12 Google Doodles that Capture the Wonders of Malaysia

Every day, Google celebrates a piece of history or culture through Google Doodle.  Malaysians have seen some pretty amazing designs that pay tribute to our beloved food, famous historical figures, and multicultural heritage. We’ve compiled some of our favourite Google Doodles from throughout the years.

1. Celebrating Nasi Lemak

Date Featured: 31 January 2019

Our prized national dish recently got a shout-out on Google Doodle and Malaysians can’t get enough of it. After all, we love that hearty balance of rich santan-infused rice with spicy sambal, fragrant peanuts, fried anchovies, eggs and cucumber.

The clip features all the key ingredients needed to cook and prepare the nasi lemak, which is then paired with side dishes like rending, fried chicken and fish. They even feature the “bungkus” version, whereby the rice is wrapped into a bundle, the traditional way taken by farmers in the past.

Feeling hungry, anyone?

To learn how to make and wrap Nasi Lemak the traditional way, join our Nasi Lemak Cooking Class by Chef Sara on LokaLocal.

2. Sybil Kathigasu’s 117th birthday

Date Featured: 3 September 2016

Sybil Kathigasu was a freedom fighter and nurse who secretly aided the resistance forces during the Japanese occupation of Malaya. She and her husband provided medical treatment and supplies, as well as passed on information from the BBC, which they listened to on their shortwave radio. The war-time heroine was later arrested and tortured by the soldiers.

After Kathigasu was released from prison, she became the first and only local woman to receive the George Medal for bravery in 1948. Definitely a heroine we should all remember!

Kathigasu’s former home in the town of Papan, Perak is now a memorial for her courageous deeds. Although Papan is now a sleepy, this historical hidden gem is worth a visit, if only to remember her legacy.

Visit the Forgotten Towns of Ipoh like Papan, Menglembu and Bunting in our guided tour on LokaLocal.

3. Yasmin Ahmad’s 56th Birthday

Date Featured: 7 January 2014

We love this Google Doodle for honouring our favourite storyteller, Yasmin Ahmad, who produced inspiring films that resonate in Malaysians like Sepet, Talentime and Mukshin. Not to mention her heartfelt Petronas ads. Her stories broke barriers of race and religion, stood firm against sensitive subjects, and united Malaysians.  

After her passing in 2009, the ‘Yasmin at Kong Heng’ gallery was installed in Ipoh to celebrate her life and work. Ipoh was chosen due to her deep love for the city, and many scenes in her films were shot here.

Find a local experience with LokaLocal in Ipoh.

4. Teh Tarik (Independence Day 2015)

Date Featured: 31 August 2015

This Google Doodle pulls our heartstrings with another local delicacy that warms our stomachs. In their archive, Google describes the tummy-rumbling delights of Teh Tarik: “Brewed hot, it cools and thickens as it’s slung back and forth between the teamaker’s special mixing cups. It’s not only delicious to drink, but a delight to watch.”

Want to know the best spots for food in KL? Join the Kuala Lumpur Food Heritage Walk on LokaLocal.

5. P. Ramlee’s 88th Birthday

Date Featured: 22 March 2017

P Ramlee is one of the biggest names in the Malay film industry, so it is no wonder Google honoured his cultural achievements this doodle on what would have been his 88th birthday.

Not only was he a brilliant director, he was also an actor, writer, and musician with a repertoire of 60 films and around 250 songs. Ramlee gave a voice to the underdogs and village folk, hence why it is so relatable to many Malaysians – even today.

6. Malaysia Elections 2018

Date Featured: 9 May 2018

Perhaps because of what an epic moment it was, we remember this doodle from this not-so-far historical moment – the 2018 General Election. The letters are depicted as Malaysian voters who are at the ballot box, effectively changing the nation as we know it.

7. Malayan Tiger (Independence Day 2016)

Date Featured: 31 August 2016

Even our Harimau Malaya has a chance to roar on Google during our 61st Independence Day.

“It’s fitting that the Malayan tiger is also the national animal of Malaysia, a dynamic, robust country,” wrote Google. “In 1957, Malaysia won its independence from British colonization. Since then, Malaysians raise their flags every year on this day to those who fought valiantly for the nation’s liberation.”

8. Doodle for Google 2014 (Malaysia Winner)

Date Featured: 16 Sept 2014

Gracing Google’s homepage on Malaysia Day, the theme for the competition was “Celebrating Malaysia’s Diversity”. This colourful winning artwork was created by a student from Sekinchan.  

9. Doodle for Google 2017 (Malaysia Winner)

Date Featured: 16 Sept 2017

This winning Doodle for Google was also completed by a student from Putrajaya, and showcased the different ethnicities in Malaysia.  

10. Gasing (Independence Day 2009)

Date Featured: 31 August 2009

Gasing, or spinning top, is a traditional game that is popular in the rural areas of Malaysia. In Kelantan, there are still gasing competitions that test the skill of the player, to see which can last the longest. This simple work reminds us of our idyllic childhood.

Read next: 50 Traditional Arts, Crafts and Trades of Malaysia

11. Hibiscus (Independence Day 2014)

Date Featured: 31 August 2014

In 2014, Malaysian artist Red Hong Yi created an arrangement of Hibiscus flower petals for our Independence Day.

The hibiscus is crowned our national flower, since it is commonly found in the country throughout the year. Many logos have been inspired by this elegant flower, including the Visit Malaysia logo and Commonwealth Games.  

12. Hibiscus (Independence Day 2012)

Date Featured: 31 August 2012

Two years before, the hibiscus also made an appearance on the homepage. That’s how significant our beloved Bunga Raya is.

Which is your favourite Google Doodle? 

Want to experience activities that are uniquely Malaysian? What better way than to follow in the footsteps of locals. Find out more on LokaLocal

Images from Google Doodle Archive.

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