Malaysia is celebrating its 63rd independence this 31 August! Choo Choo Train has prepared plenty of interesting activities to teach children about our wonderfully diverse country. If you want to join in the festivities and reinforce your children’s learning at home, let’s look at what to say and how to talk about Malaysia’s independence celebration with children.
Originally, our country which consisted of the Malaysian peninsula now was called Tanah Melayu. We were colonized by the Portuguese and then the British which gave our country the name Malaya. Our country gained independence from British in 1957 and six years after that, in 1963, the Malaysian peninsula joined with Singapore, North Borneo and Sarawak and got the name Malaysia. Two years later, Singapore became an independent nation, so today Malaysia consists of only Malaysian peninsula, North Borneo and Sarawak.
Take out our country’s map and show it to your child. Malaysia is a huge country with 13 states and 3 federal territories. The 13 states are Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Pulau Pinang, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, and Terengganu. The 3 federal territories are Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, and Putrajaya. Tell your child about where you were born and raise!
The national language
The official language spoken in our country is the Bahasa Melayu. Teach some basic words to your child like makan (eat), minum (drink), mandi (shower), tidur (sleep), kawan (friend), and keluarga (family).
Show your child some money! The currency of Malaysia is called the Ringgit and we have the paper money as well as the coins which is called Sen. You can include some basic Math while teaching this. See if your child knows his numbers?
Of course, Malaysia’s well known for its multi-racial society. We have Malays, Indians, Chinese, Peranakans, Eurasians, and Orang Asli. The indigenous Orang Asli has many tribes under its category and they each has different practices. There are books about the multi-racial people in our country you can buy and read with your child.
The national symbols
The national flag: Our national flag is called Jalur Gemilang. The red and white stripes represent the states in Malaysia. The yellow colour on the flag reflects the royal colour of Malay rulers while the blue colour stands for the unity of the people.
The national anthem: The national anthem of Malaysia is called Negaraku which means ‘My Country’. Teach your child how to sing it through watching some videos.
The national animal: Our national animal is the Malaysian Tiger, a subspecies of the tiger family native to the Malaysian peninsula. It is brave and strong so it is a wonderful symbol for Malaysia. Roar!
We hope you and your child will have a good time learning these bits about our country. If you are interested in other topics, please click the links below: