Malaysians ex­press love for coun­try

New Straits Times - - News -

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysians from all walks of life con­verged at Dataran Putrajaya yes­ter­day, clad in their most cre­ative out­fits to ex­press their love for the na­tion.

The crowd mostly wore clothes in­spired by the colours of Jalur Gemi­lang.

Some were seen wear­ing tra­di­tional at­tire like baju ke­baya, cheongsam, sari and sin­uangga (Kadazan­dusun tra­di­tional cos­tume), show­ing the coun­try’s mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism to the world.

Vis­i­tors were also en­ter­tained by games, such as street soc­cer and net­ball matches.

The Ek­spresi Ne­garaku event also be­came an instant food hub where it played host to more than 20 food trucks.

Shah Alam Polytech­nic Col­lege stu­dent Siti Balqhis Bakri, 22, said she par­tic­i­pated in the Ne­garaku Flag Run as it gave her the op­por­tu­nity to ex­er­cise with her friends.

An­other stu­dent, Shalini Nair, 16, said Ek­spresi Ne­garaku proved that pa­tri­o­tism could be dis­played through the arts.

“We all have our own ways to tell Malaysia that we love her.

“There is never just one way of show­ing it (love) and I think the event taught Malaysians, es­pe­cially youth, to em­brace cre­ativ­ity.”

Vis­i­tors were treated to a live demon­stra­tion of graf­fiti paint­ing, where 18 par­tic­i­pants took part in the com­pe­ti­tion or­gan­ised by 1Malaysia For Youth.

Muhamad Rery Marti­naz Muhamad Ali painted a por­trait of Malaysia’s first prime min­is­ter, Tunku Ab­dul Rah­man, and as­tro­naut Datuk Dr Sheikh Musza­phar Shukor.

“The in­spi­ra­tion to draw Sheikh Musza­phar and Tunku Ab­dul Rah­man was to show how the coun­try has pro­gressed since in­de­pen­dence.

“We even have our own as­tro­naut,” he said.

The former ju­nior foot­baller said he once rep­re­sented the coun­try and felt proud to wear the Jalur Gemi­lang on his shirt.

“My eyes will well up when I sing Ne­garaku.

“That’s what pa­tri­o­tism feels like.

“If you have not felt that be­fore, learn to ap­pre­ci­ate the Rukune­gara and un­der­stand the true im­por­tance of the Ne­garaku,” said the 33-year-old.

Vis­ual artist Mohd Zaki Nordin, 31, drew a pic­ture of a young girl whose face was painted with the na­tional flag, and a bird in the colours of the Jalur Gemi­lang.

“My mes­sage is sim­ple. The girl rep­re­sents the fu­ture gen­er­a­tion and the bird rep­re­sents free­dom,” he said.

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