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[Updated] Get Ready For This Year’s Keretapi Sarong Event On 16 September!

[Updated] Get Ready For This Year’s Keretapi Sarong Event On 16 September!

After two years of virtual Hari Sarong, the physical Keretapi Sarong is back this year on Malaysia Day.

Melissa Suraya Ismail

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Calling all Malaysians! Our patriotic spirit is just burning during these two months, right?

Do you have any plans for Malaysia Day yet? If you don’t, why not join the Keretapi Sarong Event?

This Year’s Event [Updated]

For this year’s Keretapi Sarong, there are a few additional details including new stations, new partners, a new theme and a new group dedicated specifically to anyone who wanna join the fun.

New additional stations

Other than the five usual stations, they added three more additional stations which are the KLIA ERL station, Putrajaya ERL station and KL Sentral KTM station.

These three new stations only act as boarding points while the five main stations (as written below) have several activities lined up like in previous years.

(Credit: Locco / Facebook)

The activities will start at 8.30 am at the five main stations. The secret location will be revealed on that morning at the stations, so don’t be late! You might miss the train!

A Retro theme from the 60s – 80s

For this year’s fashion theme, they’re going all out and back to the oldies. It’s going to be an awesome fashion event, that’s for sure!

(Credit: Locco / Facebook)

You can dress up in costumes from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Go borrow your parents’ or grandparents’ clothes! We’re sure they were fashionistas back in their golden ages.

(Credit: Locco / Facebook)

And don’t forget to still bring your kain sarong. This is a Keretapi Sarong event, after all.

Geng Takda Geng is there to help those lonely but spirited peeps

Don’t have anyone to teman you? No worries, join the Geng Takda Geng & you’ll fit right in.

Who said you need your friends to have fun? You can still meet new people and have fun! It’s a uniting event, after all.

(Credit: Locco / Facebook)

If you wanna join this group, do come early to the respective stations for some ice-breaking sessions and just find the ‘Geng Takda Geng’ banner to identify them.

What is Keretapi Sarong?

Keretapi Sarong is an event where people from all walks of life gather to celebrate Hari Malaysia in their sarong or traditional attire at a ‘secret location’. It’s sort of like a flash mob, but the public is strongly encouraged to join in.

Originally organised by Random Alphabet, it started in 2012 and stopped around 2015 or 2016. It was later passed on to Locco, a community group aiming to advocate and showcase the best of Malaysia, which brought the lively event back in 2017, and it was better than ever.

Here is an example of how they sang the popular Dikir Barat song, ‘Ewa Ewa Bule’ (KeretapiSarong19) at one of the designated stations.

Every year on the 16th of September on Malaysia Day, locals and also tourists can dress up in their sarong (long tube-like fabric usually draped around the waist) or traditional attire and get on public trains in the Klang Valley, headed for a specific place where they celebrate the day, dressed to the nines.

The aim of this extravagant event is to unify Malaysians no matter their background, encourage the use of public transportation and uphold Sarong as a symbol of integration.

Here, the other troupe sang ‘Rasa Sayang Sayange’ in another train station (KeretapiSarong19).

Fun facts about Keretapi Sarong

Keretapi Sarong 2017
(Credit: Locco)
  • The secret location will be revealed on the day when people gather together at the five checkpoints
  • The five checkpoints or stations usually are MRT Kajang, LRT Gombak, LRT Subang, MRT Bandar Utama and LRT Ampang (people will gather here first, play some activities, then move together to the secret venue)
  • There will be several activities held at the stations as well as the final venue like folk song singing, traditional dancing (Joget Lambak), traditional games, performances, quizzes and a few contests
  • The trains will depart at 9 am so citizens are advised to arrive around 8 am – 8.30 am for a warm-up session at the stations
  • They will also have singing and dancing sessions on each of the trains while you travel to the final venue
Keretapi Sarong 2018.
(Credit: @Salak_Selatan / Twitter)
Keretapi Sarong 2018.
(Credit: @ridzsquid / Twitter )
  • The last big physical event was in 2019 when around 5,000 people came to 2019’s secret location, Dataran Merdeka
  • There was even a fashion show on one of the trains during the Keretapi Sarong 2018
  • In 2019, they did the ‘sarong train’ where people tie up their sarong in a long line for a march
  • This event is also held abroad where Malaysian students or locals celebrate Malaysia Day in their respective international locations by wearing their sarongs
(Credit: Random Alphabets)
(Credit: Random Alphabets)
(Credit: Random Alphabets)
  • They also did one in 2020 and 2021 but it was done separately (online or in small groups) in several states due to the Covid-19 threat
  • In 2020, every state have their own monument or location where people can wear their sarong, pose behind the location and upload their pics on social media with the #HariSarong20 hashtag
  • In 2021, the event was held fully online with a checklist of what you could do with your sarong inside your house, and they can post it online with the #HariSarong21 hashtag

What should you bring?

Everyone is encouraged to join this year’s Keretapi Sarong 2022. But with a large crowd event, you should be prepared with some materials such as these:

  • Touch & Go card (the event is free but you have to pay for the public transportation like LRT & MRT rides)
  • Bottle of water (you’re gonna march in unexpected weather, so you’ll be parched)
  • Masks (Covid & Influenza is still not over!)
  • Hand fan or electric hand fan (it’s going to be packed and hot!)
  • Your sarong (Bring extra in case you wanna join the sarong train where they tie the sarong in a long line)
  • Your patriotic spirit! (Get ready with our traditional & patriotic songs & dances!)

Here, passengers sang ‘Chan Mali Chan’ on the train (KeretapiSarong19).

Brief Chronology

2017 –  Keretapi Sarong (Muzium Negara)
2018 –  Keretapi Sarong (Matic, Kuala Lumpur)
2019 –  Keretapi Sarong (Dataran Merdeka)
2020 – Hari Sarong (Nationwide locations & online)
2021 – Hari Sarong (In their respective homes & online)

Keretapi Sarong 2019.
(Credit: @kemeyhakim / Twitter)
Keretapi Sarong 2019.
(Credit: @kemeyhakim / Twitter)

If you’re keen to know more, watch the Keretapi Sarong 2019 highlights in the video below.

People gathered at the specific stations and took the Bandar Utama MRT Route, Ampang LRT Route, Gombak LRT Route, Kajang MRT Route, Subang Jaya LRT Route and converge at the Masjid Jamek station.

Then, they walked together to Dataran Merdeka (2019’s secret location) where various activities and performances awaited them.

For more info, visit Locco’s website where they explain more about the event and how their past events went like. They even did a whole documentary about it!

So, you got your sarong ready for this Malaysia Day? Stay tuned on Locco’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok for more updates on the day!

Let’s sarong up, people!

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