Every Miri-an's calendar is chock-a- block with numerous events to attend in the month on May every year. The month of May is special for every Miri citizen as Miri got elevated to the status of a city on 20th May, 2005. Hence every year 20th May is celebrated as the Miri City Day. Miri is the ninth city in Malaysia and second largest city in the state of Sarawak. The entire city holds a festive look.
This is my second year in Malaysia and I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the festivities this May, when Miri celebrated its fifth anniversary. The celebration kicked off with a very noble campaign on 1st May- " Say no to Plastic bags everyday". It was initially launched on weekends but has now been extended to all days of the week effective, 1st of May. The same day was also declared as 'Tree Planting Day'. Blood donations were also carried out on that day at one of the shopping malls.
The following days had activities for every member of every Miri family. Kids participated in lovely colouring competitions and story telling competitions. The chess competitions, table-tennis tournaments, basketball tournaments and participating in the 'anniversary run' provided the perfect mental and physical stimulus for the teens and adults. The art lovers had the art exhibitions. The women were at their best demonstrating their skills participating in baking competition and international pot-luck recipe exchange program. Ever competition saw Miri-ans participating with full enthusiasm.
15th May saw different ethnic groups participating in Miri City Day Parade. Miri is a pot of melting cultures and this was truly on display with the Chinese, Malays, Indians, Ibans, Dayaks etc dressed in traditional costumes walking the parade. The downpour that day could not dampen the zeal of either the participants or the gazing onlookers who stood in the rain to cheer them.
The best festivities were still to follow. The grand final of Miss Tourism International , a beauty pageant was held in the Indoor Stadium here. Beautiful ladies from various countries across the globe participated and Miss Venezuela was crowned Miss Tourism International 2010. The entire stadium was full and indeed it was a pleasure to watch the event.
The entire month's celebration came to a close with the 'Satu Malaysia' mammoth dance and cultural performance' in the early hours at the Outdoor Stadium. It was a grand exhibit of colour and grandeur. School children dressed in their costumes, the Chinese drummers in colours of red and yellow along with each ethnic group dancing wearing their traditional dances provided a dazzling spectacle. The true spirit of 'Satu Malaysia' or 'One Malaysia' was clearly on display.
I as an expat derived great pleasure in being a part of some of the celebrations. It was a first time experience witnessing a city formation celebration and I am keenly looking forward for next May in Miri.