The­atre stu­dent turns love for home­land into stir­ring show

The Star Malaysia - - Nation -

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.

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