Video Of US Children's Choir Performing M'sian-Composed Bahasa Melayu Song Goes Viral
A video of a children's choir in the United States performing a Bahasa Melayu song has gone viral on TikTok, evoking a profound sense of national pride among many Malaysians
The video was uploaded earlier this week by Fairuz Fee Tauhid, the choreographer of the performance.
The three-part treble choir song, titled Kira! (count), was composed by Dr Tracy Wong, a Malaysian music educator, conductor, and composer based in Canada.
"This playful original composition for a three-part treble choir and percussion is a nod to Malay folksongs that merge counting and play (common in some childhood games), and sage advice.
"I am drawn to this tradition for its beauty in having music as a form of inter-generational community building," said Wong, describing the song in her newsletter.
The three-minute-and-50-second song was performed by members from Colorado Children's Chorale, a Denver-based choir centre for children aged between seven and 14.
Since Kira! is a treble choir song, which typically comprise of a variety of literature, the lyrics include several Malay proverbs
The proverbs include:
– Sediakan payung sebelum hujan (prepare in advance before an event happens)
– Bersusah-susah dahulu, bersenang-senang kemudian (your struggles now will pay off in the future)
– Yang bulat tak datang menggojlek, pipih tak datang melayang (work hard for what you want)
The performance took place in April, but only caught many Malaysians' attention after Fairuz uploaded the video on his TikTok account.
Kira! is not Wong's first piece written in Bahasa Melayu. According to her newsletter, she has also composed Jauh/Dekat (Far/Near) and Terang (Bright), both of which delve into Malay poetry and traditions.
Wong is also the first Malaysian composer to have two pieces published by Oxford University Press under the Songbird Series. She was also the composer of Fly!, an upbeat piece sang by Penang-born nightingale Bihzhu.
At the time of writing, the viral performance of Kira! has garnered over 1.4 million views on TikTok
"Thank you, Dr Tracy Wong for uplifting Bahasa Melayu on the international stage," said a netizen.
"Thank you from us. Bahasa Melayu speakers are all over the world," commented another TikTok user.
One person said that Wong was their choir teacher in a public secondary school (SMK).