16/09/2023 11:26 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 16 (Bernama) -- A Peranakan Chinese couple John Roland Goh, 71, and Lai Joo Lian, 70, was already up at 6 this morning dressing up and preparing to participate in the Keretapi Sarong 2023 (KS2023) programme.

Attired in traditional Baba Nyonya attire, a short kebaya and sarong, as well as a Malaysian batik shirt, the first-time participants, were very excited to join in the yearly fun.

Lai said KS2023 was nostalgic as she reminisced about her teenage years, adding that she had the opportunity to see the different types and patterns of clothing being worn by today's younger people.

"This programme also gave me the opportunity to relate stories about the clothes of the Peranakan community to the younger generation. I am happy that many young people want to know about the uniqueness of the Baba and Nyonya community," said the third-generation Peranakan.

The short kebaya top and sarong are the traditional clothes of the Peranakan Chinese women that are worn daily. The attire is matched with diamond-studded accessories, beaded embroidery shoes and a unique batik hand fan that can be used as a hat.

Meanwhile, Goh said the KS2023 programme is a platform that unites the races in Malaysia through the wearing of their respective traditional outfits.

"Whether young or old, today (Malaysia Day) all races gathered and exhibited their unique culture and patriotism that is only seen in Malaysia.

"We have lived in Scotland for 10 years, but as the Malay proverb goes ‘Hujan emas di negeri orang, hujan batu di negeri sendiri’, lebih baik di negeri sendiri (It may rain gold in someone else's country, and be hailing stones back in your own country, and yet it is best to be back in your own country). This saying is very accurate...we don't feel this in other countries. I am proud to be Malaysian," he said.

More than 10,000 participants of various races and ages took part in KS2023 which aims to instil love for the country and celebrate diversity, in conjunction with the Malaysia Day celebrations today.