By Yeoh Ee Leng
What does being Malaysian mean to you?
As a third culture kid - having spent most of my formative years outside of Malaysia, it used to be difficult for me to pin-point what it meant to be Malaysian. I was probably indifferent to the idea at best, and the way in which I identified as being Malaysian then was because my passport said so.
It was only after I settled back in Malaysia in 2010, that I began to really appreciate the many facets of this country. I made it a point to travel locally as much as possible, in part to limit my carbon footprint but the additional bonus was the discovery that history came alive for me in every town, because of my connection to this country - as a Malaysian. People and places became meaningful because they held little jigsaws to my past and seeds for the future. I saw the beautiful landscapes and countryside not just as examples of nature’s handiwork to marvel at, but also as a gift of heritage. My eyes were opened to the potential of the land. For me, being Malaysian is the happy coincidence that the country you were born in is also where you want to plant flowers and tend the grass. It is a sense of belonging, of being rooted to a place, and being invested here.
At Earth Heir, one of our missions is to build a company that instills pride in our local craftsmanship and we do that by celebrating the work of artisans and their stories. We believe that the diversity in this country is a great strength that has so much potential not yet realised. We want to harness and encourage that growth and we do so by working with as many groups as possible - from the original people groups to those who have come more recently to seek refuge here.
Our vision is for Malaysia to be known for beautiful hand-made products that are not just decorative, but suited for modern day use. At Earth Heir - we want to see the status of our heritage crafts elevated to the level of our fusion cuisine - the result of cultures meeting where the trade winds cross, and refined over time.
As we approach September 16th we want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Malaysia Day. Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the years. Stay safe and best of health.