On 31th August 2019, all Malaysian will celebrate Malaysia’s Happy Independence Days or local people formally pronounce as ‘Selamat Hari Merdeka’ (sounds like: seh-lah-mat har-ee mer-day-kuh). Have you ever know what this day mean about?? According to Wikipedia “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”. While in the Malay Archipelago, this term had acquired the meaning of a freed slave.”
Regarding to history, The Federation of Malaya gained independence from British rule on 31th August 1957. On this date, at 9.30 a.m Malaya’s first Prime Minister Allahyarham Tunku Abdul Rahman proudly declared the independence days of Malaysia by shouting out “Merdeka” seven times at Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur. This event had been witnessed over 20,000 people who gathered to celebrate the sovereignty of their new country.
Back in 1956, Malaysia was known as the Federation of Malaya who had been invasion by British Colonial. In fact, Malaysia didn’t exist yet. Though it has a long history of invasion, Malaysian independence had been accomplished by the mix of three ethnics of Malay, Indian, and Chinese citizens which has different cultures, ideologies, and religions. They are a delegation of Malayan representatives from the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), Malayan Chinese Association (MCA), and Malayan Indian Congress (MIC). During that time, these three delegations met with the British Colonial Office in London to negotiate the independence day for Malaya. This delegation was led by the Chief Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman (who went on to become Malaya’s first Prime Minister), and it had been successful in securing the consent of the British Empire for Malaya independence. And the best part about the Malaysian independence journey is there was no bloodshed.
Basically, every year government and other organizations will arrange many exciting activities and grand programs like as Independence Day Parade, fireworks celebrations around the country, Merdeka concert, folk dances with traditional clothes, and flag-waving along the road on this 31st August 2019. Also, most of the building in Malaysia are decorated with the national flag ‘Jalur Gemilang’. Every home and vehicles also have their own creativity for the Malaysia Flag decorations. For a traveler, it is definitely the best time to be in Kuala Lumpur or traveling anywhere in Malaysia to capture this colorful festive! Please take note, the Independence Day Parade for this year will be held at Putrajaya Square, Presint 3 starting at 7.00 am.
Besides that, for some local people they will take advantage of this special day to spend time with family at home or have a Merdeka dinner together because it is just another public holiday. Some of them will go out shopping with friends as there would be a Merdeka Sale! Otherwise, for teenage they will just post lots of related Independence Day post on Facebook, just to be part of that date theme. It is true, everyone has different ways to celebrate Malaysia Independence days. On this year, why not we start making our independence day by doing some changes to our self and society ??
How about we start to do something nice for a stranger? Or one act of kindness to someone we know? Or feeding the poor/homeless people and wishing them to have their ‘Merdeka’ feeling? With these kind of attitudes, we can show others what Independence truly means and feels like. Let us be more ‘Merdeka’ by being a human to each other instead of being competitors or enemies.
Independence comes with responsibility and on this Malaysia’s Independence Day, we as the citizens of Malaysia must fulfill all our responsibilities to keep our nation safe and growing. Do what you feel is right, find your own purpose, your passion to make society better, then you truly find your own ‘Merdeka’. Last but not least, let us remember and say thanks to all past heroes who fought for our freedom, unity, and for bringing the nation where it is today. We from Exvas team wish you all a “Happy Malaysia Independence Day” celebration. May this year bring you happiness, opportunity, and new hope to achieve self-transformations.