A jour­ney through the dif­fer­ences and sim­i­lar­i­ties that make Malaysia unique – in a sarong.

The Star Malaysia - - Front Page - By RAHIMY RAHIM rahimyr@thes­tar.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians wore their pa­tri­o­tism on their hips when they turned out in sarong again to ride the city trains.

For the fifth time since its in­au­gu­ral edi­tion in 2012, sarong­clad com­muters hopped onto the Kere­tapi Sarong cam­paign to com­mem­o­rate the 55th Malaysia Day.

Some wore the wrap in flo­ral prints while oth­ers sported checks paired with an ar­ray of styles – baju Me­layu, Kadazan out­fits and other tra­di­tional wear.

Some held plac­ards such as #SayangMalaysia and #Malaysi­aDay as they danced and belted out pa­tri­otic songs at the train sta­tions.

Lawyer Jalil Jaa­far, 24, who donned a gold­coloured sarong, said the event was a good plat­form to unite Malaysians and strengthen in­ter­racial bonds.

“I want to be with other Malaysians on this spe­cial day.

“This event shows that we live har­mo­niously in a mul­tira­cial and mul­ti­cul­tural so­ci­ety, and can learn so much from each other,” he said.

In a press re­lease, or­gan­iser Locco (short for Lo­cal Com­pan­ion) – a com­mu­nity­based NGO that show­cases and cel­e­brates Malaysian lo­cal cul­tures to em­power them – said Kere­tapi Sarong was a pub­lic flash mob that pro­moted the use of pub­lic trans­port and preser­va­tion of cul­tural wear.

“It fol­lows up on its suc­cess­ful re­vival last year by launch­ing its 2018 edi­tion in con­junc­tion with the 55th Malaysia Day to cel­e­brate Malaysia Baru,” it added.

The cam­paign is mod­elled af­ter the No Pants Sub­way Ride move­ment in New York.

Par­tic­i­pants gath­ered as early as 9am at five train sta­tions here be­fore meet­ing at the last stop – the Muz­ium Ne­gara LRT sta­tion.

Even non­Malaysians joined in the fes­tiv­ity.

Stu­dent Sun­wan Kim, 22, from South Korea said he learnt about it from his friends.

“By be­ing here, I get to know Malaysians bet­ter. I am truly im­pressed by the unity and diver­sity shown by all.

“I heard songs and saw very in­ter­est­ing dances. I see that Malaysians love their mu­sic and cul­ture,” he said.

For Amy Ariff, in her 30s, it was a mem­o­rable first ride on the MRT.

“Ev­ery­one has been talk­ing about it on so­cial me­dia. So, this year I de­cided to be part of the jour­ney. I did not re­gret my de­ci­sion,” she beamed.

Sheena Shah, 29, said it was a “truly Malaysian” show­case.

“It is Malaysia Day and it is just like a big party. Re­gard­less of one’s race, re­li­gion or back­ground, it is a party for all Malaysians,” she said.

Fash­ion­able state­ment: Kere­tapi Sarong par­tic­i­pants pos­ing for a group photo.

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