Malaysian Cultural Night 2014

About mcn

Every year, members of the Malaysian Students Association at University of Michigan (MiMSA) pour their hearts and souls into the Malaysian Cultural Night (MCN) in order to share their love for Malaysia with the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor community. This time around, we bring forward a similarly dazzling experience with a simple yet meaningful theme: "Motherland; To lose, To seek, To belong.". The event begins with an hour-long play incorporating cultural performances, after which our guests are invited to feast on authentic Malaysian delicacies while exploring more exciting aspects of Malaysian culture through our interactive booth exhibition.

"Motherland; To lose, To seek, To belong."

Erica, a 2nd generation Malaysian-American, loses her mother in an unfortunate accident. As a result, Erica and her younger brother embark on a journey back to their mother’s hometown; Malaysia, where they meet their long lost uncle who lives in a small village on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. Enthusiastic and comical, their uncle alleviates the situation but unintentionally makes the siblings feel like foreigners in Motherland as he helps them be accustomed to local cultures. Once the legal and traditional proceedings of their mother’s funeral are done, Erica unravels her mother’s past, ultimately redefining her identity through an internal struggle of wanting to remain in Motherland or the States. Sit back, enjoy, and allow our poignant tale to tug at your heartstrings while tickling your funny bone, leaving you to ponder.

Full Trailer


March 30th, 2014


6pm - 9pm

Power Center for the Performing Arts

Free Admission

We have closed the registration due to overwhelming response.


Malay Dance

Joget is a traditional Malay dance that originated in Malacca. The dance is one of the most popular folk dances in Malaysia and normally performed by couples in cultural festivals, weddings and other social functions. The tempo of Joget music is fairly quick with playful teasing between the dance partners. The second dance, Asmaradana, is a mixture of contemporary and traditional dance, adapted from a movie about the Malay legend, "Puteri Gunung Ledang". The song's lyrics describe how powerful and eternal true love is.

Indian Dance

Malaysia is made up of a melting pot of races, ethnicities and backgrounds, of which one of them is the Indians. Within the Indian community of Malaysia, there exist several groups, of which we aim to express via both the classical and modern steps. Therefore, the "Indian" dance serves as a fusion of modern and classical choreography that reflects the diversity even within the Indian community. The performance this year consists of a fusion of Bollywood, garba and traditional dance styles coupled with pulsating music.

Lion Dance

Lion Dance is a form of traditional dance in the Chinese Culture, in which performers mimic a lion's movements in a lion costume. The lion expresses joy and happiness. From the fourth to the fifteenth day of the New Year, lion dance groups go from door to door in Malaysian neighborhoods to perform. The Lion Dance also plays an important role in the consecration of temples and other events such as business openings, planting and harvest times, official celebrations, and religious rites.

Chinese Dance

The early Chinese folk dances were essentially ritual enactments of superstitious beliefs performed in the hope of a good harvest. The Chinese fan dance originated from ceremonial rituals as well. Today, fan dances are a representation of beauty, grace, skill, tradition and history. Furthermore, it can still be used at ceremonies and Chinese celebrations, such as the Chinese New Year.


The Malaysian choir team will be presenting "Standing in the Eyes of the World" by Ella, which is translated into the three main languages found in our motherland. This strongly highlights the multicultural diversity of Malaysia. Following that, we will be singing "Shine Your Way". Sit back, relax and enjoy this highly entertaining performance by the Malaysian students.


Nasi Lemak (Fragrant Coconut Rice)

Nasi Lemak is a fragrant rice dish cooked with coconut milk. This Malaysian favorite is an absolute all rounder; it is eaten as breakfast, lunch, dinner and even supper. The traditional version of Nasi Lemak is accompanied with sambal (spicy sauce), boiled egg, sliced cucumbers, fried anchovies and peanuts wrapped in banana leaves.

Rendang Ayam (Chicken Rendang)

Rendang ayam is a spicy curry where the chicken is slow-cooked with coconut milk and spices until it becomes tender. The rich and spicy coconut sauce eventually turns thick and brown with a hint of citrus from the kaffir lime leaves as well as the lemon grass. Rendang is a common fixture during Malay festivals.

Kuih Sago Merah (Sago Cake)

Kuih sago merah features sago or tapioca pearls, one of the common Malay dessert ingredients, as its main ingredient. The pearls are boiled in pandan-flavored syrup until they turn transparent. These bite-size cakes are rolled in grated coconut before being served for breakfast or tea.

Bingka Ubi (Baked Tapioca Cake)

Bingka ubi is a traditional dessert of Peranakan origin (a term describing the early Chinese immigrants to Malaya). Grated tapioca is mixed with a bit of tapioca flour, coconut milk and sugar and then baked to perfection giving the brown crust on top.


Murukku is a traditional snack of the Malaysian Indians where its recipe originates from Southern India. Rice and urad dhal flour make up the main ingredients of murukku. These savory crunchy spirals usually become treats for the Diwali festival.

Sirap Limau (Lime Syrup)

Sirap limau is a popular drink in Malaysia. It is made of red syrup with a hint of lime, giving it a refreshing taste in the tropical climate of Malaysia. The red color of this drink is traditionally obtained from the rose flower hence also adding a bit of rose flavor to it.


Batik (Textile Art)

The word 'batik' originates from the Javanese 'titik', which means to dot. This refers to the cloth decorating technique, whereby wax patterns are first drawn onto the fabrics and then dye is administered. Batik or fabrics with the traditional batik patterns are found in many countries, including Malaysia. Malaysian batik is found especially on the east coast, in states such as Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang. The most popular motifs are leaves and flowers, although the butterfly theme is also common. The Malaysian batik is also famous for its geometrical designs, such as spirals.

Tanglung (Chinese lantern)

Chinese lantern, also known as “Tanglung”, plays a prominent role in Chinese History that symbolizes civilization and prosperity of a country. Commonly used in the ancient times as means of illumination, Tanglung had become a unique identity for Chinese particularly during festival, such as the Mid-Autumn Festival, and wedding ceremony. Do stop by and take the chance to make your own red Tanglung!

Kuah Kacang & Nasi Impit

Peanut sauce (Kuah Kacang) is widely used in the cuisines of Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, China and Africa. Known for versatility, it perfectly complements raw or cooked vegetables, chicken, beef or shrimps satay and of course, nasi impit (pressed rice). The secret to good peanut sauce is "not too thick and not too watery” and hopefully, you will enjoy our peanut sauce today, which will be eaten together with pressed rice (Nasi Impit)!


Centuries ago, henna or commonly known in the Indian culture as Mehendi was used for its cooling effect during the summer. As the realized henna leaves a strong color on the skin, it was also used as body decoration. Now, it is a popular tradition to apply henna on the bride’s hands before marriage, and this tradition is fun-filled with lots of games and music played as the bride is adorned with beautiful patterns of henna.

Trivia and Tourism Malaysia

There’s more to explore about Malaysia beyond the great performances that you are going to watch that evening. A place where heavenly food, distinct mix and fusion of cultures, nature sightseeing and colorful history collide, it is our “home” and we hope to get you excited about what makes Malaysia thick through our interactive and non-intimidating trivia quiz and an information section on traveling in Malaysia.

Photo booth

This year, our photo booth is inspired by traditional wooden houses, which was once a common rural scene before independence on 1957. So, do spot us with the small wooden stall. Some performance props (from this MCN or past years’) and traditional costumes are available for those who want to dress up. If you don’t have a camera, we’ll take your pictures and upload it on the Malaysian Cultural Night Facebook page.


MCN 2014 Teaser

MCN 2014 Full Trailer

Official Poster

Official poster of the Malaysian Cultural Night 2014

Heartfelt Thanks

Arts at Michigan

Asian Languages and Cultures

Center for Southeast Asian Studies

Center for World Performance Studies

Central Student Government

Confucius Institute

Education Malaysia Chicago

International Institute

Islamic Studies Program

Kaplan Test Prep

Language Resource Center

LSA Student Government

Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives

Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs and William Monroe Trotter Multicultural Center

Residence Halls Association

Tourism Malaysia

U-M Provost Office

Individual Contributors

Our tirelessly committed Malaysian members

YOU -- our dearest and esteemed guests!