Sunday, 1 September 2013

by Matthew Tang Tien Ping, Form 4 Science 1, Class of 2014

Photo credit : Beh Chee Kin, Class of 2015

Merdeka. A single word with a thousand other words behind its meaning. Sadly, if one of those words is 'holiday' then students are out of luck, because it falls on a Saturday this year. Nevertheless, this did not dampen our patriotic mood because after all, what's better than celebrating Merdeka in school, with a community of unique people from different backgrounds and ethnics, mirroring exactly the spirit of 'Merdeka'? Yes, 'Hari Merdeka' is a day meant for refreshing our memories, and renewing our gratitude. This year’s special Merdeka assembly proved just that and more for us Cempakans, with uncountable moments of pride and joy.

The hall was brightly decked, with Malaysian flags hanging across the hall with their striking red, white, blue and yellow hues, along with much more cheer in the air than usual. The assembly kicked off with the IB students presenting on their 'Aid the Needy' charity drive, in which they raised funds for a home — its rundown state clearly shown in the touching iMovie. Their charity drive included a raffle ticket sale as well as a food sale which I must add, drew particularly large crowds of students everyday. An astounding RM10,000 as well as other basic items were collected throughout the past week. During the assembly, the winners of the raffle tickets were announced, with the grand prize being an LED television. However, the real highlight of the draw was when Yoong Hao Ming of Junior 1 Terra selflessly decided to donate it to the orphanage — touching the hearts of all Cempakans in the hall and proving a perfect example of the Cempakan gentleman.

Next, to start off the Merdeka cheer, a brief but meaningful iMovie was screened. In it, Cempakans were asked what was the one word they think of when they think of Merdeka. There was no wrong answer, what with replies like ‘unity’, ‘duty’, ‘friends’ and even ‘chapati’, they were words from the hearts of Cempakans and Malaysian alike.

Following that, we were regaled to an array of performances. A poem about Merdeka was recited by Leanne Tan and Tengku Nurin, accompanied by Choo Li Ling at the piano, reminding us of the history of our country and our journey forward. The recitation was followed by an adorable choir performance by the Junior Cempaka Voices, which brought about many ‘awww's from the audience. Next in the line-up was a medley of Setia and Sejahtera Malaysia by talented junior and senior violinists, the highlight being when the soloist, Lim Jia Ying, played the melody so beautifully and with such skill that the audience was floored. After that was 'Trio Dance' performed by Hana Zakirah, Samantha Lee and Mithali Maya Mittra, in which the essence of unity was incorporated in every perfectly synchronized step.

The performances were finally rounded up by the Form 4 choir, accompanied by Eugene Gan and Ezzamel Zarif at the guitar, who delivered a rousing rendition of the 1Malaysia theme song. After the stellar performances, we were once again was treated to another iMovie, done by the Class of 2013 and prepared by Dean Tan Yu.

The excitement was not over yet, as at Dato’ Frieda’s sign, Jalur Gemilang started playing and everyone in the hall got to their feet, flags a-wave, singing along to the timeless classic. We sang along not once, but twice to Jalur Gemilang, and also the all-time favourite ‘Tanggal 31’, ending the assembly with wonderful spirit and cheer. As Cheng Sheun Wern of Form 5 said in the Merdeka video, ‘It matters not how we celebrate it, what’s important is we celebrate the message it brings’.
by Amanda Lee Yue Ping 22:23 8 comments | in , , , ,

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