As we celebrate our Independence Day and Malaysia's birthday this year, I’ve taken a step back to look at why I love the country so much and, in the process, I’ve realised how lucky I am to have resided here. The bond we have for each other in Malaysia is one of a kind that can’t be expressed in words.
The cultural diversity, the captivating sceneries, the food, and many more are some of the reasons why Malaysia has always been my all-time favourite country. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that Malaysia is one of the best countries to spend my life. So, I’m here to share what I love about being a Malaysian.
Malaysia is known for its breathtaking scenery. In almost every article about nature and wildlife, Malaysia has never failed to be one of the top countries for its mesmerising views and fantastic vacation spots. As an adventurer who loves hiking through scenic trails and spending time with nature, Malaysia has many stunning mountains that always excites my adventurous soul.
Besides being known for our many tropical rainforests, Malaysia is also home to the famous Mount Kinabalu, which is the tallest mountain in the country, the pristine beaches, such as the magnificent Pulau Tioman and Pulau Redang, as well as beautifully sculptured landscape such as the Danum Valley of Sabah.
In fact, recently, I hiked up Bukit Batu Putih in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan and the view was truly spectacular. With so many incredible places to visit, it’s no wonder that Malaysia truly captures my heart.
You can’t talk about Malaysia without mentioning the food! Whenever you ask someone who has been to Malaysia, the first thing they would commend us for is the variety of food as the diversity in culture comes hand in hand with our diversity of food as well. From having roti canai for breakfast to chicken rice for lunch, followed by the aromatic nasi lemak for dinner, we never fail to impress the people with fairly cheap yet delicious food.
Every region has its famous delights like the Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendol, Ipoh’s Taugeh Chicken Rice, Melaka’s Nasi Kerabu and Sarawak’s Laksa. I’ve never had to worry about what to eat as affordable and yummy cuisines can be found in every nook and corner wherever you are in the country. I love how I can simply hit the road and go food hunting or cafe-hopping around the clock. And of course, an honorary mention, is my love for the king of the fruits, the durian!
Our unique cultures and sense of togetherness is the trademark of Malaysia. I love how different races can come together as one and live peacefully as 1Malaysia. I’m so grateful to have been taught to appreciate cultural diversity and was brought up to respect everyone regardless of race.
I love how we embrace diversity while retaining the culture, language, and identity of all ethnicities and yet still being united as one.
Each festival, such as Thaipusam, Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Hari Gawai, and more, is celebrated vibrantly by all the races in Malaysia and my friends have never failed to invite me to their open houses to celebrate their festival together which helps to strengthen our bond with one another. It’s always a joy for me to sit with my Malay and Chinese friends to prepare the ketupat during Hari Raya or paste Spring Festival couplets (Chinese New Year decos that are pasted on doors) together.
Festivities aren’t the only time that unites us. On any ordinary day, you can see people from all walks of life sitting together at the mamak stall to catch a sports match. I clearly remember when Malaysians gathered to watch Datuk Lee Chong Wei, our nation’s pride, smash his way right up to the final match at the Olympics in 2016. It was a joyous moment as everyone was united, rooting for a glorious victory for the nation.
Last but not the least, the historical achievements of Malaysia in the world’s sports arena is something to be proud of. I’ve always been enthralled by the accomplishment of Malaysia in sports where we have the 9-times squash world champion, Dato Nicol David, the world’s finest badminton player, Datuk Lee Chong Wei, our first-ever female Olympic medalist, Pandelela Rinong, the cycling world champion, Azizulhasni Awang, and many more.
Malaysia has always supported and provided many opportunities for its athletes to represent the country and stand tall on the podium.
Being a karate athlete, I’m honoured to be given the opportunity to be in the team with the G.O.A.T (Greatest of All Time) athletes. It was also a momentous time for me when I represented the nation for the South-East Asia Karate Federation (SEAKF) games and won the gold medal! Being able to sing the national anthem at the end of a competition is the proudest moment in any athletes’ life.
With that, I vow to consistently strive harder than before to achieve greater heights in my upcoming matches to witness the Jalur Gemilang flying high during these victorious moments and make our nation proud.
I can go on and on about why I love being a Malaysian. What about you? What do you love about being a Malaysian? Share it with us!
Having said that, let’s celebrate our Independence Day and Malaysia Day with joy and gratitude despite a tough year of pandemic. Let’s cherish the beauty of Malaysia and cheers to many more years of being a Malaysian.
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