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31 August 2005

my merdeka experience

I still remember the two years when I was back in high school (1999 and 2002) where the Girl Guides of my school (SMK Aminuddin Baki), SMK Datok Lokman and SMK Taman Maluri joined forces to form a force of 60 people for the Merdeka Day March. The experience for these two years are undescribable to me.

Having the countless hours of practice at school until 6 in the evening, none of us complaint. All of us havea goal in our minds, that is to do our very best on the day itself. Studies are not neglected. We still did our homework given. Go to school as usual, have enough rest and take good care of our health.I still remember when the first round of practice was held at Bukit Jalil. There were thousands of people there for the whole week. We made new friends, sing songs and played games during breaks. Not to foget, the practice ground also allows you to meet your long lost friends and also friends that you have been chatting with over the Internet. I’m serious about this because I met mine too.

31st August is drawing near. Practices were held more frequent and the hours were longer.Then the actual rehearsal for the real thing arrives. Reaching the place before 6am as the roads will be closed for the rehearsal. National Mosque is the point for us Girl Guides for that two years of my participation. The place where we had our breakfast, take naps before the rehearsals eventually starts and catching up with the other members of the contingent. Two marching bands were placed in front and behind us repsectively. They were all a nice bunch. Playing tunes for sing-a-long session for about 180 of us in total. What a happy moment.

The actual day arrives. All of us were dressed with all our gears. All ready to be part of the event. I get to see nervous faces as they were afraid that they might make mistakes in front of the podium. But I remember telling them, "It is OK if you do a mistake. Everyone does mistakes. Just enjoy yourself and have fun as this might be your only year for this."

I was never an audience before for the celebration and now being a participant, the view is so much different compared to sitting in the crowd I believe. You can see everyone looking at you, the King saluting at you as you passed the podium, the ministers waving their flags and smiling back at you. You also get to see the faces of Malaysian enjoying the celebration, children looking in awe wondering when will it be their turn to be one of us, parents supporting their children who were the participates, and flashes flashin away as the cameraman of several newspapers took pictures. I believe some of us even made the effort to tell our friends who would be sitting in front of the television set that morning to look out for our faces.

Right now as I am sitting here typing this out, I recall this moments as if they happened yesterday. I really missed those time having to participate. I really wish to be a participant again. I did not join the crowd last night for the countdown but I was practically singing all the songs they played from my sofa. My sisters thought I was being possessed.

Some tertiary institutions are lacking of the Merdeka spirit to me. Not even a single flag is seen at the campus grounds. How do you expect the students to be partriotic when the institution itself does not play their part. The spirit dies off as these students stepped into tertiary institutions. Remember those good old days in primary and high school? On the month of August, activities were lined up for us and on the eve itself, we can see everyone singing their hearts out to the patriotic songs and also the national anthem. Having everyone to be so proud of themselves to be Malaysians. Words just cannot describe it. This is something worth to be thought of.

All in all, I really missed all of this events that took place in my life. I hope in future I would be able to participate in them again. I really hope to. Anyway, Happy Merdeka to all of you.

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