The Malaysian Dream,
As Described By Young Adults
From left to right: Chong, Anne, Ai Jia and Ruwan
Anne, Chong, Ruwan and Ai Jia are four friends who perfectly embody the Malaysian spirit. They’ve been friends since they were in school and plan to be for years to come. Though they all went to different universities and live very different lives now, they still make efforts to meet up weekly to spend some quality time together while reminiscing about the old times.
A location that is a favourite of theirs is the Bangsar Sports Complex.
The Bangsar Sports Complex
One day each week, usually during the weekends, Anne, Chong, Ruwan and Ai Jia, go to the complex and spend the day there trying to keep active.
Days at the complex for them usually include a large array of sporting activities including badminton, tennis, futsal and swimming. The four of them had first met when they were on the track team together in school so it is no surprise that fitness is still a priority to them.
But perhaps the most beautiful thing about their friendship is how perfectly it embodies the Malaysian Dream.
What makes Malaysia Malaysia is its diversity and the ability of the people to live harmoniously despite the population being a Rojak of different races and religions.
Watching the four friends as they spend time together at the complex serves as the perfect visualisation of what we Malaysians dream of. Race has never been a barrier for them and they believe it never will.
“I feel like you shouldn’t have a barrier between people of different races,” says Ai Jia. “When you take down that barrier, you make more friends. You have more chances of finding people who click with you. Most of my close friends are people of different races. If I didn’t have friends of different races, I wouldn’t have as many close friends.”
“We don’t see each other as different races, but just as friends,” Chong adds.
They prove that cultural and ethnic differences do not matter nearly as much as the people themselves.
“I feel lucky to be in a country with so many different races. We always make sure to respect each other. That is the key to staying united. We can exchange cultures, ideas, food, stories…and best of all, we get holidays for every festival!” Anne exclaims.
“Every time it’s Chinese New Year, I’ll go to Chong’s house and get free Ang Pau. Hari Raya also I’ll be going to Anne’s house,” says Ruwan.
The Bangsar Sports Complex is to the four friends, what old homes or schools are to most people. We all have that one place we share with our best of friends that puts a smile on our face just thinking about it. Though it might seem like a dodgy, old sports centre to some, intense memories are felt as soon as the four of them walk in.
Their little tradition started when they were about seventeen when Ruwan’s father suggested they spend their weekends doing something other than lounging around at Starbucks. The friends agreed and so began what has now become a weekly ritual that will probably never be broken. They say that their weekly meetups bring with it a warm and fuzzy feeling that could never be replicated anywhere else.
The Swimming Pool
The Badminton Court
A typical day for them at the sports club usually involves a heated game of badminton. Though a doubles match might seem ideal, they prefer having one pair play singles while the other stands by the side to keep score. They laughed, when explaining that, most of the time, the pair standing by the side would cheer for the other and get so into the game that the score was almost always forgotten.
The Tennis Court
As much as things have changed for Anne, Chong, Ruwan and Ai Jia, spending time at the Bangsar Sports Complex never fails to make them realize that they are, in fact, not that different from who they were in school. Yes, they’ve grown up, matured, and started to focus on their careers, but one thing that will never change is how much they care about each other.
Inspired by #MySwatowLaneClub, a short film by AIA.