Selamat Datang from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

5.41am, Wednesday 18th January, Jalan Stesen Sentral, kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Morning folks, it’s 8am back in the Barossa so I’m wide awake early here – first stop on the trek through to Baltimore where we start our American adventure in a couple of days time. But I’m here in Kuala Lumpur – the satay capital of the world – and it’s an absolute madhouse as the month long celebrations for the Chinese New Year started two nights ago. I’ll see the Year of the Dragon festivities from two different parts of the world – Petaling Street or Chinatown here in KL, and Chinatown in Manhattan where we’ll see the parade on the 23rd of January, which is the actual ‘New Year’s Day’.

But first, I have a local cultural dress moment for you. Last night I went for a walk and found the ‘tudung’ store. What is a tudung? The Malaysian equivalent to the hajib, the head dress worn by believers in the Muslim faith. Here in Malaysia over the last few years, it is not only associated with faith and cultural dress, but has become quite the fashion item. Here’s where I had my first lesson in tudung fashion – note the jeweled pin under the chin that secures the scarf in place.

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PS ‘Selamat Datang’ means ‘welcome’ in Malaysian

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