Do you know what does usie or wefie mean?
I personally asked a friend and she was puzzled with the term usie. After some explanation, the “Ohhh…” (Very Malaysian) moment came about. Usie (pronounced as us-ee) is a plural of selfie, where a picture is taken with 2 or more people. We should be also familiar with the term wefie (pronounced as we-fee) which is a term for taking group selfies.
So there are two different terms for a same meaning, what has that got to do with Malaysia?
In conjunction with Malaysia’s 57th Independence Day on August 31, 2014, people from all walks of life assembled at the Science & Technology Village in Kuala Lumpur to take selfies and usie. This is to bid on breaking the Guinness World Record for the most self-potrait photographs (selfie) taken in an hour. The selfies were taken with mobile phones and the pictures were then uploaded to a social media platform.
The event is organized by Yayasan Inovasi Malaysia (YIM) under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) in an attempt to beat the current record of 421 held by Canadian actress, Melinda Shankar. Muhammad Aziph Datuk Mustapha, CEO of YIM told Astro Awani that the event proves that Malaysians are always positive, creative and are able to stand tall even when faced with a slew of challenges.
“I am personally pleased that we could help bring this Official Guinness World Record to Malaysia. The outpouring of love from all the participants proves to me that Malaysians overwhelmingly love this beautiful nation of ours,” he added.
He decided to organize this event when he was on a Malaysia Airline (MAS) flight in May, where he picked up a TIMES magazine which reported that San Diego held the current record, and was then inspired to do the same for Malaysia.
Muhammad Hazwan Md Nor, 20, a student at Politeknik Merlimau, Malacca, and an intern at YIM had the opportunity to set the record. He was appointed as the ‘selfie-guy’ for the event and took selfies with at least 10 people per minute to achieve this remarkable grand total number of selfies.
“It was fun and also a good experience for me, especially when you have to give your best shot together with people whom you have never met before in your life. I am proud to be part of this record-breaking attempt as it will definitely put my beloved country, Malaysia, in a more positive light globally,” Hazwan told Astro Awani.
Approximately 700 people registered to partake in this historic event. Participants of this selfie event did not go back empty-handed as they were given certificates and goodie bags for their contribution. Plus, each of their names will be submitted to the Guinness World Records officials to be published.
The unofficial count of total pictures taken is 613. The number of selfies were originally 665 but 52 were disqualified by witnesses in the record-breaking attempt. The official result is expected to be announce in a month time by the Guinness World Record officials.
What a fun and positive way to begin Malaysia’s next new year of independence!
Watch this video on how the selfie record was started: