It's the month I've been looking forward to - the time for this book to be ready for print.
8 segments on Malaysia. In fact, 5 would have been sufficient:
50+1 Truly Malaysian Confirm Malaysia One (eg. our Malaysian lingo or other things we find unique to our country)
50+1 Food Very Sedap One (no need for me to elaborate here lol)
50+1 Places To Visit Definitely Must See (Places that makes Malaysia a haven for tourists)
50+1 Things To Do How To Explore Malaysia
50+1 Festivals & Events How We Celebrate
The first 5 segments will give a good recognition the country deserves already. And I'm sure Malaysians and both foreigners alike will find them rather amusing and in a way able to connect to them. (That is the main difference of this book with another travel book - connectivity with not just foreigners/ tourists but also locals).
If I had done just 5 segments, the book would have been completed, maybe 2-3 weeks back.
But I had wanted more than to just showcase Malaysia in its touristic forms. I want to portray a more wholesome glimpse of Malaysia - something that will give a better insight to Malaysia, and somethings that make Malaysians proud.
This goes back to my aim of Recognising Malaysia - my main aim of the book actually.
2 other segments that I think is important to recognise the country are its people and the brands/ companies behind it. Hence, I've added 2 more segments:
50+1 Malaysians Now That's What I Call Talent!
50+1 Brands Glocal Faces Of Malaysia
The Malaysians List is aimed to recognise the talents and also to promote them (though I must say some may not need so). For example a tourist to Malaysia may want to know what movies to watch, or what CDs/ DVDs to buy, and this could help them in a way. Or when the director's movies are screened overseas, some of them might have heard of these Malaysians and won't be so foreign, and for all you know support their shows.
The Brands is hoped to give an insight of modern Malaysia, brands that are close to Malaysians hearts, and in our everyday lives. Of course some have gone and made a name abroad. This will show where the economy of Malaysia lies - though not in full, but it will give a good understanding.
One last segment I created is the 50+1 Love Expressions. The aim of this segment is to bring Malaysians together to show their love for the country. It could be a physical thing or just an expression. At this point, the pics of the Malaysia flag (called Jalur Gemilang) is one of the main show of expression in this segment.
And though I know that the flag is not the only way to show one's love to the country, but it is a good way. For a photographer to take that shot, he must be proud of his country.
So, 2.5 full months including Chinese New Year offs, the book is quite close completion. I'm still looking at a end March dateline (ready for print). At times I'm a lil burnt out, but having already put my all the past months, it's just a bit more to go.
Besides, the satisfaction of meeting fellow friends both local & foreign who share the same passion & love for the country is a great inspiration to continue. I've met a fair share of new friends some very supportive & encouraging. Many have actually agreed for interviews and replied to my requests to submit their photos, some very patriotic.. while some very willingly because they mention that they so love their holiday here. In any case, I am proud to know these humble & friendly people.
I can't wait for to see the end results in a few weeks time. In the meantime, while I'm on this, let me savour it! :)