Wandering Malaysian celebrates the little things he finds to be quintessentially Malaysian – those all-time favourites that break the bonds that at times seem to divide us.
Someone told me that I need to lighten up as they find my writings all doom and gloom.
I have taken heed. I have made a list of things that mean inclusive Malaysia for me. The common everyday things that define all Malaysians. There is a bit of a generational bias here though and in no particular order, here goes:
Roti canai and teh tarik. All Malaysians enjoy roti canai and teh tarik (kurang manis or not).
Kumpulan Alleycats. Songs about longing and heartbreak in Malay, written by Malays and performed by Indians and Chinese for generations of Malaysians. What can top that for inclusiveness?
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P Ramlee movies. I grew up on them. We need remakes for the current generation.
Lat cartoons. Bulat, the quintessential Malaysian who captures Malaysia in a way that no one else has been able to. Time to bring out new editions and a TV series.
Mee goreng and nasi lemak. Yes, food again but Malaysians are bound together by cuisine than anything else. A National Food Day?
Diabetes. No surprises here given our passion for food!
Nicol David. Our world champion of mixed ancestry whose rock star appeal cuts across the spectrum of Malaysian society.
Bahasa Malaysia. Malay as she is spoken in amazing variety from Perlis to Sarawak. Efforts to create Bahasa Baku and Bahasa Melayu have floundered against the Malaysian ability to speak as they will
Manglish. Know what I mean lah?
Fear of the supernatural. Spirits, bomohs, black magic, fortune tellers…you name it and every Malaysian will have a story or knows someone who has a story.
Football. We may not be world beaters but which Malaysian has not played or watched bola sepak? The passion of fans of Liverpool and Manchester United FCs rival that of those in the UK.
Lepak. Whether in roadside stalls, golf clubs or malls, lepak is a national past time.
Ang pows. Those red packets now come in a variety of colors from green to yellow to celebrate all festivals.
Hospital kerajaan (GH). Our world class public healthcare system brings all Malaysians together to share their ailments and seek common bonds.
Honda cub. The ubiquitous Malaysian mode of transport before the Protons and Peroduas. Also the Suzukis and Yamahas.
Yay for Inclusive Malaysia!