Characteristics Of Orang Asli

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TION The Orang Asli are the indigenous peoples of Peninsular Malaysia. They number 180,000, representing a mere 0.6% of the national population. Sociologists usually distinguish five properties as characteristic of minority groups (Wagley and Harris, 1958). A minority group is unequally treated by the dominant group. The differences of physical or cultural traits of the minority group often looked down by the dominant group. Despite that, a minority group also has a self-consciousness of oneness. They will think their identities as Orang Asli are special and unique. One can only get the status or identity as Orang Asli when they are born as Orang Asli. The members of a minority group, by decision needed, usually marry within their own group.…show more content…
They are differently viewed from their clothing, looking, hairstyle, and complexion. Common physical characteristic shared by the tribes of Orang Asli are flat nose, darker skin colour, curly hair, dark iris, thick lips and shirtless clothing. One superior example to illustrate will be the Negritos tribes. According to the research by Endom Ismail (2013), Negritos of Peninsular Malaysia have physical features which strongly resemble the African pygmies rather than any of the other main South East Asian ethnic groups. In addition, he also claimed that their features are also completely different from the two other large sub-groups of the Peninsular Malaysia Orang Asli, which are Senoi and Proto-Malay. Negritos are having dark, more Africanized appearance and complexion, and extremely curly hair. These physical characteristics are bare none to be found in today Malaysia’s society and even will not be adopted by the dominant group’s appearance judging standards. Therefore, these will be the criteria for the dominant groups or majorities to categorise the Orang Asli into the minority since they are so prominent and they have the resemblance of apes “Orang…show more content…
Their languages are totally differentiable from the majorities’ but are only well-understood among the Orang Asli’s tribes. Linguistically, Negritos and Senoi tribes use Mon-Kher language with most of the vocabulary in it (Nicholas, 1997). This Orang Asli’s languages are originated from the Aslian and Autroasiatic vocabulary which is the composition and transition of Kher and Mon of Vietnamese and Munda language from India (Masron, Masami, & Ismail, 2010). Since languages serve as the basic for multiculturalism, the Orang Asli’s languages are impossible to be popularised to become the medium for cultural interactions, especially the dominant groups. The reason is that people are often resisting and sensitive against the languages which are unknown to them. Those languages may create sense of unkindness and disagreements. Therefore, Orang Asli faces the difficulty in assimilating with the majorities which resulted in being isolated and remain in the subordinate

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