Today was a particularly 'racial' day for me.
I've just finished watching this video about 'How racist are Malaysians' - awesome
Plus, I finished another episode of JK News on Black Racism - thought inspiring
So these got me thinking about racism in general.
While I was having a talk with my dad with the 'what would you do' questions, something popped out of my mind.
It happened yesterday when Sheng and I went for a movie together at Queensbay.
We were both sitting together, watching trailers before the movie 'Lucy' started.
Then the screen turned blank and the narrator said 'Please stand up to sing the national anthem' while the translations in BM and BC were displayed on the screen.
I was truly confused and I was looking at Sheng with a confused look, asking him 'Is this for real?'
He shrugged as the familiar tune of 'Negaraku' started playing.
I looked to the left and right (a typical reaction to most people in the cinema), nobody stood up.
I was about to grab a chip from the can Sheng bought earlier when he sprung up all of the sudden and he started to sing the national anthem.
Shocked as I was, I stood up too (so he doesn't look awkward? haha) and I actually knocked off a good portion of the chips...
Standing up, I can see that most people in the cinema was seated, except for another Chinese girl standing a few rows in front of me.
I distinctively heard her guy friend towards her left asking her 'Why did you stand up' in Chinese.
And with a little giggle, she replied 'Cause it's our country ma' (notice the infamous 'ma' in the conversation? Yea, that's how Malaysian we are)
So, the 3 of us stood throughout Negaraku, watching the patriotic images our country along with the different races flashed in front of us.
When it all ends, I sat down, facing Sheng with a questioning look...
"You surprised me when you stood up"
"I didn't expect you to do that... Haha."
"Haha, yea, I may dislike our country's politics, but I am proud of being a Malaysian."
"True, I agree."
"BTW, do you know how common it is for the Thais to stand up for their national anthem? They'll even pull up at the side of the road when the national anthem was aired on the radio!"
So that was my experience with the national anthem and the cinema.
I think people rasa malu nak stand up because it feels weird and awkward.
But I think the national anthem stirs up more than just our country, identity and stuff...
I think it creates this emotion inside reminding us that, 'hey, we had come this far, look at all these things we can cherish', and it does makes sense, in a way.
I think I only realize the impact of it when I went through my uni, meeting so many people, seeing so many faces.
I think it's kinda cool getting to know each other better, we gotto learn something new everyday.
So, would you stand up when the national anthem comes up in the cinema before the movie starts?
News on cinema airing Negaraku for a week here