Stripes of Glory
In an event that gathered almost every representatives of the Malaysian society, there we were singing and waving the ‘Jalur Gemilang’, the Malaysian flag. The mighty stripes of red and white, with the regal blue canton holding the crescent and 14-point star. The mood was joyful, the kids were very happy and the guests, out of the customary ‘hi, nodding and byes’ spent ample time together.
When I first found out about this event, I thought the organizer D’Tandoor was trying a different theme with the CSR event that they were holding on that same day. It’s the Jalur Gemilang Campaign official launching, the Merdeka Month Celebration and Visit Malaysia 2020 promotion all in one. The invited guests were from the business community, officers and the celebrated guest were the children from the orphanage houses, single mothers, the special needs and residents from an old folks’ home. When I said, almost every representative of the Malaysian society was there, I wasn’t kidding. We even had a VIP as honorary guest.
Waving the Jalur Gemilang.
It was a gimmick for remembrance, but you couldn’t fake the joy. Not just the kids, but adults, who stood by each other singing and waving the flag. The feeling of awe and pride holding the national flag. After weeks of racial controversy, this is indeed a fresh dose of hope that everyone needs. We still have a country to defend, and to be proud of, we have brothers and sisters from all races, which make Malaysia a truly melting pot of Asia. We will have to taste everything in this multicultural society, but with mutual respect and tolerance we’ve learnt to live in harmony.
The song, Jalur Gemilang.
This was the song played over and over during the event. The kids knew it by heart, and the adults sang and trying hard to decipher the feeling. When you don’t have anything to do (like checking WhatsApp or Facebook updates) but waving and singing the song Jalur Gemilang, you couldn’t fake the patriotic feeling. You are in the moment. It’s like one of those time when the national anthem was played in foreign land when our athlete received medals on the podium, or the time when a Malaysian was recognized internationally for an achievement. They said put the country on the map of the world, and you couldn’t help to feel the lump of emotion in your heart.
The Flag, Jalur Gemilang
This is not just any flag. It’s the country’s symbol of pride and dignity. To the extend if you burn a flag in a protest, the half of the Malaysian who were not in the protest will lodge police reports against you. We all received free Jalur Gemilang on Friday, courtesy of the organizer, D’ Tandoor restaurant. It is good to be out there celebrating the event yesterday, a change of scene from reading and deleting negative comments on social media in a cornered 4 walled office or imaginary boundaries in a free Wi-Fi powered public places. It’s refreshing, I said it again.
Thanks to the organizer, I realized that one of the assets in Visit Malaysia year, beside the lush forest, beautiful beaches and unique cultures, is the people, the Malaysian. We Malaysian rocks Visit Malaysia Year! Majority of us still prefer local holiday destinations, easy on the pocket, familiar language in different dialects and most of us have relatives in almost every state. But realistically, if we want to lure international tourist, it takes more than the beaches, forest, skyscrapers or cultural interest. It takes the united Malaysians to believe that we can rock the Visit Malaysia Year. Be that harmonious, respectable society, care for each other and love the flag. Yeah, the Jalur Gemilang, it’s more than a flag you know. It’s our symbol as Malaysian, be proud to raise and waive the flag.
Jalur Gemilang! (here’s the song in my head again!)