In 2008, UNESCO declared Melaka as one of the many precious World Heritage Sites, where the declaration recognised the state’s influences of Asia and Europe’s multicultural heritage as well as the trading between the East and West of 500 years in the Straits of Malacca.
|15 Apr||Monday||Declaration of Melaka Historical City||Melaka|
The Declaration of Melaka Historical City or also known as Melaka Historical Day is celebrated every year since 2008 by all Melaka citizens as a public holiday. Melaka has been revitalised as a top-pick holiday getaway in Malaysia for tourists due to its unique heritage, ancient historical sites and popular Nyonya cuisines.
The state of Melaka was recognised as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in 2008 as it demonstrated the early stages of history originating back to the 15th-century Malay sultanate. The historical values during the Portuguese and Dutch periods can be seen along the many streets of Melaka. All schools and businesses in the state are closed when the Melaka Historical Day date falls and it is a day off for the general residents.
It was hoped that the declaration of Malacca Historical Day would attract more tourists to Malacca as the state has many exciting places to be explored by both local and international visitors. The architectural beauty and cultures across its city that is closely connected with the history of the country during the Age of Sultanate of Malacca are worth visiting. Hence, visiting Melaka during Melaka Historical Day 2019 in April would be an excellent choice for many architecture lovers from around the world.
In the late 14th century, the city of Melaka was widely known as a fishing village of a fleeing prince named ‘Parameswara’ who travelled all the way from Sumatra and landed along the shore of Melaka. Legend says that the prince was resting under a tree when he saw a mouse deer kicking his dogs into the river, which made him realised that the place to be auspicious. He then decided to set up a shop and named the place after the tree which he was resting under known as the Melaka tree.
In time, the city came to monopolise the trading routes as well as industries due to Melaka’s strategic location between China and India. The city was growing into a prominent trading centre for traders from across Asia by which among them include those from India, China and Arabia countries.
As many Chinese migrants settled in the city due to trading activities, the Peranakan culture was then established in Melaka. Chinese settlers who married local Malays resulted in what was dubbed as the Baba Nyonya people of Melaka as time passes by. In modern days, Melaka Historical Day is usually celebrated by multicultural locals as well as visitors from out of the town with several amazing tour activities.
The United Nation Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) acts as the network builder among nations to enable solidarity between different countries for education, building intercultural understanding, protecting freedom of expression and many more. Established in 1945, UNESCO has been designating diverse places across the globe as World Heritage Sites to protect these unique areas.
For UNESCO, it is also essential to ensure all heritage legacies to be passed on to future generations. By promoting cultural heritage and the equal dignity of all cultures, UNESCO can strengthen the bonds among diversified nations across the globe. Hence, Melaka Historical Day 2019 is regarded as an important event for most of the people residing in the city as a sign of appreciation on the success of Melaka to be listed as one of the many UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.