The town of Sandvika near Oslo, came alive with the upbeat sounds of the joget and zapin and shouts of Merdeka as members of the Norway Malaysia Association (NMA) celebrated Malaysia’s 50th year of independence on September 15, 2007.
Members from neighbouring Scandinavian countries such as Denmark and Sweden joined the celebration and were entertained by Malaysian and Norwegian cultural troupes. Malaysian students from as far as Trondheim in central Norway came by coach through the scenic and majestic Dovre Mountains.
Almost every year since its formation in 1990, the NMA has celebrated Malaysia’s independence with members and friends. But they decided to make this year special and Merdeka organising committee chairperson Dr Faredah Jamrus Kasim Myhre and her committee worked tirelessly to put together a celebration befitting a golden anniversary.
They invited the Sri Bulan dance troupe from London who, under the expert guidance of dancer and dance instructor Khalid Din, delivered a performance that gave a glimpse of Malaysia’s rich cultural heritage to the Norwegians. At the same time, it took many expatriate Malaysians down a nostalgic road.
The Merdeka celebration was attended by Margaret Slettevold from the Norwegian Foreign Department, counsellor Abdul Razak Wahab and his family from the Malaysian embassy in Stockholm, Nor Nadia Kamarudin, who works with Volvo in Gothenburg, Sweden, and Aisah Hashim of Umno Club Denmark.