Azizulhasni ensures young daughters embrace Malaysian roots

Last update: 28/08/2019

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 28 -- Inculcating the spirit of patriotism in young people is not an easy task as today’s generation is often influenced by western culture, especially for those who grew up outside Malaysia.

One of the parents who strives to instill patriotism in his young children is national cyclist Mohd Azizulhasni Awang, as his young family is now residing in Melbourne, Australia.

As the country celebrates its 62nd National Day this Saturday (Aug 31), Azizulhasni shared a bit of the challenges he faced in nurturing patriotism in his two young daughters.

Having lived in Melbourne for almost 12 years due to his career commitment, Azizulhasni, who won bronze medal in the Rio Olympic, admitted that being abroad was not a hindrance for him and his wife Athiyah Ilyana Abd Samat to ensure that their daughters Amna Mariyam, seven, and Amna Khadeeja, four, to be aware and embrace their Malaysian roots.

“I always speak in Bahasa Malaysia with them because we have been living here in Australia for several years already and the girls are attending schools here, so my wife and I will try to inculcate the Malaysian values ??in them with hope that they will not forget their Malaysian roots despite growing up in foreign land.

“I also regularly teach them about the geography and history of Malaysia, to do flag-painting activities and to paste them on the walls around the house. I show them advertisement or tell them stories related to Merdeka to give them a better understanding even when they are still young,” he told Bernama.

Azizulhasni previously studied sports science (Bachelor of Sport Movement) at Victoria University in Melbourne and was the first non-Australian athlete to receive the Blue Award from the university in 2015.

His wife, Athiah Ilyana, is a graduate of the Deakin University in architecture and now a full time homemaker to look after their two daughters, alongside Azizulhasni who made Melbourne their base since 2007.

Telling his most memorable moment as a national athlete, the former world keirin champion was proud to have won the gold medal for the individual sprint event in conjunction with the 61st National Day at the Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang last year.

Known as the 'Pocket Rocketman', Azizulhasni also acknowledged that sports is the best medium to unite the people of many races in the country.

Enjoying times he spent hanging out with friends of different races and religions where they all respected each other, Azizulhasni said it was a practice that has been going on for many years.

“Our athletes are of many races and religions, so I would love to sit at one table with them all though some athletes liked to keep it in their own race or sport, but not me. I will go to the table of other athletes as it will create a more harmonious atmosphere,” he said.

Azizulhasni, from Dungun, Terengganu, also expressed his hope that all Malaysians would be able to maintain the unity as it has been practiced for many years so that the peace and harmony could be retained without racial strife.

“There is no reason for us to create friction. We live in one country, with the people of different races, so we have to understand and complement each other. Don't get easily influenced by individuals who stir up racial issues.

“We need to know the direction of our country as Malaysia has always been developing without much problem all these years. I remember my grandfather once told me that in a village, Malays, Chinese and Indians could all sit down for a drink at a coffee shop. In fact, a Chinese family helped babysit me when I was a child when my mother and grandmother were busy at the coffee shop,” he said.