PUTRAJAYA – Australian student Emilia Lisa Sterjova developed a passion to learn and improve her command of Bahasa Melayu after falling in love with Malaysia, batik paintings and Malay cultural dances at the age of 12.
The 20-year-old International Relations student at La Trobe University, Melbourne, who is one of the participants of the 2017 Prime Minister’s Cup Bahasa Melayu International Oratory Competition also regards Malaysia as a country which is ‘close’ to Australia.
“I’m in love with Malay culture.
“I get to practise on the language by listening to a one-hour programme being aired weekly over a radio channel in Australia,” she told reporters at a tea reception for participants of the competition at the Seri Perdana here yesterday.
Meanwhile, German participant Benedikt Aspacher, 25, a final year student of South East Asia Studies at Frankfurt University, said the Malay language and culture have varied influences from around the world. – Bernama