02 Sep Our Home, Malaysia
Our home, Malaysia – Meaningful Merdeka celebrations for GOTS scholars
It was another virtual Merdeka celebration, but that didn’t damper the spirit of the Global Oak Tree Scholars (GOTS) International School family.
On Monday, each class had celebrations of their own, including quizzes about the formation of Malaysia, drawing batik designs, colouring contests, reciting the Rukun Negara, singing patriotic songs and speaking about why they loved the country.
The younger scholars were also taken on a ‘trip’ down memory lane as the coaches told them about the famous pink mini buses that used to ply the streets of the Klang Valley.
They were told about the culture and the people, and how we, as a nation, should live as one.
The coaches and scholars also took the opportunity to dress up in traditional costumes.
Head of Pre-primary, Chithra Nair, was touched by the scholars’ patriotism and love for one another.
“We asked them if they would like to leave Malaysia and settle down in another country, America, for instance. All of them said ‘No’.
“They said they loved living in Malaysia and didn’t want to go anywhere else. I hope we can keep this spirit alive.
“Also, one of the preschoolers, Ara Saleeha Syahrul Hizan, when asked what it meant to celebrate Merdeka, drew the national flag with her classmates Adora (Gabrielle Lopez) and Dharwin (Tanaseelan) to symbolise sharing it with friends from other races.”
English coach Nicole Ann Beins said the primary scholars were excited about the virtual celebrations, while Geography and History coach S. Dharshini, said the scholars scored high in the quiz about the nation.
Secondary scholar Maryam Mahmud said what made Malaysia special, was the variety of cultures that formed the fundamental building blocks of the country.
“Only in Malaysia can we celebrate Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Deepavali and Christmas as one family,” said Maryam, a national ice skater.
“Another thing that unites us is our great cuisine. Our food is amazing, no matter which race, or culture, cooks it.”
That was something Rushaan Reuban could identify with.
Although he was born and raised in Dubai until 2019, Rushaan said he was a true-blue Malaysian, and that Malaysian food was simply amazing.
“Previously, I only came back for two months in a year, during the summer holidays. Even though I have only lived here permanently since 2019, I consider Malaysia home,” said Rushaan.
“The food, the culture and heritage make us who we are. Our language and slang also set us apart from others. It is not easy getting the intonation right when using lah, meh, ah, mah.”
Another scholar, Zulaiqa Myra Zohrab said: “I am proud to be a Malaysian. I gladly tell that to whomever I meet.
“Malaysia is my incomparable heaven. I will forever be faithful to this land.”