MERDEKA! But, not really.
Truly reach independence by beating the pandemic through #StayAtHome celebrations
Image via Sulthan Auliya / Unsplash
As Malaysians, we are all well aware that August is a celebratory month for us as our Independence Day is just right around the corner. This month, we can see our nation’s flag being proudly waved into the air; more than we usually do and patriotism rises up in our spirits.
Unfortunately, there will be no national parade as long as the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic lingers around us. Which means no crowds; regardless of race, religion and background to celebrate together to wave the Jalur Gemilang and to belt out Merdeka songs. But, that will not dim the patriotism and love we have for our homeland, Malaysia.
So, how do we celebrate to let out our patriotic spirits and to showcase our love to the country?
1. Jalur Gemilang inspired
Image via Asian Inspirations
Living in Malaysia, our favourite pastime has to be eating especially with the variety of multicultural food. But, eating regular dishes on Independence Day is just too plain, isn’t it? So, why not cook a dish with the colours of the flag; red, white, blue and yellow as to commemorate our love for the country through a happy stomach.
(Author’s note: Personally, I was thinking of nasi kerabu with the amount of red sambal perfect enough to add a little fire in our mouths with a side of fish crackers and salted egg yolk to complement the dish. Yum!)
But, other than food, Malaysians are also big on fashion! If you are unsure of what to wear on Independence Day for your #MerdekaOOTD, XALF, a Malaysia-based shoe collection can eliminate those worries as they have designed the cutest Jalur Gemilang and Independence Day shoes to showcase your patriotism!
The Malaysian 1957 on XALF
The Malaysian 1963 on XALF
(Author’s note: Look at how beautiful the designs are! I think it is obvious that I would not hesitate to wear these heels for my #MerdekaOOTD agenda.)
2. Don your traditional clothes
Image via leeseonjoon3 / Instagram
What better way to celebrate our independence if not by looking dapper? Go! Search your closet for your traditional outfit and be proud; of your culture, of yourself (for looking extra cute!) and showcase your pride to your country. Now that you’re looking super breathtaking, be sure to take hundreds of selfies or you could also join the TikTok’s “Culture Challenge” trend! Oh, don’t forget to post your #MerdekaOOTD ;)
3. Five Feet Apart? No, make it six!
Image via Insider
With the announcement of the RMCO from 10 June, more Malaysians have been spending time outside like the normal days, except with more face masks in sight. Some people also started having small gatherings within close friends and family after months of not being able to see each other. Thus, on this Merdeka day, hold a small gathering of 20 people or less; whilst practicing the SOP for safety measures! Have a BBQ, wave your Jalur Gemilang flags and belt out your favourite patriotic songs. But, make sure to #StaySafe and keep a distance of six feet apart.
4. Create and decorate
Image via Rumah Pangsa Kayu Ara on Facebook
For the more creative minds, you can indulge in creating art—be it a painting, a piece of writing or even making a costume—relevant to Independence Day. Let your creative juices flow, and bring your ideas to life to showcase your patriotism for others to admire and feel or if you are feeling a little (a lot) extra, you could also see to decorating your abode with Independence Day as the theme; which means a lot of red, white, blue and yellow! Hang up your Jalur Gemilang as much as you can and let it wave in the wind.
5. Fireworks, but make it tiny :D
Image via Creating Wonder / Blogspot
A celebration would, of course, require fireworks to induce excitement and get the adrenaline rushing. But with the current pandemic, the Merdeka parade is off the table thus watching a grand fireworks show commemorating the independence of our country is definitely unlikely. Hence, a mini fireworks show comes into play. Playing with fireworks around family on Independence Day will really amplify our sense of gratitude to be able to live in a peaceful country; safe and sound with our loved ones.
Although it is very saddening to not be able to witness Malaysians come together—in spite of being strangers—to celebrate our love for Malaysia, we can still prove our love to our beloved homeland.
Even within these challenging times of trying to showcase our patriotism to the country but wanting to stay safe, our unity as Malaysians; no matter our race, religion or background still stands strong. This just goes to show that the bond and unity Malaysians have with each other will never be so easily broken, even in the most trying of times.
Most importantly, don’t forget to #StaySafe and don’t forget to wear a face mask for Malaysia to truly achieve Merdeka from this pandemic!