When Merdeka Means Nothing To You

48 Years. 48 years since we gained our independance. 48 years and I barely lived half of it. 48 years and I’m going to go out on the limb here and get straight to the point. Merdeka for the most part of my life never meant anything much to me. Why? Because like a lot of youths in our country…we grew up taking our country for granted.

One way or another, we all did.

To tell you the truth, if it wasn’t for the Medeka Blogger Project, I wouldn’t think twice about Merdeka. It would have just been another day that goes by like any other, completely oblivious to what the past meant and what the future holds. But I’m here right now, reflecting and going through my head about what I can write about our country’s independance day.

Now, I’m not the most particularly patriotic Malaysian. I can barely speak our own Bahasa Malaysia properly and for the most part I have misgivings about a lot of things that is in Malaysia…then again…who else doesn’t? Yet we live our lives day after day in the sweltering heat, the traffic jams, the “generous” police force, the morning Nasi lemak, the night time Mamak.

We’re a country that has one of the tallest buildings in the world and within a 20 minute walk away reach downtown chinatown where you still can get pirated movies and animes for a really cheap price. Add another 20 minute walk and you can get the best bargains on computer equipment around.

Sure, we have a pathetically slow broadband system that on an almost routine occasion, decides to act like it’s a 28.8 kbps dialup line. Then again, we have streams and lakes, mountains and beaches…I swear to God, maybe our ISP’s just telling us…”GET OUT!! SEE MALAYSIA MORE!!“. It could be their plan. Who knows.

Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.

You see…come to think of it, I grew up living all those things. From the city streets and bustling metropolis to the quiet towns and pristine forests, from digital technology to primal nature. From classy sidewalks to the smelly gutters. I grew up living those things. Those are part of my memories of Malaysia.

So where is this post going?

Bear with me.

The Malaysia we know, wouldn’t be Malaysia if it wasn’t for our independance. The Malaysia, depite its cesspool and dirty underground infrastructure is still part of our memories. So what if I have my misgivings. So what if I hate something in in the system. It’s still part of us. It’s what part made us whoever we are today. Everything choice we made in our country has a little bit of Malaysia in it. So when you look at it that way.

Our own choices will always be Malaysian.

That’s what I think our forefathers sweat, bled and died for. For the freedom to live our own lives through a culture that is our own whether we like to admit it or not. It doesn’t matter if we’re “kaypochi” or “selamber“. It doesn’t matter if we’re still in the country or are somewhere else. It doesn’t even matter whether we’re humble or just opiniated about everything. It’s still a little part of Malaysia in you. Whatever you experienced before in Malaysia is still a part of you that influences you to make the choices you make now.

Hate it or love it.

Merdeka means at least for me…a celebration and tribute to that freedom to be Malaysian however our culture turns out to be.

So even though I’m thousands of miles away from my own country right now on foriegn soil. Even though, I’m one of those westernised malay kids who people like refer to as “Melayu Celup”, I still carry with me a part of being Malaysian. Whether I’m cheap, “selamber”, modest or cautious…that is the Malaysia I carry with me. Good or bad…it still makes us who we are.

So…here’s to our 48 years of independance.

May it keep inspiring a whole new generation of people who appreciate this freedom to be Malaysian.

Selamat Menyambut Hari Merdeka.

(This post was writen to in participation of the Merdeka Blogger Project and can be found at their site)

5 thoughts on “When Merdeka Means Nothing To You

  1. Found this linked via your latest post.

    I swear to all that’s holy that this must be the most touching Merdeka-related posts I’ve read.

    Too bad it took me two frickin’ years to notice it. The sad thing though, is that I’m the first to comment on this post. *sigh!*

  2. Well that’s the thing about my blog. There is plenty more where that came from in here. I’m pretty much low key compared to other Malaysian bloggers. 🙂

    Thanks for taking time to read let alone comment after so long. Maybe you can plug this as well because the sentiments have never changed even after so long. 🙂

  3. selamber? Hmmm…Got me to thinking that perhaps…most of our generation no matter what country…takes theirs for granted?
    48 years is a while to be free. What you were saying about the forests and stuff made me smile because it reminds me to sit up and take notice of what we have in NZ too. I will go and see Malaysia one day…might take you with me though…could get lost otherwise.

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