A multi-ethnic society
Malaysia is the country where I was born. Subsequently, I stayed in this land for fourteen years. As the opening line of its national anthem states: Negaraku, tanah tumpahnya darahku, the soil of this land was supposed to absorb the very last drop of my blood. It is a unique country, since its birth is marked by a multi-ethnic society, consisting of the Malays, the Chinese, the Indians and other indigenous peoples. Three major ethnic groups, with their different political parties (UMNO=the United Malays National Organization, MCA= the Malayan Chinese Association, MIC=the Malayan Indian Congress), formed the Alliance Government. They negotiated for and finally won their independence from the British colonists on 31.08.1957 (Here, we are referring to the Federation of Malaya, when Sabah and Sarawak were not yet part of this Federation). Therefore, all of these groups should learn to respect, understand and love the culture of each other.
Well, the above was what my history teachers always told me when I was in the primary school. During that time, I didn’t feel the Chinese to be different from the Malays, from the Indians or from any other peoples. Maybe we look a bit differently, maybe we speak a bit differently, so what?! I just felt so blessed to have been born in this multicultural country.
When the Malays celebrate Hari Raya Puasa (a day of celebration that marks the end of the fasting month), it means public holidays.
When the Chinese celebrate the Chinese New Year, it means public holidays.
When the Indians celebrate their Deepavali (the festival of light), it means public holidays.
You know, there is really nothing better than school holidays for a little kid in her childhood! 🙂