National Pride: Best Ways to Celebrate Merdeka
This 31st August, Malaysia will mark its 61st year of independence. Malaysians up and down the country and across the world will gather together to celebrate over six decades of freedom and progress – a time to commemorate, contemplate, and celebrate. Here are our top tips to enjoy Merdeka Day in the true spirit of the occasion.
PICNIC AT DATARAN MERDEKA
Show some true “muhibbah” (goodwill) spirit and sit down with your family and friends for a delicious picnic in Merdeka Square. Settle in the shade of the Sultan Abdul Samad building and one of the tallest flagpoles in the world, where the Jalur Gemilang was first flown in 1957. Merdeka Square was once the core of colonial rule; now, the foundation for Malaysian freedom.
In Malaysia, it’s not a public holiday without some pyrotechnics, and Merdeka Day displays are the best of all. KLCC and Putrajaya put on spectacular displays that can be seen from a distance; whether from a sky bar or a high balcony, make yourself comfortable and enjoy the show.
NATIONAL DAY PARADE
Show your support by getting to the heart of the action at the National Day Parade at Merdeka Square. With performances and processions from private and public sector organisations, the crafts and colours are a sight to behold. Wave your Jalur Gemilang with pride and remember what it symbolises: unity, and our onward drive for growth and success.
Put some handiwork into our heritage – design your own decorations and hang them around the house! This is a good way to get your kids involved with the celebrations and to teach them the true meaning of the tradition, reminding them exactly what makes Malaysia such a great and tolerant nation. Make your own flags and cover your car or even bake a Jamur Gemilang cake!
BRUSH UP ON LOCAL CULTURE
Be honest – when was the last time you visited a museum or art gallery? With a new government in place promising a new dawn and a prosperous future for Malaysia, it is important now more than ever than we all understand where we’re coming from, so we know where we’re going. Exhibitions at public institutions such as the Muzium Negara or National Art Gallery are often free (or very cheap) to enter, featuring interesting and interactive ways to learn about our history and heritage.