In January, many of us, were jubilant as most of us took to the streets to celebrate the festivities – Maulidur Rasul, Chap Goh Meh and Thaipusam. It was a weekend of much joy (and partying!) for those celebrating as it was a reminder of their cultural heritage, and also for those not celebrating seeing as it was a long public holiday weekend.
It was a sunny, peaceful long weekend. The streets were silent, the shops were closed, the traffic jams were absent, and the air pollution around the city cleared up. Radios were broadcasting a continuous stream of upbeat news on the multitude of events celebrated nationwide. Television stations were airing vibrant, brightly colours of Malaysians dancing, shouting, parading to their cultural heritage.
In short, it was indeed a Malaysian weekend.
It was a reflection of a Malaysia I long for – where Malaysians celebrate each other’s significant occasions and where we associate ourselves as Malaysians and just Malaysians, without any racial qualifier. A Malaysia where we are not only fiercely proud of our heritage and traditions but also of the local amalgamation of cultures and languages (how would we identify with other Malaysians if not for Manglish!)
It is this longing and hope that I joined Teach For Malaysia – an organisation that though young, has sky-high ambitions, with the goal of improving and transforming the education landscape of Malaysia. And hopefully, allowing each and every one to have wider life opportunities, to learn about and from each other and ultimately to understand that though we might all be different, we are still Malaysians.
Because, what better way is there to make a difference and impact change than through education?