BY AFIEZUL SAMIT
Recognising foreign flags is a daunting task for most people. However, for Arif Mirza Mazlan, who is just three years old, it is a fun thing.
What is more interesting is that he knows more than 100 flags of countries around the world. Isn’t this great?
According to Arif’s mother Nor Atikah Muhamad Hasbulah, her son became interested in recognising the flags (of the states in Malaysia as well as foreign countries) since he started asking about flags that he came across.
Realising her son’s interest, Nor Atikah began showing various types of flags to her son through YouTube.
“At first, I expected Arif to only memorise the flags of the states in Malaysia but in fact, he has also recognised the flags of foreign countries.
“There is no doubt that I have a little difficulty in teaching Arif because I do not know much about foreign flags. Therefore, I took the initiative to print every flag in the world along with its country’s name.
“It really helped me to further develop Arif’s interest in recognising flags,” she said, adding that her son is now also showing an interest in the world map.
Further elaborating, Nor Atikah said her son began to show his interest in the world map from watching weather forecast on television.
“At that time, I was surprised because Arif knew the position of the states in Malaysia. He can also sing the state anthems of Sarawak and Kedah.
“Since then, I have also started printing the map of Malaysia as well as the world map as ‘new toys’ for Arif.
“Arif’s obsession with flags, especially the Malaysian flag, has made him carry the Jalur Gemilang almost everywhere we ventured to walk,” she said.
Nor Atikah added that although she never forced her son to recognise the flags or world map, there are a handful of people out there who are not happy with it and according to them, Nor Atikah is denying her son’s childhood whereby today’s children (of the same age with Arif) prefers to play with electronic gadgets, such as smartphones, rather than study.
“I never forced my son to study, but to answer anything he asked me.
“After all, Arif himself considers flags as his favourite toys.
“As a mother, I only support my child’s interests and try to help him hone it as it can further stimulate his mind,” said Nor Atikah, who is also a kindergarten teacher.