August 31, 2010

Tanggal 31. Dan esok hari.

31st August 2010

I was scrolling through a list of overjoyed tweets and Facebook statuses either going “Happy Merdeka, people!!!” or chanting to the lyrics of the legendary “Tanggal 31 Ogos” number earlier this morning. Only to find myself not naturally wanting to go “Happy Merdeka, people!!!” back.

I started to wonder on my sense of patriotism, and that got me ashamed. Have I not any sense of it to even scream a “Happy Merdeka” to our country?

Now only to find myself stumped. Our country. So easily, that hit me. Our country.

The reason for my initial disinterest towards the idea of joining the overjoyed “Merdeka” screams (or at least with three exclamation marks if you put that on Cyber space) was the disinterest in it on any other day.

Baby dumping. The burning of holy places. Heads of cows and pigs. Not wanting other people to join us in the mosque.

But of course, 1Malaysia (and blaming Valentine’s Day for all that baby dumping fad).

And we speak of that in disgust almost every other day. Because exactly every other day, there’s always something in the news about our country which make us sigh. Are we screaming “Merdeka” today for the sake of a celebration and continuing to speak of our country tomorrow in disgust?

And then I realized. That’s not our country in itself we’re talking about. That’s the people. So there are those who enjoy making babies and throwing them. And then there are the rest of us who won’t ever understand that. And we speak of the matter in disgust because we’re ashamed it could ever happen in our country. Because we have love for our glorious, diversely-cultural, food-loving country.

Our country.

I will never truly know what exactly our ancestors had to go through or how they truly felt fighting for our country’s independence. Or how their heartbeats went the moment Tunku Abdul Rahman chanted the historic “Merdeka!” thrice.

This is for them.

For everything they went through, for every of their racing heartbeat towards gaining independence, for the change they truly made. Because each of their racing heartbeat was for us. For the country we comfortably live in today and speak of with a disgusted sigh (but we’ll try not to anymore, of course).

This is for the way we teach ourselves the meaning of independence in those little things we do everyday.

For the way our children chant “Merdeka!” at the end of a final examination paper. For the way the same children look for a part-time job to learn to pay their own telephone bills. For the way we make our independent choices every other day.

This is for the little changes we can make.

For every moment we can give a smile to a stranger. For every time we can slow our engines down to let a pedestrian walk. For every time we say “Thank you” to a customer service centre.

Now this is for the melodious Tanggal 31 line we shall sing along today (God bless Sudirman’s soul).

And for the next line of the song we shall continue to sing tomorrow. And the day after. And the day after that.

So this is it:

Happy Merdeka, people!!!


  1. really like this one! love ur artwork!! keep em coming! :D

  2. Ms Yap: His name was Hassan! :D

    Ira: Thank you, dear :) Appreciate the support <3


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