I know it's a little late but I wanted to include this post as it was a first for me.
It was the first time I was at Dataran Merdeka to see the merdeka parade. August 31st is Malaysia's Independence Day, and each year a parade goes through Merdeka Square.
We were staying at The Majestic Hotel which is just 10 minutes walk from the venue. I woke up early, around 6am while the others were fast asleep. I wasn't planning on walking right down to Dataran Merdeka; just thought I'd watch them all go by the hotel.
|Snapped this photo of The Majestic Hotel KL around 7:30am|
I watched a barrage of tanks make their way past the hotel amidst much din. Quite impressive.
I followed the line of tanks down the road until I reached Dataran Merdeka. While the machinery was impressive, I was not so proud of the sight of soldiers in and around the tanks smoking away on cigarettes. Anyway, that's a different story...
Managed to find myself a spot amongst the huge crowds right here...
A number of national songs were blasted out of the speakers right behind where I was standing, including 'Negaraku' and one of my personal favourites, 'Jalur Gemilang,' which I was able to sing along to. Despite the large crowds, there was no pushing and shoving, everyone seemed to behave themselves well, and the police did a very good job at maintaining order. I must say, it was a very patriotic atmosphere, and I felt very much Malaysian myself, and a deep sense of belonging to this land.
|Carrying a large Malaysia flag in the parade|
|A young child waves the Malaysia flag as the parade passes by|
I was given a Malaysia flag which I waved proudly during the 'Jalur Gemilang' song. As I already was carrying an ipad and a camera, I ended up inserting the flagstick in my pocket, as many others did.
Managed to find a window ledge to stand on which gave me a better view of proceedings and a more favourable angle for taking photos.
Around 9:30am I began to make my way through the crowds and headed back to the hotel. I was getting rather hungry!
|Some sort of Malaysian SWAT team|
I walked the slightly uphill journey back to The Majestic Hotel and slipped into Contango to join my family who were having breakfast there.