Merdeka. What does it mean? To me it’s just another public holiday. It’s another day on a calendar telling me that some Malaysians will get together to have a parade, some will stay home cause it’s Sunday, some will go shopping as there would be a Merdeka sales, some will get Merdeka dinners, Merdeka parties, some getting arrested after parties. Or some will just post lots of related post on Facebook, just to be part of todays theme.
So what is Merdeka to you actually? Let’s see what Wikipedia says.. “Merdeka is a word in the Indonesian and Malay language meaning independent or free. It is derived from the Sanskrit maharddhika meaning “rich, prosperous and powerful”. In the Malay archipelago, this term had acquired the meaning of a freed slave.”
So Independence = Merdeka. Hmmm non of it actually relates to me today. I was born in 1976, so that’s way after the day Malaysia branded itself as independent? I only know about it from school and what I saw on the news, not my parents and my grandfather was an immigrant from India. Non of them really have any experience of what it feels to be ‘Merdeka’ or they too never really create a connection for me with Merdeka. Only thingI remember is my days in school where we got together to rehearse for a freedom march, or growing up celebrating with friends on the street as we saw thousands getting together at the main city square all dressed up in costumes. It was a day to go out, join others and have fun! (of course wishing Happy Independence to all we met, waving my flag, that’s what everybody else was doing). It was a street party. Then in my working years, we got together to celebrate it in a different fashion, with alcohol and music! Parties, hang overs, I’m sure many of us remember those days.
So I guess it was my way of celebrating my own Independence. My Freedom. I don’t feel that I fought a war to be Merdeka, I don’t think its really a day to celebrate being patriotic. I don’t have any kind of connection with what happened in 1957, before or after. The only thing I see today is that we get a holiday and its a day like any other public holiday. (New year, Christmas, Hari Raya or any national holiday.. since we have so many).
Let me explain why. Merdeka = Free or Independent. So how free am I? How Independent are you? To be free it means to be equal in all race, color, borders, societies and status. So everyone no matter where they came from, what race you are or what status in life you are in, needs to be treated as ‘Free’. The poor or the rich, the young and the old, we are all equal. Black, white, brown, langsat or yellow.. we are all the same. Being free means regardless of location, language, religion, ethnic origin or any other status we are equals. But being a Malaysian for over 35 years now, I never saw that happening especially with those who are managing the country, the education system, the banking system, our politics, our media.. etc, why is there no independence on that?. If we are all ‘Free’ than why the discrimination, like the brand ‘Bumiputera’.
Let’s ask Wikipedia again – Bumiputera or Bumiputra, which is a Malay word, comes from the Sanskrit word Bhumiputra which may be transliterated as “son of earth” or “son of the soil” (bhumi = earth; putra = son). It has different definitions in Brunei and Malaysia.
Hmmm this got me thinking… So I’m not ‘son of earth’ enough for Malaysia? How am I then Free? I remember my birth cert saying I was born in Ipoh, Perak (I think thats a ‘soil’ in Malaysia.. right?). So maybe that’s the reason I don’t feel like a patriot or like this is really my Independence as I am not truly free yet. 🙂 There is no true freedom of choice, or freedom of speech in Malaysia. But in the other hand I made it my own freedom, a day I would do something different. A day I celebrated with friends out on the streets, photographed nice scenes of other Malaysians and celebrate together with them.
So, for me today I don’t think Merdeka is a one day celebration of Independence, it’s not about 1957 anymore. Many who were born years after that don’t have the any experience or a personal connection towards Merdeka or why they celebrate it. Today it should be about your daily freedom, your own Independence, it should be about celebrating and sharing your freedom with those unfortunate that we forgotten or celebrating your ‘Merdeka’ to show you are truly free from the ‘bubble’ of society and the system.
“Independence’ is no longer about governments, corporations, politics or past history, it’s about our cultures, our values and being in a balance and equal society. That’s what humanity is build out from. Without culture, humanity and ‘Merdeka’ there is no true freedom. It’s about the poor, the children in poverty and the families living with no basic needs. Are they ‘Free’ today? Ask yourself.. if not, then what are you truly celebrating? How can you truly be free when so many are still living in poverty or not given equal rights? It’s 2014.. not 1957 anymore.
Rather than celebrating a one day theme celebrations, why not you do something for another in need every other day. City folks get together on this day, spending thousands of ringgits ($$) celebrating on streets (mostly stay home, like me), burning fireworks, going to dinners, buying new outfits for parties today, spending on alcohol (party la wei! Yippie!) .. have you thought about those living in poverty around Malaysia? Your other ‘Merdeka’ family who has been left out. How are they celebrating their Merdeka today? It’s been 57 years since we been celebrating it, but till today there are still those who are living below the standard of human rights, with no electricity, no education, no food and no shelters. Is that ‘Merdeka’?
Here’s an idea. Why not have your ‘Merdeka’ everyday by doing something nice for a stranger? Or one act of kindness to someone you know. Or feeding the poor and wishing them a Merdeka? A random act of kindness to your neighbor? Why not take your ‘Merdeka’ out there and show others what Independence truly means and feels like.
Be ‘Merdeka’ by being human to each other, be ‘Merdeka’ for standing up for your right to be here, be ‘Merdeka’ by doing what you love and are passionate about, be ‘Merdeka’ making a choice to change yourself and your society. Be truly ‘Merdeka. Be present. Don’t be sheep, like our forefathers. They had 57 years to make things right, nothing good came out from it. Nothing changed. Today, we have ‘wars’, human rights discriminations and poverty around the world and in Malaysia. So it’s up to you now.. the Youth.
Do what you feel is right, find your own purpose, your passion to make society better, then you truly find your own ‘Merdeka’. It’s not about the past anymore, it’s about today and tomorrow.
So ask yourself again, what are you actually celebrating.. what is Merdeka to you?
Happy 57th ‘Merdeka’ Malaysians!
(images from Merdeka celebration in 2013, when I still lived in Malaysia)
This entry was posted in Life Experiences, Malaysia, Most Shared Posts.
Malaysia National Day 2014 Theme
Malaysia, Di Sini Lahirnya Sebuah Cinta
(Malaysia, Here Where Love Begins)
Malaysia National Independence Day Essay In English
Malaysia is a very unique and special country. It is located in South East Asia. The citizens are from different races and religions. So, Malaysia is called a multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious country. There are three main races in this developed country such as the Malays, the Chinese and the Indians. Most of them live in Peninsular Malaysia and are government servants. Although they practice different religions, they work together and live peacefully.
The Independence Day is an annual celebration by the whole world but Malaysian names it as a Merdeka Day. All countries honour their respective independence day, celebrating it as a national holiday. Thus, on the 31 August every year, it is marked as the Malaysian Independence Day. However, there are lot differences of celebrating the Independence Day on 31 August and today in terms of spirit and technology.
On 31st of August every year, we as Malaysians celebrate the National Day. A lot of people enjoy celebrating the National Day. We enjoy singing the National Songs, decorating our classroom, watching the countdown concert, counting down the time to midnight and watching the parade on National Day. But when we do all those things, do we feel anything or we just celebrate National Day without understanding or feeling anything?? Don’t you at least feel proud being a Malaysian?? At least, we should APPRECIATE living here in Malaysia. There are a lot of reasons why we should.
We have to remember that everything we have is given to us by God. We should appreciate even the smallest thing that God gave us. Having good health, a happy family, and a peaceful environment. All this things we have to appreciate because God can take it back from us anytime. We should never take for granted of anything that God has given to us. When we learn to appreciate things, we will live happier because we realize that the world is not a bad place after all.
Going back to our topic, “Appreciating Malaysia”, we will realize that how lucky we are to live here in Malaysia. Soon, we will realize that Malaysia is not a bad country after all. We are living with peace and harmony without worrying about any serious problems. We can easily get education, food, water and shelter. And not to forget the technologies that we are using which are the same or even better than other countries around the world. Hand phones,…
There are varieties of food in Malaysia. The Malay traditional food are very sweet. For example, the layer cake is made of sugar, flour and other ingredients. The Chinese like to eat herbal soup, mixed vegetables, steamed fish with extra ginger and soy sauce. The Indians like spicy food such as tandoori chicken and the vegetable dalca, which blends well with briyani rice and lentil soup.I love my country so much. I am proud to be a Malaysian.
See here Cool Facebook & Whatsapp Status Messages…….
Images & Wishes Of Malaysia National Day:
Poem National Day Malaysia
A poem from Malar Harris titled Yearning for a Better Malaysia on the occasion of National Day
We dream of a beautiful Malaysia
Clear skies, Clean waters,
Pleasant greenery, fresh air
People happily living together
We dream of a safer Malaysia
Free from crime and ugly corruption
Enjoying mother nature with freedom`
A vision attained by wisdom
We dream of a peaceful Malaysia
People endowed with civil rights
Feeling secure trusting each other
Sharing with love and care
We dream of a united Malaysia
Respecting one another accepting differences
Enjoying the contrasting diversity
Embracing moral values with maturity
We dream of a Malaysia in harmony
People indulging in good activities
Innovative and enlightened moving forward
Meeting others’ needs not being self centered
We dream of a well governed Malaysia
Strong, brave and righteous leaders
Wisely overcoming various plights
Without knife, gun and bomb fights
Hoping that our dream will come true
With God leading, we the crew
If Malaysians are standing together
To make our beautiful country BETTER.
Lovely Quotes on Mother…. Click here to see this now….
Malaysia National Day SMS & Status Message Update for Whatsapp:
Today we say “long live Malaysia” for the a nation that has been the best place on earth. A very happy #NationalDay.
Today on 31st of August, every man should proud where he lives, so that his place will be proud of him. Wishing y’all “Happy National Day”.
Today we proud on the country where we live, a country where we all are free. This is our Nation, our Land, and freedom is our greatest right. We shall never forget the men who died for this country, who gave this right to us. Happy National Day..
Today, I will shout in front of whole world, I love my freedom, I love my Malaysia. Happy National Day.
Today, we join hand in hand, brave Malaysiaans all, By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall. Happy National Day.
Today, we gonna celebrate our freedom in the name of “Malaysia”, there’s only one word we know which define liberty, peace and happiness i.e, “Malaysia”. HappyNationalDay
Today, it’s home again and home again, Malaysia for me!
I want a ship that’s westward bound to plough the rolling sea
To the blessed land of Room Enough beyond the ocean bars,
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag with red stars and a moon..
Malaysia National Independence Day Merdeka Hari ini Theme Wishes Essay Images SMS Poems In English 2014
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