Rasa Sayang is the song Brian showed me to represent Malaysia. Rasa Sayang is very popular in Malaysia; according to Brian, probably 95% of the people know it. It is a well known song, because it's a children's song sung in the kindergarten days, and many Malaysians grow up hearing it. Brian says that it can become "quite amusing."

The lyrics are as follows (farhansallehin, http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061108091411AA6vZo9):
The chorus to the song is:

"Rasa sayang, hey! Rasa sayang sayang hey,
Hey lihat nona jauh, rasa sayang sayang hey."
(2X)

Translation:
I feel love, hey! I feel love love hey,
Hey when I look at that gal, I feel love love hey.

And then its followed by any imaginable pantun (quatrains), for example this one:

"Buah cempedak di luar pagar,
Ambil galah tolong jolokkan,
Saya budak baru belajar,
Kalau salah tolong tunjukkan."

Translation:
The cempedak-fruit tree is across the fence,
Please take a stick and poke it down for me,
I'm just a new guy trying to learn,
So if I'm wrong then please tell me

Recently, Rasa Sayang has been used in an advertisement as part of a tourism campaign. The video provided by Brian and the video below are part of this campaign. In this version, the singers sing the verses in the different languages common in Malaysia.



It is important to note that with the release of the advertisement, the friendly message of Rasa Sayang has been partially marred by a fierce argument between Malaysia and Indonesia. Indonesia claims Rasa Sayang to be an Indonesian song, and that Malaysia stole it from them. Rasa Sayang is not the first alleged "stolen" piece of culture from Indonesia by Malaysia.
(http://www.naked-malaysian.com/blog/shades-of-grey/rasa-sayang-eh/, http://whereinsoever. wordpress.com/2006/03/07/rasa- sayang-eh-rasa-sayang-sayang- eh-hey-lihat-nona-jauh-rasa- sayang-sayang-eh)

I would like to say the history of the song warrants a fair claim by both countries, as they are rather similar. However, I am uncertain. It is most important to realize that Rasa Sayang may not be historically "Malaysian," but it is certainly part of the image they display today.


Home
  1. Basic Geography
  2. The Project Partners
  3. Petronas Twin Towers
  4. Mount Kinabalu
  5. Malaysia Boleh!
  6. Rasa Sayang
  7. Dialogue Project Paper
  8. Project Extension-Rasa Sayang
  9. I Believe... Paper
  10. Bibliography