5 Things To Do In The Month of Merdeka.
What a time to be alive! As the 31st of August approaches us fast, our beautiful country will hit its 63rd anniversary of sweet, sweet freedom. - Hari Merdeka is a day to remember all we as a nation have been through, a day to demonstrate the significance of freedom and the sacrifices of our ancestors, and to acknowledge the long and complicated history of our country becoming the Malaysia we all call home today.
As the world is temporarily closed, take time off to fully understand and reminisce about the history of our country. Here are some ideas on how you can celebrate our independence day in the month of Merdeka.
1. Visit the Proclamation of Independence Memorial
The Proclamation of Independence Memorial exists as a reflection of a page in our history. From the struggle for independence to the great moments. It was said that the memorial is a building that safeguards many precious secrets in its vaults. It houses and exhibits historical documents ranging from the era of Melaka Malay Sultanate right up to the eve of independence in 1957. The exhibits here include a collection of manuscripts, videotapes, and other audio and visual collections.
The memorial building was established as a mutual collaboration between the Melaka State Government and the National Archives of Malaysia. This historical place is simply surrounded by historical remnants and structures such as the A’ Famosa Fort, St. Paul’s Hill, Padang Pahlawan Square and the Cultural Museum, which is a replica model of the Melaka Malay Sultanate Palace.
2. Visit the Army Museum, Port Dickson
Visiting The Army Museum can be a surreal experience that all Malaysians should take the time to experience at least once. It is an experience that will awaken a sense of patriotism and pride in all of us. - This Army Museum does an excellent job of showing us key moments of Malaysian history and also the heroism of our warriors.
There are two blocks of buildings housing four galleries, and each takes visitors from era to era. One of the galleries is dedicated to the period of the Melaka Sultanate, while another gallery tells the tale of British Malaya, and the various local heroes and freedom fighters. Other galleries are dedicated to the time of the formation of the Malay army, the time of the Japanese occupation and the communist insurgency.
Another exciting feature is a re-created mock-up of a communist underground tunnel. You walk down into the ground and into a darkened tunnel that has a communist sentry, surgery room, mock operations room, and ammunition store. - In addition to the museum buildings, the spacious grounds also house decommissioned military vehicles, including planes, tanks, and artillery guns, and a memorial fountain dedicated to soldiers who served through Malaysia’s war history.
3. Visit Tugu Negara (National Monument)
Situated overlooking the KL Lake Gardens, the vast bronze monument was built to pay tribute to the brave soldiers who gave their lives defending the country during the Communist Insurgency in the 1950s. Deeply rooted in Malaysia’s history, the National Monument (Tugu Negara) stands tall and proud as a testament of the sacrifices that we as a nation have gone through. Visiting this place can bring back mixed feelings, memories of struggles, moments of triumphs, and at the same time, sadness as we remember all those who died for the country.
The bronze sculpture depicts a group of seven soldiers. In the middle stands a soldier in a victorious pose, his right hand holding a Malaysian flag. The height of the monument is 15m, making it the biggest freestanding bronze sculpture in the world. The soldiers symbolize leadership, suffering, unity, vigilance, strength, courage, and sacrifice.
At Tugu Negara, there are two monuments to take note of as you enter the compound. The first is a 10m-high cenotaph (an empty tomb or monument erected to honor the dead), which stands tall at the upper entrance of the National Monument on a seven-tiered rectangular base.
The inscription at the bottom, “To Our Glorious Dead (1914–1918), (1939–1945) and the Emergency (1948–1960)”, testifies to Malaysia’s involvement in several wars, including both World Wars and also the Malayan Emergency, a guerilla war between the Commonwealth armed forces and the military arm of the Malayan Communist Party. Names of the fallen are engraved on the plaques of the cenotaph as a token of tribute to their sacrifices.
4. Watch the Independence Day Parade
Known locally as Hari Kemerdekaan, it is the time of the year when Malaysians show their appreciation for yet another year of harmony among the people and are reminded of their country’s struggle for independence. This national event helps to educate the public, especially the younger generation, about the importance of racial tolerance, unity, and cooperation so that the country can continue to enjoy prosperity, development, and harmony. The day will be filled with a procession, cultural performances, military demonstration, intricate floats, and other interesting diversions. So, don your patriotic gear and grab a flag and start waving it!
On Independence Day itself, the national day parade will take place at Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya at 7 am in the presence of Their Majesties, the King and Queen of Malaysia. The VIPs gracing the occasion are the Hon. Prime Minister of Malaysia, Malaysian cabinet ministers, foreign ambassadors, and other dignitaries. Although Putrajaya is the celebration’s epicenter, expect smaller Hari Kemerdekaan celebrations all over the country to include parades and fireworks. Among those who participate in this parade are government services such as the military, the police force, naval forces, public and private sectors’ staff, and school children.
5. Spend quality time indoors!
One of the best ways to celebrate the independence of our country is to spend quality time with our loved ones indoors. - How you asked? Some examples of the activities that will evoke our sense ofpatriotism and pride are by watching documentaries or old films, going through old photographs, and having important conversations: activities that will continue to educate us and the generations to come.
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