” located at Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur.
Another mural in the Tanah Airku series named “Makmur, Teguh, Luhur.” This translates to prosperous, strong, sublime.
Another mural in the Tanah Airku series. This one is titled “Brave."
National Mosque before evening prayer, Kuala Lumpur.
A special exhibit at the Islamic Arts Museum, featuring Khayamiya, a form of tent-making unique to Egypt.
The beautiful architecture in the Islamic Arts Museum, Kuala Lumpur.
These arches line the main street in Brickfields, also known as Little India.
Stairs up to Batu Caves, a famous Hindu temple which was previously a mining area, Kuala Lumpur.
Loved seeing Carlina while she was in town for Fulbright training!
Nasi Lemak in Kampung Baru, famous street hawker stalls, Kuala Lumpur.
Even though it was much too short, loved having LiLi come to visit!
Petronas Twin Towers at night, Kuala Lumpur City Center.
Devotees making their way up the stairs at Batu Caves for Thaipusam, a Hindu celebration to thank Murugan for granting their prayers.
Devotees gather for prayers and blessings from priests in the main section of Batu Caves.
Devotee dances to traditional song and drums outside the entrance to Batu Caves.
Sorting through new merchandise for Earth Heir from the Mah Meri women.
View from a fishing village, George Town, Penang.
As the Chinese New Year approaches, decorations are popping up all over Asia. Lim Jetty in George Town, Penang is no different!
George Town, the capital of Penang, is marked by its colonial architecture, left over from a brief residency by the British East India Company.
Captain Francis Light established the town in order to create a strategic place for the British to gain ownership over the Chinese and Indian trading routes. Interestingly enough, many Indian and Chinese immigrants came to George Town during this time and continued to establish their presence, even after the British were kicked out from the area by Sultan Abdullah Mukarram Shah. Today, the city is well-known for many Tamil and Chinese restaurants, handicrafts, and festivals.
Penang is known for two things: food and street art. The famous murals are done by Ernest Zacharevic, a Lithuanian artist who is sometimes called the "Malaysian Banksy."
The food in Malaysia has been some of the best on my trip—from Chinese to Indian to Malay cuisine—but the best way to do it all is the night hawker stalls. Cheap, fast, and always the most delicious.