Malaysia is a multi-ethnic society. Family life within each ethnic group has retained many traditions from the group's homeland.

Malaysians maintain strong ties to family and relatives. In general, family life is valued more highly than individual accomplishment. Most families include children, parents, grandparents and other relatives. Families are often larger in rural areas and smaller in cities.

Seniority is greatly respected within Malaysian households. Family members are addressed according to their position in the family, for example, First Brother. The eldest male of a family is always greeted first and frequently sits in the best seat. Children seek their parents' advice and guidance, even after they are married. Men and women usually remain at home until they get married.
 Did you know?
Malaysians are usually addressed by their given names, preceded by Mr., Mrs. or Miss.

Traditionally, the man was the head of the family. When a woman married, she usually moved to the home of her husband's family, where she was expected to be obedient to both her husband and mother-in-law. Women were also expected to take primary responsibility for the care of their children, although the extended family helped with child care. However, roles are changing, and many women now work outside the home. Rapid economic development and Western ideas are also challenging many traditional Malaysian practices.
In rural Malaysia, there are still traditional villages or kampungs, where people live in wooden houses and work the land. Although the government is encouraging more urbanization and industrialization, many urban Malaysians still have strong ties to the kampungs where they grew up, and go there for weekendsand holidays.
 Did you know?
Malaysians usually celebrate a child's birth when a child is one month old by shaving the child's head.