PETALING JAYA - Malaysians of Chinese descent love Malaysia too, and their patriotism is reflected through daily activities, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Najib posted on his Mandarin Facebook page yesterday wishing all Malaysian Chinese a happy Rice Dumpling Festival.
He also said that the Chinese here have contributed much to the country and he hopes that every Malaysian can unite and work hard for the betterment of the nation.
"The festival is a traditional celebration for the Chinese and it is celebrated to remember Chinese poet Qu Yuan's love for his country," Najib explained on the meaning of the festival.
Qu was also a minister serving the Chu state during the Zhou Dynasty. When the Chu king decided to ally with the Qin state, Qu objected the alliance and was banished from the courts of Chu, on charges of treason.
Years later when Chu state was taken over by the Qin state, Qu in despair committed suicide by drowning himself in the river.
The locals who still admired him, raced in boats hoping to save him and when his body could not be found; they made sticky rice balls hoping that the fishes would eat the rice balls instead of Qu's body.
Thereafter, glutinous rice dumplings (bak chang in Hokkien) and dragon boat races have their roots in this Chinese festival, known as Duanwu Jie in Mandarin.
It means "double fifth", as it is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month.