Malaysian Students Association
The Malaysian Students Association, MITMASA for short, is a club that aims to promote the Malaysian way of living and its quirks, as well as to alleviate any Malaysian's bout of homesickness - which naturally occurs aplenty given Malaysia’s unique culture and how drastically far we are from home (going home is expensive).
MITMASA welcomes all MIT community members, regardless of all factors that include but are not limited to nationality, ethnicity, height and sexual orientation. MITMASA also welcomes Malaysians and their friends who are in the vicinity of MIT.
The country of Malaysia is made of two distinct parts: Peninsular (West) Malaysia and East (Borneo) Malaysia. Wedged between Singapore and Thailand is Peninsular Malaysia, while East Malaysia shares borders with Brunei and Indonesia. Given the proximity and the history between Singapore and Malaysia, citizens of both countries share many common traits in culture and background, although almost 50 years of separate administration is quickly setting up a clear distinction between the nations.
The climate in Malaysia is hot and humid all year long. That is the equivalent of a never-ending summer in Boston. Our only relief comes in the form of two monsoon seasons that spans 8 months between the two of them, as well as the occasional Sumatra squalls. As such, do not be surprised if you hear Malaysians complain about the weather; it is a habit entrenched by years of climatal torment.
Malaysia is also 59 -70 % rainforest, with only approximately 11% pristine.
East Malaysia and Peninsular Malaysia have populations of 5.72 million and 22.5 million respectively, despite East Malaysia being larger in size. There are three major races: Malay (60.3%), Chinese (22.9%) and Indian (7.1%). It should be noted, however, that they are all Malaysians, first and foremost, and the racial makeup is reflective of the migration that occurred as far back as the 15th century.
Malaysia recognizes a multitude of cultural celebrations and festivals, which include Chinese New Year, Harvest festival, Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Deepavali and Christmas.
Malaysians are inordinately proud of their food, and will vehemently declare Malaysian food to be one of the best in the world. Experiencing Malaysian food is one of the main perks of the club, if not the best.
MITMASA traditionally holds welcoming dinners to new undergraduate and graduate students from Malaysia each year as well as two or three other celebrations, selected at the discretion of the MITMASA committee.
It is also not unheard of for MITMASA to have Malaysian food at all of their events.