“Does this look third-world?” American woman stunned by Pavilion mall, points out M’sia isn’t a third world country

Image credit: @Mulut_Cabai

Did you know that the phrases ‘First World’ and ‘Third World’ were initially coined during the Cold War to identify nations according to their allegiances? At the time, ‘First World’ nations referred to the United States, Western Europe, as well as their allied countries. ‘Second World’ countries, which is a term less used now, consisted of countries such as the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, and other countries from within the Communist bloc. Then finally, ‘Third World’ countries referred to nations that were attached to neither side.

As for the modern context, ‘Third World’ now typically refers to developing nations that are underdeveloped, or have substandard conditions in certain regards as compared to more advanced nations. And over time, the term has even been used in a derogatory manner to cast aspersions on to countries to connote inferiority.

American woman impressed with Pavilion, points out M’sia isn’t third-world

However, an American tourist travelling through Kuala Lumpur has recently caught the attention of locals over social media, after she had uploaded a video of herself in Kuala Lumpur, with the hopes of disputing and dispelling the long-standing misconceptions that Americans have about Malaysia being a ‘third-world country’.

Filming herself walking into Pavilion Kuala Lumpur’s main entrance, travel and lifestyle content creator Tiffany Werner addresses her American viewers with a question as she pans her camera around the popular mall.

“For all of my people in America that think I’m in some third-world country, does this look third-world to you?”

Sounding impressed by the mall’s architecture, especially with regards to the sun-drenched atrium, she claims that America doesn’t have malls that were quite like Pavilion.

“Does this look third-world country to you? We have nothing like this where we’re from!”

M’sians discuss over the use of the term ‘third world’

Her video has since gone viral, with Malaysian netizens claiming that Americans were too insulated and rarely knew what life is truly like in other countries beyond their own. Invariably, this has led to stereotypes such as Malaysians living on trees to persist.

Malaysian netizens say that American citizens were too insulated and didn't know what life was like in other countries. Image credit: Twitter
Malaysian netizens say that American citizens were too insulated and didn’t know what life was like in other countries. Image credit: Twitter
Malaysian netizens say that American citizens were too insulated and didn't know what life was like in other countries. Image credit: Twitter
Malaysian netizens say that American citizens were too insulated and didn’t know what life was like in other countries. Image credit: Twitter
Malaysian netizens say that American citizens were too insulated and didn't know what life was like in other countries. Image credit: Twitter
Malaysian netizens say that American citizens were too insulated and didn’t know what life was like in other countries. Image credit: Twitter

One has pointed out that Malaysia offers subsidised public healthcare and maternity leave, while America does not.

Malaysian netizens say that American citizens were too insulated and didn’t know what life was like in other countries. Image credit: Twitter

However, some have argued that Malaysia’s third-world denomination doesn’t shy too far from the truth, as only Kuala Lumpur appears to be metropolitan, while many parts of Malaysia continue to languish with poor infrastructure. Netizens even point out that the grandeur of local shopping malls shouldn’t be used as an indicator for how developed a country is.

Some netizens have said that Malaysia's third-world denotation is not far from the truth, due to concerns that still plague other parts of the country. Image credit: Twitter
Some netizens have said that Malaysia’s third-world denotation is not far from the truth, due to concerns that still plague other parts of the country. Image credit: Twitter
Some netizens have said that Malaysia's third-world denotation is not far from the truth, due to concerns that still plague other parts of the country. Image credit: Twitter
Some netizens have said that Malaysia’s third-world denotation is not far from the truth, due to concerns that still plague other parts of the country. Image credit: Twitter
Some netizens have said that Malaysia's third-world denotation is not far from the truth, due to concerns that still plague other parts of the country. Image credit: Twitter
Some netizens have said that Malaysia’s third-world denotation is not far from the truth, due to concerns that still plague other parts of the country. Image credit: Twitter
Some netizens have said that Malaysia's third-world denotation is not far from the truth, due to concerns that still plague other parts of the country. Image credit: Twitter
Some netizens have said that Malaysia’s third-world denotation is not far from the truth, due to concerns that still plague other parts of the country. Image credit: Twitter

One netizen says that by definition, Malaysia is a third-world country as second world countries no longer exist after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

One netizen concurs that Malaysia is by definition, a third-world country as second world countries no longer exist. Image credit: Twitter
One netizen concurs that Malaysia is by definition, a third-world country as second world countries no longer exist. Image credit: Twitter

Others have also joked that if the tourist was already impressed with the size of Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, then chances are she would be floored by the sprawling expanse of 1 Utama Shopping Centre in Damansara Utama.

Some netizens have said that Malaysia's third-world denotation is not far from the truth, due to concerns that still plague other parts of the country. Image credit: Twitter
Some netizens have joked that if she was already impressed by Pavilion, then the tourist would be floored by the size of 1 Utama. Image credit: Twitter

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Also read: Report names KL as the world’s 3rd most overworked city globally, while S’pore is the best city to WFH in

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