Man you can’t even use patriotism to buy things, you see, necessities, food and drinks, to keep you from dying. It’s not oh precious gold, which our greedy fingers can hold. So why love a country if it ain’t worth any money?
How charmingly useful is patriotism for you? What is it good for, in the killing arms of law? Can I cook my MAGGI® Mee with a dash of the all-powerful I LUV MALAYSIA seasoning?
I talk to the air, searching for a reason, why on earth would I want to be a patriotic Malaysian? If say, I don’t need a reason; wouldn’t I be blind by religion?
I ramble like a talking fly, as locust flags invade the sky.
Trembling I took another picture, triggering an imaginary seizure. I felt such a lost man, a tourist in a foreign land.
Do I actually belong here?
What is Malaysia, a naughty friend of AirAsia? The question hopped across my uneasy convenience. I can’t figure it out, I shout aloud.
It’s my second month back in the country from studying overseas. I don’t feel at home for the most part. Maybe it’s because I have spent a good period of time in introspection, to discover the Malaysian identity, carefully constructed to evoke emotions, just like any national myth. But there is nothing of it I am particularly attached to.
I am a foodie – of course I adore Malaysian food. I am well aware of our unique multicultural society and I am friends with many of its members. I defend Lee Chong Wei even if he loses to Lin Dan almost every time. I see the beauty of the Malaysian life in midst of corruption.
Am I a patriotic Malaysian?
I am rational; at least I obsessively try to. I insist to have an explanation or a justification for my beliefs. So I think, and I think, and I think. Yet after much pondering I still don’t understand what it means to love a country. Perhaps such love is simply beyond the reach of my imagination. Too big, too abstract, too intimidating. To proclaim I love Malaysia – I think it’s rather a stretch. I can’t live without certain parts of it, yes – after all most of my childhood and teen years were spent here – but do I love Malaysia in its entirety? As a Malaysian citizen I am presumed to be defending the nation in the case of foreign invasion, but what am I exactly defending (for durians, you bet)?
Negaraku, tanah tumpahnya –
I hear the national anthem, standing up upon reflex, not knowing why.
Image taken from here