KDU Culturation “Road To 60’s: I Am Malaysian” A Road Trip To Melaka

In front of the Stadthuys Museum Melaka.  Baba Nyonya Cooking Class at Melaka Nyonya Village. 
Breaking fast together with the menu of ‘Ayam Pongteh’ and other nyonya dishes that they have cooked. Visit to the Prison Museum. 
In inculcating the spirit of patriotism with the celebration of Malaysia Independence Day, KDU’s Student & Alumni Centre (SAC) is organising the ‘Road to 60’s : I am Malaysian’ programme, endorsed by Tourism Malaysia in highlighting national identity, one of the key attributes of the Malaysian Educational Blueprint.

This programme will bring students, both local and international, to five different states in Malaysia – Melaka, Penang, Terengganu, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, from June to September, to learn and experience the different culture and embrace diversity throughout this journey.

Following the official launch of the programme at the Malaysia Tourism Centre (MaTiC) in Kuala Lumpur on 23 May 2017, KDU students took off on the first road trip to Malacca on 17 to 19 June.

With much excitement, the students made their first stop at The Stadthuys, a historical structure commonly known as ‘Red Square’ and believed to be the oldest-surviving Dutch building in the east, upon their arrival in this historical state.
The entourage then made their way to a few other historical spots in the heart of Malacca, which included the renowned A’ Famosa, a Portuguese fortress  originally constructed by Alfonso de Albuquerque; St. Paul’s Hill where the historic church building was originally built in 1521.

The  students’ taste buds were then fully awakened as they participated in a Baba Nyonya Cooking Class at Melaka Nyonya Village, in a vintage Baba Nyonya vintage house converted into a restaurant. Baba Nyonyas are the descendants of Chinese immigrants who came to the Malay Archipelago between the 15th and 17th centuries.

Here, the students seized the opportunity to learn a favourite of the Baba Nyonya cuisine, ‘Ayam Pongteh’. In fact, their first day in Malacca ended with a breaking fast session with their own cooking of Ayam Pongteh and other Nyonya dishes.

On the next day, students were brought to the Prison Museum to experience and learn more about the heritage of the museum site, as well as the overall subject area of prisons, crime and punishment. The next station was Taming Sari, a revolving gyro tower in Malacca City, where a ride from a height of 80 metres is offered, with spectacular and panoramic view of Malacca UNESCO World Heritage City, as well as a host of interesting sights.  

The students were then brought to Dataran Pahlawan, where they are able to purchase souvenirs and mementos. They then adjourned for a walk to Jonker Street, the Chinatown street of Malacca; and continued with a ride on the Malacca River with other tourists, by the flotilla of small boats used to transport sightseers up and down, passing by the historical building, warehouses, mangrove stands, churches and villages along and within the shore. 

The KDU entourage also took some time to visit St Francis High School, together with KDU counsellors, to run the ‘Diversity Workshop’ for the high school’s students. Around 35 students participated in this workshop, which is aimed at awareness of diversity and the importance of appreciating diversity. Students were instilled with knowledge which will ultimately helping them to embrace diversity in the community at large.

“I enjoyed this road trip to Malacca very much, as it was filled with variety of experiences. The museums and the architecture were breath-taking. Looking at the different colours and designs of the building, you can tell the influences from the time of colonialism up to now,” said Chilekna Munkonge, an international student of Zambian nationality, who is now studying the Diploma in International Hotel Management at KDU University College.

The ‘Road to 60’s: I am Malaysian’ programme is organised under the SAC’s culture pillar, called KDU Culturation. KDU believes that embedding the understanding of diversity and inclusion of knowledge to students can bring positive impact for the society. To inculcate the values of diversity and inclusion amongst KDU students, a comprehensive and ongoing learning process will be included as part of the various events to be organised under KDU’s Culturation. Hence, the end of the journey marks not the end of the journey but the beginning of it.