Every Independence Day, Malaysians fly our flags high with pride. Songs and commercials are constantly on TV, fuelling our excitement for the celebration. Come 31 August, many would be in front of their TV, anticipating the parade at Merdeka Square.
This is an experience shared by many Malaysians, and it is also one of my favourite memories.
Among the many Independence Day ads, one stood out to me in particular. It’s titled “Little Indian Boy,” directed by the late Yasmin Ahmad in 1996. There was no lengthy narration nor complex plot lines in this ad, just a monologue by a middle-aged Indian man. He recounts his experience as a boy, on the morning of 31 August 1957, sitting on his father’s shoulders as they gather at Merdeka Square, shouting “Merdeka” at the top of their lungs to commemorate the historic moment of Malaysia’s independence.
More than a memory about the boy’s father, the ad was really about the day this nation was born. It moved me, and made me rethink what “nation” means.
A nation is not just the government who runs it. It is also the countless families and homes who reside in the country. Without them, there is no country; but without a government, the people would descend into chaos. Both are essential to each other’s wellbeing, and one can’t do without the other.
In the past six decades, we have held fast to principles of moderation, tolerance, and acceptance. These core values have brought us through all of Malaysia’s history, making this a united country.
The SEA Games opening ceremony which also fell on the month of August fully demonstrated what “nations” are all about.
At the ceremony, we saw how our predecessors of all races built a home and nation on this land together. It is this spirit of unity that makes Malaysia what it is today. The message from the opening ceremony was “together we are stronger”, because indeed, we are weak without each other. This message and the grandeur of the opening ceremony was a great sight to behold—and I am proud to call myself a daughter of Malaysia.
I am a Malaysian. I love my country—a place that is diverse in culture, races, and religion. Yet no matter who we are, we all work to make this home a better place. So that we, our children, and our children’s children—can live on this land in peace, prosperity, and happiness.
Happy 60th birthday, Malaysia!
而在众多的国庆日广告中，让我最印象深刻也最感动的是大马著名导演雅斯敏（Yasmin Ahmad）於1996年为国油拍摄的广告《Little Indian Boy》，这支广告没有太多冗长的贅述，只有一个印度中年人的独白。在国庆这天回忆起1957年8月31日的清晨，小男孩骑在父亲的肩膀上，加入庆祝国家独立的人群，跟着敦姑阿都拉曼一起大喊“Merdeka”，见证大马独立的历史性一刻。
六十年来，我们秉持中庸理念， 互相谅解， 互相包容及接纳，这是让我们走过这六十年的核心价值，一心一意， 缔造一个团结的国家。
在开幕典礼上，我们看到了各族的先辈如何在这片土地上建立家园，如何在这片富堯的土地上构建国家，就是这一份不分你我的融合，才有了文化独特的马来西亚，“Together we are stronger”就是开幕典礼欲传达的信念，因为团结，我们更强大！国庆将近的喜悦，再加上美丽盛大的开幕典礼所传递“一个马来西亚”的理念，让这个八月变得非常激昂，而开幕典礼更是让我非常感动，身为马来西亚人，我无比荣耀，无比骄傲！