Annually, there is one event in August that most, if not all, Malaysians look forward to. It doesn’t matter if you’re Indian, Iban, Chinese, Malay, or Kadazan. It doesn’t even matter what language you speak, or even what tradition or lifestyle you go by. As long as you’re Malaysian, you will always remember this day—Malaysia’s Independence Day.
As defined in Article 160 of the Constitution of Malaysia: 31 August 1957, is commemorated as the “Malayan Declaration of Independence.” This day marked a momentous milestone in the history of Malaysia, and every Malaysian has since celebrated this freedom from the terror and restrictions that come from being under the power of another nation. Since this day is declared as a national public holiday, many citizens will gather on this special day to watch the national day parade at Dataran Merdeka and join in the festivities. Echoes of the victory shout, “MERDEKA!” is heard from afar, and the patriotism in their voices is unmistakable. Together, they unite to express gratitude for the faithful soldiers and political leaders who fought courageously for the nation.
This year, with the uninvited CoronaVirus, many things have changed. The pandemic has hit us hard, just as it has in other countries. Our economic condition is not getting better. Trust among many people has been broken or is breaking up. Our leaders and frontliners have been pushed to their limits to establish balance and preserve the welfare of the nation.
Everyone has tried their best; everyone has done their part.
We too, as Malaysians, are mindful of our responsibility. Not a small part of who we are as a people, the flavours and cuisines of different cultures and backgrounds, passed on for many generations, are always worth sharing.
Each specialty--the flavour of Laksa, stemming from the Peranakans; Asam, originating from the Malays; Mooncakes, well-loved and distributed by the Chinese; and Lime Teas, loved and savored by each and every culture--all give us reasons to keep holding on as Malaysians. We may not be able to have gatherings as we did before. Our lives may have been drastically altered. We may even find our financial security shaken in this era of the “New Normal.”
Despite all that is going on, let not your heart be troubled! We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way our God has led us, and His teaching in our past history. Celebrate this year's Independence Day at your home with each of these ultimate Malaysian tastes. This is your chance to create lasting memories for yourself and your family!