How do you define being a Malaysian? We asked around the SAYS office and on social media, and here are some of the common responses we received:
1. Bonding over the simple things like our collective love for food
We're surprised they - the dictionary people - have not made Malaysians synonymous with the word 'glutton' yet.
2. Have a knack for spicing up bland things
Whether it's building a mall in a boring neighbourhood, adding chilli and spices in our food, making a fusion of all sorts of things, or embellishing clean white walls with vibrant street art (not to be confused with graffiti), we definitely like to keep things interesting.
3. Calling up friends for spontaneous 'yum cha' sessions at just about any time
It's the time when you and your kakis catch up and blow off steam about your terrible day at work, and washing it all down with a cup of teh tarik.
5. Our fiery passion in supporting the Malaysian football team even though we know we won't win
And no, it's not only because we want public holiday when we win, okay!
6. We don't like Lin Dan
7. Our matchless ability to end every imaginable sentence with lah
Use it to dramatise on situations, turn a seemingly insulting phrase into a playful remark, or use it however you please, the word lah is indeed a linguistic chameleon to suit just about any situation.
8. Living in a multiracial country, not only do we understand the importance of being respectful of others but we are also quick to adapt to situations
9. Being indecisive in many ways like never being able to decide where to eat...
What to do, we're blessed (and spoiled) with so much variety!
10. ...or which language to use. Hence, the rojak language.
12. Often misunderstood, Malaysians are actually very tolerant and peace loving people lah
13. Politics aside, Malaysians make a pretty great team with this wonderful concoction of people from a mixture of ethnicities, religion and culture
14. We remain undivided and help each other tread through the mud during difficult times especially times of tragedy
15. The brave and selfless local heroes remind us of the true Malaysian spirit
16. Most importantly, we are undeniably the most united when we unanimously dislike Singapore
Jk, Singapore, jk!
Last year, fellow compatriots brought the Malaysian spirit to life in the form of short films to tell their own tales of love for the country:
The ESCAPE Shots Merdeka Video Contest was introduced to all Malaysians last year for the very first time, by ESCAPE by Celcom. Launched in 2014 together with CEO DS Shazali Ramly and DS Ahmad Shabery Cheek, the contest received more than 400 video submissions and cash prizes a total of RM157,000 were given to the winners.
Keep your eyes peeled for this year's Merdeka video contest here, as there will be more prize money to be won!