86. Shadow On The Wall

from “Crises”, Mike Oldfield, 1983.

With another country comes time for our traditional visit to its national museum. We called up an Uber car and headed down to the Perdana Lake Gardens to explore Kuala Lumpur’s Muzium Negara. The Muzium Negara was opened in 1963 – six years after Malaysia’s independence – and was built on the site of the former Selangor Museum, which was destroyed during World War II.

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Muzium Negara – the main hall.

The Muzium Negara is set across two floors with four main galleries adjoining the central hall. The central hall is sometimes host to temporary exhibitions while the galleries host the main exhibits. The four galleries are divided into four thematic categories: Early History (gallery A), the Malay Kingdoms (gallery B), Colonial History (gallery C), and Independence & Ethnicity (gallery D). The galleries have a natural historical flow and it makes sense to do them in order: A, B, C, D.

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The galleries were well done and very interesting with many wonderful exhibits and we enjoyed getting a great introduction to the history of Malaysia and its evolution as a country.

There are several other buildings adjacent to the Muzium Negara and one of these was currently staging an exhibition on shadow puppets, a historical art form common to many Asian countries.

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There were plenty of traditional shadow puppets on display, though our eye was definitely caught by several of a far more contemporary nature.

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The Muzium Negara is ideal for an introduction to the history of Malaysia; big enough to keep your interest for several hours yet small enough that you can do the whole place in a morning or afternoon. And with the adjacent Perdana Lake Gardens you can go for a walk afterwards. And so we did.

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