SELAMAT Hari Merdeka! Or Happy Merdeka Day to all Malaysians.
In honour of this special day, Thots n Tots asked some mums what are some of the things they love about Malaysia and can’t wait to share with their kids.
Kylie Wenn blogs at cre8tonebabe.blogspot.com and is mum to three kids aged two, four and six. She says:
“One of the wonderful things about Malaysia that I can’t wait to share more with my kids is the country’s breathtaking scenery. I love to taking my kids on “cuti-cuti Malaysia”. We have been going to places with amazing beaches like Batu Feringghi, Cherating, Teluk Cempedak, Port Dickson, Tanjung Jara and places with cool air like Cameron Highlands, Genting Highlands, Bukit Tinggi and many more.
“Some people think it’s troublesome to take small children along when travelling. No doubt it’s tiring but it’s really a great family bonding experience, and we leave our footsteps in many beautiful places in Malaysia as we make unforgettable memories.
“In fact, we just got back from a short getaway to Langkawi during the Hari Raya holidays and we’re going to another great destination this long Merdeka weekend!
“I taught and still teaching my children that our country is multiracial with people of different ethnic backgrounds. The best part about it is, we have the chance to taste different types of food, from dumplings, and nasi lemak to roti canai and we get to celebrate different festive seasons together, from Chinese New Year to Hari Raya and Deepavali. Although we are of different races, we all live in the same beautiful country and we are all Malaysians.”
Lim Ying May, who blogs at zchicchick.blogspot.com, is a mum to one girl aged three:
“I enjoy the rich cultural differences that exist in Malaysia. I hope my daughter will learn to appreciate the uniqueness of the Malaysian people.
“I would love for her to see and experience life in Penang. I can’t wait for her to try all my favourite local delicacies and take pride in the fact that part of her heritage is from Penang.
“I hope that my child will have a broader mind being exposed to Malaysia and its different cultures. I would like her to understand that each culture has its own history. We have different beliefs but we are all still Malaysians with the same goal – for a peaceful and successful Malaysia and to leave it as a better place for the younger generation.”
Bridget Emily Mowe, teacher and mum of two daughters aged three and six:
“Among the things I enjoy that I want to share with my daughters is the variety of food that we are so blessed to have, especially devil curry and roti canai.
“I can’t wait to share with my kids the joy of going for open houses during the festivities and celebrating with our neighbours and friends as we learn about their culture. My girls enjoy playing with fireworks during Hari Raya and receiving ang pow during Chinese New Year, and they never say no to mutton curry and muruku during Deepavali.
“I try to teach them about the restrictions of other religions, such as who can’t eat what, places of worship and to show respect to friends of different backgrounds. We all have different religious beliefs but we share one thing in common – all our religions teach us to be good to one another no matter our background.”
Nirmala Krishnan, mum of three boys aged seven months, three years and five years:
“As a child I truly enjoyed playing traditional games and today I love keeping these old games going. I just can’t wait to share the love of traditional games with my kids; games such as batu seremban, congkak, lompat getah, pepsi cola, galah panjang, teng teng, guli, and soldiers and robbers.
“I also enjoyed picking up different languages from my friends of other races. We would have hours of fun with just some rubber bands, plucking leaves and playing masak-masak. We used to go fly kite in the park almost every evening. All these are memories I treasure and share with my boys when I can.
“I know that true Malaysians embrace unity, diversity, justice and equal opportunity. This is a wonderful country in which we can learn many languages. Malaysia is a country rich in culture, natural resources and 24/7 food (roti canai, nasi lemak, char koay teow, you name it and you will find it).
“I love Malaysia for it is a country with beautiful sceneries and sights and is safe from natural disaster. I try to share this with my kids. I also take them to museums and quite a number of historical places whenever possible.
“As my boys are still young, for now I just teach them about the history of Malaysia as in the former Prime Ministers, the states, historical places such as A Famosa and Dataran Merdeka. I also share with them the different types of food, languages, lifestyle, similarities and differences between Asia and other countries in the world.”
Rozela Dahlan, magazine editor and mum of a six-month-old boy and a six-year-old girl:
“Some of the things I enjoy now about Malaysia that I want to share with my children are the unity/diversity of the races, religions and cultures; the stability and peacefulness of the country – the fact that we live harmoniously and there are no wars and conflicts among Malaysians; and that during festivals, even though we are from different races and religions, we can still celebrate together.
“I can’t wait to share with my children the rich cultural heritage, such as that found at weddings (food, customs, costumes), open houses during various cultural and religious festival like Hari Raya, Chinese New Year, Deepavali and Hari Gawai. This is when friends and families would visit the homes of those who are celebrating the festival, to wish them well and enjoy the feast prepared by the hosts. I would also like to share with my kids the many historical places and buildings in Malaysia.
“I think is is important for me to teach my children to respect others, other religions, cultures and opinions.”