A very mouthful terms, Rojak Nation. Rojak is a savoury mixed fruit salad, well-loved by Malaysians everywhere. The term is usually used as a local slang to mean ‘mixed’ and is often used to describe the multi-ethnic character of the Malaysian society. The word “Nation” represents our desire for all Malaysians to partake in this endeavour, every step of the way.
Rojak Nation is not a common terminology however, as it is a smart innitative by a group of young Malaysians, that advocates Malaysia's multicultural identity and seeks to bring together everything that makes Malaysia, Malaysia.
“We believe our generation has its part to play in bridging the gaps that exist within our Malaysian society. Thus, the purpose of the movement is to inspire and encourage Malaysians to take the initiative to mix around and collaborate with each other in ways that lend a voice to unheard, underrepresented fellow Malaysians. It is our hope that #RojakNation will one day evolve into a larger, national scale nation-building movement.” says Faye Lim, Co-Founder of The Rojak Projek.
For those who are unfamiliar with Malaysian governing system, it has four categories to fit their identity; 'Malay', ‘Chinese' 'Indian' and 'Lain-lain’ (Others). “Our current segregated system is an outdated colonial-era relic that has caused us to be very self-centered and ignorant despite our nation's establishment and geographical integration. We say that this is one of the leading factors preventing a truly unified Malaysia,” Faye added.
She also added that, “For THE ROJAK PROJEK, being Malaysian means ALL OF US, TOGETHER. If we can name three races in Malaysia, why can’t we name them all (including those who are of mixed race)? We believe it is time for our generation to take it to the next level in rediscovering and understanding our Malaysian people better. For us, putting the names out there is to say that there is no excuse to act as if others do not exist. For us, the ultimate aim is to overcome ignorance and help our nation to know each other better.”
The Rojak Projek started off as an idea at the end of 2014 when a lot of negativity surfaced around Malaysia over the past couple of years, which slowly grew as they met new friends to join in on this persistent mission throughout 2015. The beginnings of these efforts were launched on New Years, 2016 to show new, creative and positive forms of how Malaysian diversity is truly beautiful. Over the years, The Rojak Projek has produced some 550 pieces of artwork, each made from a variety of Malaysian food to form beautiful portrait of Malaysians.
THE ROJAK PROJEK is collaborating with RIUH, a monthly curated creative platform based in Kuala Lumpur to showcase 10 artworks of Orang Asli (Native people) created with soil and different plants on Merdeka Day (Independence Day) at the #AnakAnakMalaysia Campaign in Eco Ardence, Setia Alam. These artworks not only seeks to showcase the beauty and importance of the Orang Asli we met in their village, but also the message of how they are one with the land. https://www.therojakprojek.com/orangasli
The exhibition is also showcasing a name list with more than 250 names comprising a combination of ethnic and sub-ethnic groups that are classified as ‘lain-lain’ (others). It bears mention that this information does not include all of Malaysia yet.
Find out more of this amazing innitiative here-->