The book ties Malaysia-Russia cultural diplomacy
MOSCOW: The publication of the book Senandika Cinta & Korona in Russia, written by a Malaysian student, Ahmad Ashraff Haiqal Ahmad Zakki, not only succeeded in correcting the point of view about Russia, but also strengthened the diplomatic relationship between Moscow and Kuala Lumpur that was built over the past 55 years.
The Malaysian Ambassador to Russia, Datuk Bala Chandran Tharman said, various efforts have been made to further strengthen the relationship between the two countries.
“In the 1960s, Russia started sending students to this country to undergo student exchange programs. Likewise, Malaysia sends many of its students to study Medicine and Engineering at leading universities in Russia.
“However, there are almost no manuscripts in Malay that write about Russia, its culture and language during the period of bilateral relations. But interestingly, the book written by Ahmad Ashraff Haiqal, a medical student, is not only about Russia, but also tries to correct the skeptics and stereotypes about Russia all this time,” he said at the 65th Independence Day celebration at the Malaysian embassy in Moscow, on August 31.
At the ceremony, the book was briefly launched with the Ambassador also awarding a certificate of appreciation to Ahmad Ashraff Haiqal in recognition of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for successfully producing the book as a guide and reference about Russia.
Bala Chandran said, the efforts made by Ahmad Ashraff Haiqal among others further prospered the friendship between the two countries.
“I am sure, for sure, Malaysians will be more interested in coming to Russia, while Russians will be happy when there is information that is not biased towards them,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Ashraff said, the book is a collection of notes or diaries throughout his studies at Volgograd State Medical University (VSMU) since 2019. He is currently a Year 4 student, majoring in General Medicine at the university.
“Notes or diary of life as a student, how to understand the Russian language, the challenges of facing these new four seasons, I wrote briefly and told my mother who is a book editor, before editing for publication. It is a note and a journey of feeling around many issues of perception about Russia.
“This publication is hoped to promote relations between the two countries and provide an opportunity for Malaysians to get to know Russia from a literary, historical and cultural point of view,” he said.
The 213-page Senandika Cinta & Korona in Russia book was published in Malaysia at the end of 2020 and sold for RM30 per copy.
There are seven chapters in total in the book, where in addition to telling about the situation in Russia when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, it also brings the reader to understand the simple Russian language, the beautiful, interesting and ugly things in Russia and how the ways and places are interesting to visit if to Russia.
This book was also selected by the National Library of Malaysia (PNM) with 507 copies purchased to be placed in rural libraries throughout the country.
source – Azlinaria Abdullah