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Thursday, August 31, 2006

"The One with being patriotic..even for a day.."

What is in a word? A word, without proper suffixes and affixes mean nothing but just a mere entry in the dictionary. There are, however, some unique exceptions. Some words convey such strong meaning, it's clarity effects us so profoundly; a word could bring up the weakest spirit and destroy the strongest enthusiasm. The right word would demoralize even Hitler's minions but could inspire a whole nation to greatness. For some words, they immortalize an embodied vision.

And it's safe to say, 'Merdeka' or independence - conveys such magnificent conotations, at least for yours truly.

What's in Merdeka that stirs up so much publicity this few weeks? Is it another short-lived fame shared by numerous reality shows on telly? Is it just another tagline one would lose memory of the next forthnight? For some, it just means another public holiday; another good excuse to stay up late for the fireworks and a lazy day after, for others its just a temporary burst of patriotism - yet the next day they act as if the whole nation and government is against them. But for some very fortunate few; every year on this day its means so much it effects their perceivements and perceptions towards how lucky the new generations of Malaysians are.

'Tanggal 31 Ogos 1957'...a date students would remember as the date Tunku Abdul Rahman declared independence on Malaya from England, and as a building block towards Malaysia's formation less than a month later. We remember this as a passing of time which we are no longer 'owned' by other powers. That we have ventured from being just a country ridiculed by the hands of power-hungered nations to a democratic-constitution of indefinite propotions and endless potentials. These are text-book examples of how independence is articulated but is it enough? By the passing of each Merdeka celebration, we should also be remembered about how hard it was to achieve it. The destination is only worth the journey, and our journey towards independence more than justify how much harder we must hold on to it as a single unit. It was not easy; many lives were lost and many rights were sacrificed for the benefits of all. I believe that this is the whole essence of reliving and celebrating Merdeka every year. It is by learning to relive our past would we be more mature to go on with the future, and paying every ounce of heed from our mistakes and valors. It is when we learn the pain and anguish in our past, that we learn to appreciate all the comforts and advantages we own now. It's not given, but worked for and certainly earned.

For all it's worth, I love this country I call home. We've certainly come a long way. Happy 49th birthday, Malaysia.


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