Theatre student turns love for homeland into stirring show
KUALA LUMPUR: Every time Lim Mei Fen (pic) hears Warisan by the late Datuk Sudirman Arshad, she cannot help but tear up.
The 31yearold has spent a lot of time delving into the meaning behind the lyrics of the song.
This was because for the last four years, she has made it part of her “homework” to learn the song, as well as a few other Malay songs, in an effort to improve her mastery of the Malay language.
“When I was given the role of Puteri Hang Li Po in the theatre production Takhta 3 Ratu four years ago, I could only read the script without fully understanding it.
“So, I worked to improve my Bahasa Malaysia by speaking it and listening to Malay songs. When I finally learned the meaning behind Warisan, I could not help but be moved to tears.
“It made me grateful to be born Malaysian,” she told Bernama.
As a finalyear student at the National Academy of Arts Culture and Heritage’s (Aswara) Faculty of Theatre, Lim found that living among the multiracial community at the campus taught her a lot about unity.
“When I was first accepted into Aswara three years ago, I was the only Chinese student around, but I was treated with respect and understanding by my classmates.
“I documented my experience as a student and the harmonious atmosphere on campus in a theatre production called Tanah Akhirku.
“The production was even staged at Istana Budaya recently in conjunction with the Merdeka month,” said Lim, who hails from Penang.
Tanah Akhirku tells the story of Ying Feng, who flees mainland China to Malaya with her mother and sibling to escape the civil war. Ying Feng later falls in love with the country as well as a Malay man.
Lim, who is the show’s producer and lead actress, said it features dialogue in multiple languages and was performed at Istana Budaya here from Aug 28 to Sept 2.
The show features a cast of popular actors such as Aeril Zafrel, Erma Fatima, Izzue Islam, Angeline Tan and Nina Nadira.