The Semai are a semisedentary people living in the center of the Malay Peninsula in Southeast Asia, known especially for their nonviolence. They speak Semai, a Mon-Khmer language. The Semai belong to the Senoi ethnic group. It is thought that the Semai are the remnants of the original, ancient and widespread population of Southeast Asia. According to Keene State College_s Orang Asli Archive, in 1991 there were 26,627 Semai living on the Malay Peninsula. This number has increased in recent years with the advent of better nutrition as well as improved sanitation and healthcare practices. These numbers, however, does not include other peoples of Semai or mixed descent, most of whom have assimilated into other cultures and have abandoned their ancestral tribal lands in order to seek better employment and education opportunities, especially in the larger cities.
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