How to Organise the Best Muhibbah Merdeka Gathering on a Budget

Malaysia will soon be celebrating 60 years of independence this coming august 31st 2017, and as Malaysians, you wouldn’t want to miss out on the celebrations. Of course, you can show your patriotic spirit by waking up early on Merdeka morning to watch the parade at Dataran Merdeka, or you can also get together with friends, family and neighbors for a warm and cozy ‘makan’ session.

Organizing a Merdeka gathering can be done rather easily, and you don’t have to spend a lot to get it done. Here are some Merdeka ideas you can carry out, and rope in your fellow Malaysians t00:

1. Host a Merdeka Day Picnic

Nothing brings people together like a day out in the fresh air and sunshine. You can get everyone to prepare a dish from home to share, and it will be even more fun if the dishes had a theme. For example, get everyone to prepare food in the colours of the Malaysian flag, Red, Blue, Yellow and White. Keep the dishes friendly to everyone’s beliefs so that no one feels left out.

Photo credit: University of Surrey

2. Have a Community Service Gotong-Royong

Does your local community hall need a new coat of paint? Is the local neighborhood playground covered in rubbish? Maybe you want to do something about those pesky ‘Ah Long’ stickers covering street signs. Just ask your neighbors if they’re up for some physical activity, and afterwards some lunch at the local coffee shop.

Photo credit: The Star

3. Hold a Traditional Costume Party

Organize a costume party with a difference. This time, have everyone dress up in a traditional costumes that come from ethnic groups different than their own. This means that everyone will get to experience what wearing their fellow Malaysian’s traditional costumes feel like, which will be an eye opener to many.

Photo credit: Online Daily Good News

4. Merdeka Karaoke Sessions Anyone?

Crank up that minus one tape and have all your buddies give their best rendition of ‘Sejahtera Malaysia’ or  ‘Tanggal Tiga Puluh Satu’ at a special patriotic songs themed Karaoke session. You don’t have to do this at home if you’re afraid of irking the neighbors, so get an event space in town, or have it at the local community hall. Better yet, turn it into a competition with prizes.

Photo credit: EasyUni Forums

5. Traditional Dishes Cooking Class

If you know of a group of people that are interested in learning how to make traditional Malaysian favorites like Asam Laksa, Nasi Kerabu, Nyonya Kuih, Hokkien Mee or the like, why not have a cooking class in your kitchen with an expert instructor (like your Mum or Granny). Plan for everyone to bring their own raw ingredients, which they’ll all learn to prepare together and then feast on it afterwards.

Photo credit: The Malay Mail Online

Our 60th Independence Day is a good opportunity to remind ourselves what we really stand for as Malaysians, and how we’ve always accepted one another for our unique traits and features. To make your Merdeka party planning easier, you can always get a professional caterer to provide the fare for your gathering and work out a reasonable rate.