AIMST Ramadhan Bazaar/Merdeka Countdown 2010
Report by Ms.Nadira Nordin, MBBS Batch 16
On the eve of Malaysia’s 53rd year since Independence from colonial rule, for the first time ever in AIMST Semeling campus was held a Merdeka Countdown coupled with our very own
Ramadhan Bazaar, in the spirit of the Muslim fasting month and national unity. The event was jointly organised by students from the Faculty of Biotechnology and the Student Affairs Division.
The festivities began as early as 6.30pm, the various food stalls setting up to peddle their wares for everyone. Most stalls opened in a big way, complete with decorations and students promoting and selling with rancour. It was a sight as the streets in front of the Student Center transformed into a true bazaar – milling with people, promoters calling for customers and the sunset signalling breaking of fast! Some booths offered games instead of food and there were also outside vendors selling traditional wear. As the bazaar went on, stage performances were also lined up as night fell on the campus.
The event was co-hosted by Kirath Sidhu and Thurini Venugopal from MBBS Batch 15. The performances ranged between singing, dancing and acting; all with the signature touch of local flavour and cultural diversity. Even a fashion show of all the diverse traditional costumes in Malaysia was impressively staged, so much so that an encore of the show was called to raucous applause. The performances were enjoyed by students and members of staff alike.
As midnight drew closer, students of various faculties began preparing for the Merdeka March, a friendly interfaculty competition whereby the faculty which could execute the best march pass would win. The Faculty of Medicine (FOM) was by and far the largest group, although consisting only of batches 15 and 16. Alas, strength in numbers would later prove insufficient to win the judges’ favour. After all the faculties displayed their marching skills, the final countdown was initiated by Mr. Ranjit, Head of Student Affairs Division. As the clock struck midnight, everyone heralded our country’s Independence Day with cheers and yells of ‘MERDEKA’ three times, in commemoration of the very first declaration of independence by Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj on 31st August 1957. This was followed with a bedazzling fireworks display.
In closing the event, the winners of the Merdeka March was announced and the prize went to the Faculty of Pharmacy, as they scored top marks for organisation, coordination and all around best display. There was also a cake-cutting for the ‘Merdeka Babies’, celebrating those who were born on the August 31st. Finally after a short closing speech by Mr. Ranjit, the event closed with a blast of music, to which everyone was dancing the rest of the night away!
All in all, it was a fantastic milestone event for all of AIMST University. It proved that despite any cultural differences, the students could come together and celebrate those differences with tolerance and harmony. Hopefully, everyone can also take something home from this kind of event – the true message of Merdeka, national unity and what independence truly means to each of one of us.