Malaysia won its independence from the British colonial rule in 1957 and it celebrates 31st August as its ‘National Day’ each year. Last year on this day, I had attended the beautiful celebration of color, pomp, splendor and patriotism on its 57th Independence Day of in its capital, Kuala Lumpur. I never wrote an exclusive post around this experience and thus this one has been due long time. What better than reliving the memorable experience exactly after an year, on the same date.
At Merdeka, last year in Malaysia
On our Malaysia trip, we were honored to be a part of Merderka Celebrations as blogger guests from India. I say ‘we’ because Ragini and Vaishakhi were two other bloggers along with me. It was a proud moment as well as an unique experience. From the flag raising to the parade, we had had the privilege to see it all very closely. Not just for Malaysia, as per our FAM (familiarization trip) itinerary, it had been a big and long day. We had started from our hotel at 6-45 a.m. and taken an early metro to be the part of the National Day (Merdeka) celebrations at the landmark place- Independence Square in KL. By the time we had reached, a huge population of the country had already thronged to witness the event live.
The ceremony had begun at 8 a.m. with the Negaraku song and a 14-gun salute fire. In the event, thousands of school children, armed forces personnel came together to show their patriotic spirit. The crowd cheered when the parade started with matching bands. Later there were performances staged by the cavalry. I could feel goosebumps there as the whole atmosphere was very inspiring. The march past and the exhilarating performances had lasted for more than two hours. The occasion was graced by the royal couple. A few more pointers that I can still remember distinctly…
- The whole event took place in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.
- Malaysia’s favorite animation characters, Upin and Ipin were co-emcees and they were really super cute and had attracted the children more.
- The celebrations had been kept in moderate due to the tragedies caused by the Malaysian Airlines crashes. (MH370 and MH17)
- The Malaysian Armed forces acrobatics was amazing.
- After the end of the event, we were served snack boxes and also we met people from other countries and delegates of Communication and Tourism ministry of Malaysia.
No matter which country one may belong to, when it comes to patriotism, land, home and national spirit, the feeling is universal. Along with its citizens, we too had felt a deep sense of love and devotion for the country and its people because independence is not an easy term. The celebrations had also reminded us of ‘Independence Day’ and ‘Republic Day’ of India.
Why is Malaysia celebrating its Independence Day, without mentioning the anniversary year today?
From this year, no more this day will be called Merdeka Day celebration or counted in numbers but it will only be celebrated as “National Day 2015.” I learnt about this announcement while reading news from around the world. I was curious on the reason and here it is (even mentioned in the wikipedia) that Sarawak, now part of Malaysia became independent later and thus 31st August is not its independence day. Therefore, to have no confusions, it is being celebrated as Independence Day, without mentioning the anniversary year.
Independence does not come easy…
Independence for any country has never been about speeches and parades, it had a much bigger meaning and everyone who had faced restrictions knows what freedom means. Tunku Abdul Rahman was the person who raised his hand first to demand Malaysia’ independence and this day it happened. He is known as the first Prime Minister of the country.
Humble Beginning of the country…
In my six days trip, I had been acquainted with many aspects of the country and we had learnt about its humble beginnings. Malaysia, a country that started as a tin and rubber trading nation is a now a nation comprising of 30m, (predominantly Malay Muslim).
With the communications minister and Tourism Malaysia delegates
Travel is about meeting new people and living unique experiences. For me, the trip to Malaysia was definitely about both.
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