This image was found at www.google.com.my
Malaysia celebrates its 50th independence today.
I have been alive for 31 out of those 50, i.e. that's about more than half of its nationhood. I'm grateful to be enjoying the fruits of independence even during these interesting times when a lot is going on behind the political scenes.
The other day, cirnelle blogged about patriotism and that got me off thinking about the movie The Patriot, you know, the one starring the hunky Mel Gibson?
Why was I drawn to that movie? Because that movie described how the "rebels" (later known as Revolutionaries in American History) fought against oppression under the British rule.
They were fighting for a young nation which will eventually become one of the greatest superpowers of the world.
Ever notice that Americans are always kept in touch of their roots about how their nation was born? It was a hard fight and they are taught not to forget how the got to where they are. Patriotism was taught (or brainwashed if you like to put it that way) and embraced as part of the culture.
Perhaps that's the message our leaders are trying to instill in us. However, I think most of us see otherwise. ;-)
Anyway, there was a point in time when I thought of not coming back to Malaysia and that was about 10years ago when the Asian Financial Crisis hit. A number of friends said that they'll stay put in Australia as they were afraid that they could not get a job when they get back.
I decided to go back. I'd figure that Malaysia had a lot of potential and I could help in the nation-building.
Boy, was I naive back then. (^ ^)
Before 1997, I was living overseas for a while and somehow, I felt being a Malaysian was very important. Probably because of some inferiority complex, I tend to get a bit defensive when some people talk bad about my country but also, I spoke with a lot of pride whenever a prominent Malaysian made it in the headlines - in a good way... *ahem*.
I was proud of my PM back then Tun M, because he had the balls to stand up against some of the superpowers. Well, some said that he was being foolhardy and etc, but to me, that was a patriot. He was willing to fight for our country both at home and international arena. Yeah, yeah, there were the political shows and etc, but he still did his best for the nation.
Anyway, today, I'm just glad that I was able to witness Malaysia turning 50. I'm just wondering what she'll be like at 100. Would she be like the other grand old ladies of other nations, where their children can look beyond their differences and work towards a brighter future? Or, would her children still bicker over small issues, failing to see the big picture, draining her of the rich resources, i.e. the human spirit and knowledge?
Happy Merdeka everyone!