WE Malaysians love our public holidays, don’t we? It is after all one of the perks of living in a multi-racial and multi-cultural nation, where it allows us to enjoy a day off. With as many as 18 national public holidays, Malaysians can find creative ways to have an extended weekend. But do we really know what some of these public holidays commemorate?
September 16 is Malaysia Day, but what does this day signify? Not to be confused with Independence Day that is celebrated every August 31st, Malaysia Day marks the joining of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore to form Malaysia before Singapore broke away two years later, in 1965. 16 September was only recognised as a national public holiday in 2010. To the uninitiated, it may seem odd that we have two different days to celebrate the nation but as history unveils, both the days are filled with sacrifices by our ancestors to ensure the future generation could live a better life.
mm2h.com succinctly describes that it is globalization that has forged closer ties between the East and West, allowing for the creation of a whole Malaysian identity. It further adds that by recognizing and embracing the importance of the unique religious, cultural, and linguistic diversities of the people from the East, it has changed the traditional outlook of the nation.
It is with the commemoration of this day that the nation can truly celebrate and appreciate the beauty of the even more multicultural and diverse country that it has become since Sabah and Sarawak joined the Peninsula in 1963, to create a unified nation.