Independence Day might have passed, but the national spirit perseveres through the month of September as Malaysia Day, held on the 16th of September, quickly approaches.
Despite being a more recent festive occasion, why we celebrate Malaysia Day is one of great historical significance. Unlike Merdeka – wherein the Federation of Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia) was officially declared an independent nation – Malaysia Day commemorates the day Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore joined the Federation to form the Malaysia we know and love today.
Both Merdeka and Malaysia Day 2021 share an annual theme, with “Malaysia Prihatin” – or “Considerate Malaysia” – being this year’s pick. Though it was used in 2020, the repetition comes as a national urge for citizens to continue looking out for themselves and each other during these trying times.
While we’re no strangers to celebrating festivities at home, here’s a few ideas on how you can celebrate Malaysia Day from the comfort of your home.
- Support Local Support
The highlight of 2021 so far has been seeing how Malaysians come together to care for each other. As such, a fitting way to celebrate this day is by supporting and giving back to the community.
Aside from donating to neighbourhood food banks or buying from local vendors, another way to support those in need is through helping soup kitchens.
If you’re looking to contribute, here are some that serve up some feel-good Malaysian meals to those who need them the most:
- Soup kitchens such as Dapur Jalanan Kuala Lumpur, Pit Stop Cafe, and PERTIWI Soup Kitchen distribute classic local food to those in need
- Groove Grocers, set up in 2020 to help with essential supplies, have now extended to food delivery services in flatting areas
- Hunger Hurts’ #OneMeal Initiative specially features smaller food vendors, and donate their dishes to the hungry
- IQLAS, formerly known as HOPE Kitchen, provide meals to frontliners and essential workers
- Spruce Up Your Space
Having spent the last year at home, we now understand how our surroundings can affect our mood. The effects of spending a prolonged period of time in our living spaces have made us not just appreciate, but look forward to, revamping them.
Everyday Health backs up how makeovers can help bust your blues, even if it’s simple adjustments such as shifting your furniture around for more exposure to natural light. These small changes lead to feelings of satisfaction while ensuring your space remains enticing.
Try incorporating new elements into your living areas such as soothing indoor plants, or even putting up photos of you and your loved ones for an extra homely touch. And if you haven’t already gotten your Jalur Gemilang out, now’s definitely the perfect time to do so.
- Make Your Own Malaysian Meal
Lockdown has unlocked a new life skill for most: cooking. The Star reveals how the movement control orders prompted Malaysians to start cooking at home, making it clear that homemade meals have become a part of the new norm’s lifestyle.
With that said, it’s well-known that Malaysians are united by their love for food. So it’s only fitting that a quintessentially Malaysian way of celebrating this day is by whipping up your very own rendition of a local dish.
Whether you opt for a classic, piping hot plate of nasi lemak, or dish up a mee goreng topped with creative add-ons, there’s bound to be a readily available Malaysian food recipe to tempt your tastebuds. And if you’re really daring, you could even attempt to make it without the recipe.
- Catch Some Classics in Comfort
If you’ve been feeling out of sorts, that’s also completely understandable. With everything going on, it’s safe to say we could all use a little breather.
Take the time to reset and recalibrate, switch off from overwhelming social media platforms, and have a more restful Malaysia Day celebration – by spending the day watching your favourite Malaysian films.
On top of being the perfect opportunity for you to unwind, you’ll also be able to take a break from the incessant news updates while appreciating iconic movies, whether you opt for the blossoming teen romances of Sepet to the legendary warriors of Puteri Gunung Ledang.
Snuggle up in bed and enjoy some calming “me time” by getting some snacks ready and switching off non-urgent phone alerts. The final step? Up your comfort level in bed with our silky soft bed sheets for some well-deserved relaxation this Malaysia Day.