“There is no sincerer love than the love of Malaysian food” The Rojak Projek
THE ROJAK PROJEK is an initiative by TRP CREATIVES, a social enterprise that focuses on creating positive understanding and awareness by promoting unity, culture and diversity.
A group of young Malaysians recently travelled around Malaysia and filmed a documentary called, “Rediscovering Each Other” which depicts their journey in transforming the idea of being ethnically colour-blind to colour-embracing; in a time where the call for unity has never been more profound. Through their travels they found that Malaysians are very 'Rojak' (mixed), and that speaks about the beauty and diversity of Malaysia.
SO, WHAT DOES “COLOUR-EMBRACING” MEANS TO ‘THE ROJAK PROJEK’?
“People would think that the way to achieve unity among our differences is to be a colour-blind nation. However, we, The Rojak Projek, think otherwise. MALAYSIANS belong to uncountable cultures and traditions… that is just how different and diverse we are as a nation. We believe that our colours, our incredibly vibrant diversity and culture should be fully embraced. It is what makes us who we are, not something to be diluted.” - The Rojak Projek
The Rojak Projek team have also produced 540 food artworks (2015-2017) showcasing Malaysians from all 13 states. Why 540? Because Malaysia was born on the 16th of September 1963 (54 years prior to 2017) when East Malaysia was included as an essential part of the Malaysian Federation. Without Sabah and Sarawak, Malaysia will not be the Malaysia it is today.
SO, WHY FOOD?
“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate and our Malaysian food takes it to the next level, and we Malaysians know it! Our food has always been the gesture of peace which allows us to sit, eat and enjoy each other's company despite our differences. It is our differences that makes us unique. These artworks are about showcasing not only the beauty in variety of Malaysian food but the message that our diversity is equally beautiful.” - The Rojak Projek
SO WHAT HAPPENED AFTER YOU CREATED THE FOOD?
“All the food were eaten, packed, documented, and delivered to bless others. We also gained terrible weight for the entire year!!! With the works we've done so far, we've only managed to cover a portion of Malaysia in its entirety! That means that there is so much more to discover!” - The Rojak Projek
The Rojak Projek will be showcasing their documentary on Merdeka Day (Independence Day) at Lot 10, Kuala Lumpur. Furthermore, they will be showcasing an exhibition of 550 artworks (another 10 additional artworks will be created in conjunction to Malaysia’s 55th birthday) in collaboration with Perdana Fellows Alumni Association's, “Youth Festival of Ideas 2018” at Sunway University on 15th September 2018.
The purpose of this is to pave a way to inspire younger Malaysians to begin their own journey of being problem solvers, carrying the responsibilities of bridging gaps together. Our hope is that this will become a larger Malaysian nation building movement.
“The ultimate aim is to break ignorance and allow our nation to know each other better.
We cannot do it alone and this has to be a nationwide project.” - Faye Lim, Co-Founder of The Rojak Projek
To know more about our journey, what were our challenges, and not to mentioned to view our conceptual artworks, please go to:
Here are some testimonies from the people behind ‘The Rojak Projek’ and people we’ve met along the way who helped us in our journey around Malaysia:
“After travelling around Malaysia, it really was an awakening for me to realize that there is no Malaysia without Sabah and Sarawak." - Faye Lim, Co-Founder of ‘The Rojak Projek’
“My biggest takeaway from the past few years is that we are actually all the same in our hearts but given extra value added in our culture and heritage. I learnt that maybe this is where we start to define what it is to be Malaysian, a diverse people in a peaceful country with beautiful cultures united at the heart.” - Rachel Lee, Co-Founder of The Rojak Projek
“Every portrait photography tells a uniquely crafted story, and it has been amazing to be part of this journey to learn and appreciate every story told. There's just so much more to love in Malaysia.” - Jon Cool, Co-Founder of The Rojak Projek
“What ‘The Rojak Projek’ did is a noble act and should be applaud. They travelled across the country and stay with the villagers to learn about the local food culture and present it in a creative way. That is a brilliant idea of making our Malaysians to look at our local food differently.” - Anne Antah, Sabah, Malaysia
“The Rojek Projek’s vision is definitely something no other organisation is focusing on (or at least of what I’ve known of). When I first got to know about this, I thought it’s really something we overlook in our daily lives. It’s more than our roots & race, it’s also about who we are and how we get to where we are today. Just so interesting.” - Jacqueline Hannah, Johor, Malaysia
“The main reason why I spent and contributed my time with TRP was firstly, I discovered that as a Malaysian, there is so much more that I didn't know about my fellow Malaysian brothers and sisters, for example their culture, food, tradition and their diversity. The second reason was that, TRP used a creative way to connect and share these different qualities by combining one of the unique aspects in Malaysia which is thru our food. The art and food combination created a beautiful way of sharing stories and different cultural heritage.” - Jagjeet Singh, Pahang, Malaysia
“I see the great cause in their effort of documenting different cultures in Malaysia. That was a great need in our country. Someone to document and to just get the heartbeat of this country's diverse cultures right.” - Athena Nestor Thomas, Sabah, Malaysia