Wednesday Walk And Make Me Smile: Walking For Sarawak's Independence, The Kuching Autistic Association Way
On 22 July 1963, the British granted self-government to Sarawak. However, the period of self-government lasted for 2 months. On 16 September 1963, Sarawak together with the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, and Sabah (previously known as North Borneo) formed the Federation of Malaysia. As such, Sarawak was an independent country before joining Malaysia. Therefore 22 July 2022 has been celebrated as Sarawak’s Independence Day. Since 2016, this day has been declared a public holiday to commemorate Sarawak's Independence.
As usual, various events were held this year to commemorate Sarawak's independence by the State Government, NGOs, and various communities. The official celebration by the State Government was held in Sibu. The Kuching Autistic Association celebrated this occasion in its own unique way with autistic students, teachers, and staff. The celebration was held on the Association's premises on 21 July 2022 as the next day was a public holiday.
The simple ceremony started off with the playing of the National Anthem "Negaraku" and the State Anthem "Ibu Pertiwiku". The teachers and students were dressed in their colorful traditional costumes. This reflected the multi-racial society which is made up of various ethnic groups.
The MC for the event was dressed in a traditional Chinese costume.
The next activity was the aerobic dance led by two teachers who were dressed in a sari and a Bidayuh costume.
The students with the assistance of the teachers joined in the aerobics, swaying their bodies to the music while waving the flags in the air.
After end of the aerobics session, the contingent(can I call this a contigent) walked around the compound of the Association twice. They may not walk or march in tempo, but the whole group is doing their best. What is most important is that they are having fun.
The next activity was a coloring competition which was held in the sensory room.
These are the winning entries for the coloring competition.
Then we had a fashion parade of the students assisted by the teachers. The teachers especially had put in a lot effort to dress up in their finest traditional costume.
The cake which was specially ordered for this occasion. "Kamek Sayang Sarawak" written in the Sarawak Malay dialect means "We love Sarawak".
The happy faces say it all. Thank you to the teachers who had put in a lot effort to organize this event.
To sum it up, it was a simple but very meaningful ceremony. I am not very sure how the students understand the significance of this celebration. But their excitement and smiles showed that they enjoy participating in the event. What I can see clearly is their desire to take part in various celebrations and events that are happening in the society. These autistic students want so badly to be part of society and hope that they too can be included for celebrations and events. It will be great to see that in future events comprising various contigents, these autistic can be included as one of the contigents. At the same time, this would create more awarness about autism. I pray that this change can happen sooner.
Wednesday Walk And Make Me Smile
As I am still recovering from my slipped disc, walking and swimming are my major forms of exercise. I am glad to stumble upon the Wednesday Walk community. The Wednesday Walk is a challenge started by @tattoodjay to encourage people to go for walks, take some photos and write about it. Now I can combine my two hobbies; walking and writing.
The Make Me Smile challenge is created by @elizacheng and you can post almost anything that puts a smile on others or yourself.
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