About Art and Design in Kuala Lumpur
Although Kuala Lumpur isn't known for its museums or art galleries, it boasts a few unknown gems and thriving music, theater and performing arts scenes. As young Malaysians are highly connected to trends worldwide, they are quite sophisticated consumers of all things culture. Major international bands and performers regularly stop over on their Asian tours. So from eye-popping traditional Chinese opera, to Shakespeare, to sly comedies, to modern Malay musicals, Kuala Lumpur has something for everyone.
While Malaysian performers, writers and artists continually push the envelope in terms of what they can present to the public, this is still a majority Muslim, conservative country. So don't expect potty-mouthed rappers or Lady GaGa anytime soon.
As Malaysia has long been a cultural crossroads, and the arts and culture landscape reflects this. Given the high percentage of expatriates and foreigners living in Malaysia, a number of overseas acts frequently visit Kuala Lumpur. From comedies to traditional productions to international playwrights, any visitor can find something interesting on offer.
Politics & Economy
Malaysia is on track to become a developed economy by 2020. Dozens of multinational companies are now based in Malaysia, attracted by its terrific infrastructure, English-speaking workforce and strong regulatory environment. The ruling party, Barisan Nasional, has been in power since independence and has offered stable and consistent governance ever since.
From Jimmy Choo to Michelle Yeoh, Malaysia has produced some major international stars. Many talented Malaysians have left these shores and have made it big overseas. Recent examples include Tony Fernandes, who started the phenomenally successful regional low-cost airline AirAsia.
Every weekend Kuala Lumpur is host to a number of cultural, artistic and culinary events. To gain better insights into what's on offer on any given weekend, TimeOut Kuala Lumpur outlines what is on offer.
Depending on your interests, there are a number of museums which offer illuminating insights into the country and its history.
Holidays & Festivals
There are numerous ethnic and religious festivals every year in Malaysia - all official government holidays. The most prominent are Ramadhan, or the Muslim holy month of fasting. For the Chinese, their New Year involves weeks of festivities and performances. For the Indians, Deepavali and Thaipusam are amongst their most holy. For visitors, viewing or taking part in these festivities can be a highlight to any visit to Kuala Lumpur.
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