Why It's Important To Celebrate Merdeka

Why It's Important To Celebrate Merdeka

Merdeka Day has a much deeper significance than the commemoration of independence. It’s a good opportunity to teach our children how we got this far.

Tomorrow on the 31st of August Malaysia will celebrate her 59th Merdeka Day. Merdeka Day is our Day of Independence and marks the occasion in which Peninsular Malaya gained independence from British colonial rule and became Malaysia.

It is generally a day of celebration as flags are lifted high, and the national anthem is sung while grand parades light up the arena of Dataran Merdeka. But for most Malaysians Merdeka Day will be a day just like any other, slightly better for the fact that it’s a public holiday that we can enjoy with friends and family.

While that’s all well and good, Merdeka Day should not be seen as just another public holiday where we can sleep in and spend our time having brunch in hip cafes or shopping at the malls. It’s a day that means more than the commemoration of independence. Because Merdeka has a much deeper significance, it’s a good opportunity to teach our children how we got this far.

Celebrating Merdeka is important because we’d also be celebrating:

Our struggle

Our forefathers led a simpler and much more difficult life than we can ever imagine. There were definitely no cafes or malls or iPhones or Google or even minimum wage. They worked hard to build our country and we owe everything to them. Independence has given us the freedom to choose to be anything we want and that’s a gift more precious than any material thing. It's a valuable lesson to convey to our children, who have been born into a world of plenty.

Our progress

We've come a long way in only 59 years. While our country is by no means perfect, there can be no denying that Malaysians enjoy a stellar quality of life. We are not a first world country, but we have enjoy a huge variety of choice from the food we eat to the medical services available to the education we can provide our children. Celebrating Merdeka is in fact celebrating how far we have come as a nation.

Our friendship

Malaysia is made up of three main races and many more besides. To gain independence, our forefathers worked together regardless of race to present a united front.

This showed our colonial rulers that we had the maturity to govern ourselves and provide fair and equal treatment to everyone. It was our tolerance for each other that enabled us to gain independence. It was the friendship between Malaysians that gave birth to our country.

Merdeka Day is a great opportunity to remind our children to love and respect each other. After all, children are colour blind and we should do our utmost to encourage that. Enjoy this adorable Merdeka story, based on that exact insight:

Happy Merdeka Day!


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Hanna Lee

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