Wa-hey! Merdeka has come and gone and the feeling of patriotism I had in my fingers and toes, that I mistook for early warning signs of stroke, is still tingling. Despite the overcrowding, I enjoyed myself tremendously at Laundry where Madison Flynt was playing. Amidst the Merdeka revellers – snarling city-wide jams and the elbowing and kneeing endured in packed venues – I fell prone to a little philosophical musing. Sure this too-many-people business was a downer, but here were thousands of people who willingly braved traffic to celebrate the anniversary of our independence. There are only two other events I can think of that warrant such joyous revel transcending culture and religion – the arrival of a New Year and our birthdays. So, here we were celebrating the making of our nation – the en masse birthday of a collective nationality.
Here too is a nationalistic peculiarity that Malaysians should be striving for – to be known for our love of a party and our untiring effort to make it a good one. But can we abandon our typical Malaysian tardiness (traffic jam ler!) or infamous Malaysian road courtesy (your nenek‘s road one ah?) to make room for it? It all seemed doubtful to me. Then the pyrotechnic display came on with its specatular hues and colours falling in a rain of sparks around us. And I think to myself, at least we still have the fireworks.