What is it about Malaysia that makes it so special to me?
Besides the usual stuff that Malaysia is a multi-cultural country and the like, what I love most about it is the ease of making friends. It’s easy to make friends in Malaysia, with most (if not in the city, at least in the countryside) eager to sit down and talk with you. It’s not that hard to strike up a conversation with anyone in Malaysia, (unless you’re a guy trying to start a chat with a talk and you go into suspicious territories…) and it’s so easy that it’s sometimes unbelievable.
At the same time, it’s also very easy to go out for a drinks with friends and talk about everything under the moon (simply because most mamak sessions are held at night these days), without fear or censure. Of course, the lines are drawn when there’s an actual fight, but in many cases, it’s very easy to get together and drink. Teh milo, teh ais (Milo + tea and iced tea respectively) and lots of other drinks and foods. Unlike other countries, staying out at all hours just for a chat has spawned a name that has defined most Malaysians; mamak.
Furthermore, in day to day relations, what religion you are plays a part in only deciding where you want to eat. If there Muslims in the groups, then a halal eatery would be the best bet. If there were Buddhists, then it would be non-meat (if applicable) and if Hindus, no beef. This is hardly as repressive as it sounds; it actually serves as a good way for members of the different races to mingle and learn more about culture, with addition of being a pretty cheap way of filling both your body and brain at the same time.
Being a child of mixed heritage, I simply love discovering new cultures, and Malaysia is like a springboard into learning the intricacies of the other people of the world. This country is fascinating, and really, it’s like an Onion. The more you peel it, the more layers you find, but be careful. While the process of learning about human cultures is fascinating, more than once I’ve found my beliefs and faith tested. While the process is not easy, it is, however, enlightening, and it will make you learn about yourself more as a human being.
Of course, this can certainly be seen in some of the more outspoken Malaysian youths today. They’re vocal, know what they want, and how to get it. And more importantly, they love this country enough to want to help her, not hinder her. SO LISTEN TO HER, MALAYSIA! God knows these are your children you’re bringing into the world; we don’t need to be coddled, we need to be allowed to learn, listen, guide, lead.
The Malaysian youths of today is a mixed batch of apatheticness and patriotism; most of us have learnt that it takes more than flag waving and National Day parades. It’s putting our money where our mouth is.
So the next person I’m suggesting to take on this challenge is Tiara! She may not be a citizen, but I’ll be damned if I find anyone who loves this country more than she does. Ti, you have 7 days from 2 November 2006 till 9 November 2006 to complete this mission (posting the 42nd post for Malaysia). :)