Global Influencers Praise Malaysia's Culture, Hospitality

nternational influencers play a pivotal role in promoting a country through their extensive reach on various social media platforms. And, it helps if they have stay in a country like Malaysia long enough to appreciate its diverse cultures and natural attractions, creating content that can captivate their audience and spark interest in potential travellers.  

Bernama tracked down three influencers who came to Malaysia to either study or visit with very little knowledge of the country but ended up falling in love with Malaysian hospitality as well as its diversity.  

All three have thousands of followers and their reviews about the country have made Malaysia even more popular among young travellers.

One of them Alana Dunsmore, 23, is a TikToker and YouTuber from Scotland with nearly 140,000 followers on TikTok and 133,000 subscribers on YouTube. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at a local university and has been vlogging (video blogging) since October 2022.

Dunsmore said she did not know much about Malaysia when she came here to study five years ago but ended up appreciating its cultural richness and cuisines. In her own words, Malaysia is a “heaven for foodies” and an excellent place to improve one’s intercultural communication skills.

In one of her videos, she said she once encountered a caring Malaysian who reminded her to be more careful with her belongings whenever she was out on the street.

“… I was in Bukit Bintang (Kuala Lumpur) outside Giant grocer, and a guy came over to me and my friend  and at first, I thought, what is going on here?

“…and then he said, ‘Hey, I’m really sorry, but can you please be careful with your camera?’ I was blogging at that time and it was so kind that he approached and told me to be cautious ...,” she said. 



In a number of other videos, which have gone viral among social media users, Dunsmore is seen taking her mother and a cousin out to sample popular Malaysian food such as cendolnasi kandarpisang goreng and even jalebi, an Indian delicacy. 

Dunsmore also shared local customs such as the tradition of removing one’s footwear before entering a house. She also spoke about how Malaysians wave their hand to stop oncoming vehicles before crossing a busy road, a method she considered effective.  

Alana converted to Islam in November 2023 and is set to be married to a local man, Abbas Mahmood.

"Living in Malaysia has also taught me to queue up (at a restaurant if it is full) ... whereas in the United Kingdom, we would never queue for food. If a room (restaurant) is full, we will just go to another place, but that is not how it works in Malaysia.”

Another thing she found amusing is the tendency for Malaysians to address elderly persons as aunty or uncle even if they are not related. 

“… which is to say that it's a term of endearment that really makes you feel you know that person. (There’s also) a practice of bowing when we greet someone to show our respect, which I think is definitely something we could learn to do in the UK," she added.

Dunsmore also shared videos of her exploring various cultures in the country and told her followers how she was drawn to Malay culture and Islam.

In November last year, the lass converted to Islam. She said: “To those looking to convert to Islam, I strongly advise them to speak to Muslim friends about the fundamentals and eventually, you will get a lot of answers.”  



A Kuala Lumpur-based content creator and part-time model, who only wants to be known as Lilith, said she came to Malaysia from the United States in 2020 for her tertiary education and has grown to love the country. 

A blogger and TikToker with 116,300 followers, she said Malaysia offers a relatively lower cost of living, adding that accommodation, food, transportation and entertainment are generally more affordable, making it a cost-effective option for students when compared to other tertiary education destinations.

Lilith (left) and her friend.

Not only that, she noted that English is widely spoken and used as a medium of instruction in Malaysia, making it easier for foreigners including international students to adjust to the local lifestyle.

She said she is also amazed by the variety of exotic local fruits such as duku and mangosteen that are available in Malaysia. She also likes the slang terms used by the various communities. 

“I love your slang. Lah, mah, weh … Just so much fun. I hope you guys don’t mind if I use them!” she said in one of her videos, adding when she first came to Malaysia, she felt left out because “I couldn’t understand what the people were talking about”.

Most of the time, Lilith stays in Kuala Lumpur but whenever she has time, she would visit other parts of the country such as Melaka and Langkawi (Kedah). In fact, she has created 473 short films featuring content filmed in Malaysia, which have accumulated more than 3.6 million likes and 7.6 million views at the time of writing.



Meanwhile, TikToker Victoria Seergeva, 23, who hails from Belarus and has 48,100 followers, said she was taken in by Malaysia’s Eid (Hari Raya Aidilfitri) celebrations, heralded by the elaborate decor at shopping malls. 

“Me and my boyfriend came to Malaysia for almost three months (in 2023) specifically for the Hari Raya celebrations and what amazed us was that every corner of the mall will remind you about the event (Hari Raya), so you should come to see and feel the amazing ambience,” she said in a video posted on TikTok on May 3, 2023.

Victoria Seergeva and her boyfriend.

In another video, which went viral with 3.8 million views and is now the most-viewed video on her TikTok account, Seergeva spoke about Malaysia’s spicy food, hot weather and mosquitoes, adding that she experienced sunburn as well as some stomach discomfort due to the spicy food she ate.

“However, all these ‘problems’ couldn’t ruin my impression of Malaysia. (I am) Happy to be here and Malaysia is an outstanding country,” she said.

Seergeva, who often travels around the globe with her boyfriend, said last year’s visit marked her third trip to Malaysia since 2019, adding she also enjoyed her visits to Putrajaya, Melaka, Ipoh, Sabah and Kuala Terengganu.


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