As Malaysia’s 64th Independence Day draws near, many of us feel excited to renew our patriotic spirit to celebrate Merdeka. Fostering a sense of patriotism in Malaysia means educating oneself on the country’s history, heritage, cultural and ethnic diversity. Inculcating patriotism from a young age comes with a list of lifelong benefits that enable children to:
- Develop independence
Patriotism teaches children to become more independent. When you talk about how Malaysia first achieved its independence to your child, relate this to how they too can be independent. Learning more about Malaysia’s history of independence encourages preschoolers to be more self-reliant in which they are more willing to learn how to complete tasks and solve problems on their own.
- Promote sense of belonging
One of the ways to instil patriotism in young children is to familiarize themselves with the history of the country. It is believed that the younger generation is less patriotic than the older generation because they lack exposure to history. Children do not have the same privilege as adults when it comes to experiencing milestones and hardships Malaysia has gone through over the years to have emerged as successful as it is today. Therefore, by getting to know Malaysia’s history, they will develop a sense of attachment and pride of being a citizen of the country.
- Build determination and resilience
Malaysia’s journey to independence features yearslong struggle, courage and bravery by people who fought hard for this beloved country. When children develop a sense of patriotism, they will emulate the same kind of determination whenever they are faced with everyday challenges of childhood. This makes preschoolers more resilient to overcome different obstacles in their lives.
- Cultivate good moral values
“Budi Bahasa, Budaya Kita” — Malaysians are known for their warmth and hospitality. Instilling love for this nation within young children means instilling exemplary values at a young age. Values such as respecting elders, modesty, and politeness are sought after among Malaysians; therefore, developing these core values earlier on offers preschoolers lifelong advantages.
- Foster ambition
It is important to nurture ambition from a young age as it encourages children to have a positive outlook in life, to perform well in everything that they do and to work hard in accomplishing their goals. Patriotism guides your child to take pride in their own accomplishments, strengths and talent. This motivates them to unleash their full potential.
Celebrating Merdeka During the Pandemic
Although Merdeka Day celebrations usually mean large gatherings at the Dataran Merdeka, colourful parades, flag-waving cheer and fireworks, the pandemic has put a halt on these lively celebrations.
It is devastating, to say the least, that many preschoolers do not have the opportunity to experience Merdeka Day celebrations from a young age due to the pandemic. National celebrations such as this are crucial for children’s healthy development and growth. This is because these events broaden children’s understanding of the world around them and cultivate important values such as gratitude, respect and tolerance.
Despite this, there are actually plenty of ways to celebrate Merdeka day with your whole family during the pandemic. In embracing the new norm, celebrations can now be carried out whilst still practising the same precautions that ensure our family’s well-being, safety and health.
Merdeka day celebrations are all about showing appreciation, love and pride for our country.. Here are some ideas to make your ‘at-home’ Merdeka 2021 celebration more exciting for your children:
- Dress up in colours of the Malaysian flag
Did you know that the colours of the clothing you wear can impact your emotions and mood? Wearing colours of the Jalur Gemilang on Merdeka day could uplift your child’s patriotic spirit and make them feel more excited to celebrate Merdeka day.
You can also encourage your whole family to dress up in traditional costumes to embrace the multiracial diversity of Malaysia while wearing a hand made Merdeka headpiece.
Here’s a tutorial video on how to make your very own Merdeka headpiece:
Template for the headpiece can be downloaded here:
- Have a patriotic-themed karaoke party at home
Preschoolers learn more effectively through songs, rhymes and dance. This is why most preschool activities incorporate music and movement to keep young children engaged and excited to learn. Patriotic songs are part and parcel of independence day celebrations. Malaysia too has many iconic Merdeka-themed songs for children to sing along to such as Sudirman’s Tanggal 31 as well as Keranamu Malaysia!
Looking for some fresh patriotic tunes this Hari Merdeka? Listen to this Q-dees Negaraku Merdeka song that was recorded during the pandemic:
- Take merdeka-themed photos and videos
What better way to treasure family memories than to eternalize them in photos and videos? As we now live in the age of the internet, we can now share these cherished moments with all our friends and family from across the globe!
Besides that, when you upload your Merdeka-themed photos and videos with the hashtag #QdeesAnakMalaysia on your social media, you and your whole family could stand a chance to be featured in our Merdeka song compilation video!
All you need to do is:
- Complete the Merdeka headpiece craft and take photos of you and your family wearing the headpiece.
- Record a video of you and your whole family singing the Q-dees Negaraku Merdeka song.
Remember to submit your best and most creative photos and videos before August 23, 2021!
Independence day celebrations sow the seeds of patriotism within our children. Patriotism, in its most basic sense, is a sense of pride and love for one’s country. Take advantage to educate your children on Malaysian heritage and history through Merdeka celebrations. This way, children get to explore the multicultural landscape of Malaysia more effectively. More than that, Malaysian patriotism nurtures love and appreciation for one’s country. So, join the Q-dees Negaraku Merdeka campaign today to make your Merdeka 2021 celebration worthwhile for your whole family.