Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Wednesday, February 25, 2009
The original post appeared on 26th November 2004. It was a slow day.
Today is still a slow day. I will do the sajak (poem) again for the benefit of new readers who were not around in 2004, To those who were with me since 2004, I have added audio to the post.

This is a poem by Chairil Anwar which we had to learn in college.


Kalau sampai waktuku
'Ku mau tak seorang kan merayu
Tidak juga kau
Tak perlu sedu sedan itu
Aku ini binatang jalang
Dari kumpulannya terbuang
Biar peluru menembus kulitku
Aku tetap meradang menerjang
Luka dan bisa kubawa berlari
Hingga hilang pedih peri
Dan aku akan lebih tidak perduli
Aku mau hidup seribu tahun lagi

Chairil Anwar is Indonesian. If Chairil were from Terengganu, his poem would sound like this:

Bile kene glerang ambe weh
Ambo takmboh sorrang pong takweh
Mung pong jangan jugok
Dok payoh nnangih eso'-eso'
Ambe ning menatang bujang
Kene tohok keluo kupolang
Bedil lah ambe dung dang dung dang
Ambe terajang maroh mmanjang
Ambe hungga gi wala saket ketet ketet
Sapa dok rase sikit tuit
Ambe kohor dok cakna sikkit

Ambe nok iduk tokkat langit

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009
(Click PLAY to listen to the blog. Excuse the reader who still has no teeth)

For want of a better subject, we will start at the top with the head. Why? Well, why not? In good times and in bad times, we need to keep our head. There is nothing worse than losing one's head. Ask those who lost theirs in the French Revolution or the revolting people in front of Istana Bukit Chandan recently.

The standard Bahasa Malaysia word for head is kepala. The economical Terengganu speakers use pala. Pala is for the thing at the topmost of your neck where your hair grows (or not growing, as the case may be). Pala as in kepala is both for the physical head and idiomatic head. Thus when Terengganu speakers speak of pala botok they are referring to a shiny bald pate or a head with a bald patch. There is a ditty that rude children of Terengganu used to chorus:

Ayang ketok bawoh rumoh Pala botok sama tengoh
Roughly translated
The hen cackles under the house
The round bald patch is right in the middle
(If you have time on your hand, translate the ditty so that it ryhmes.)

Like gangs anywhere else, those children would have a leader. Shocked and disappointed Terengganu parents would call the ring leader pala haliang. I have yet to be told of the meaning of haliang. Perhaps Mek Yang in faraway Big Apple could tell me the next time she honours this blog with a visit.

Like the Bahasa Malaysia kepala angin ( a temperamental person), Terengganu speakers also use pala to describe the attitude or demeanour of certain characters in their midst. Thus we have pala masang (literally sour head) and pala pengat (literally gruel head).

I have been called on ocassions pala anging (kepala angin) and for the shallowness of my blogs, an airhead (head full of air, no brain). So far, nobody has called me pala masang. Pala masang is someone who is angry at everything and everyone often without valid reasons. Like a bad battery, a pala masang person is all negative. So probably we can translate pala masang as "sore head". Pala pengat is something worse. A pala pengat person, I have been told, is quick-tempered and might slap or hit you for the flimsiest of reason. My maternal grandmother, a Kelantanese-speaker would call this type of person gedebe. You will find pala masang and pala pengat characters in any group. My fervent hope is that there is one pala pengat person among the supporters of Eli Wong. I met Eli at a bloggers gathering and I would never think of Eli as a bad person, whatever you think "bad" is. I agree that she has done nothing wrong. We all trusted someone at some point or other. To betray someone is wrong. To be betrayed and to have your privacy violated is horrendous. So if there is a pala pengat person among Eli's friends, go find the low-life who violated her trust and her privacy and shove the camera phone up where the sun doesn't shine.

For hyprocritical politicians who bayed for Eli Wong's resignation, I, who have allegiance to no party have only this for you:
pala korrok mung

Go translate that.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009
(Click PLAY to listen to the talking blog. Once again, excuse the reader. He still has no teeth)

When told by neighbours who could read and those who have TVs of the current political situation in various parts of the country, Mok Long Selamoh’s only response was a question:

“Guane bolo’ wo’ tu?” (Why the mess?)

Ask the question to 8 people and you would get 8 differing answers replete with theories and arguments as loose as Mok Long Selamoh’s kemban (Malay mu mu). I shall not dwell on the question here because it will make me pening pala (dizzy).

You might wonder if there are other parts of the body in Terengganu or elsewhere that can go dizzy. I suppose Terengganu people never did because they also use

Lapo perut ( literally hungry stomach meaning hungry)

Ngato’ mata (literally eyes sleepy meaning sleepy)

Dahaga tekok (literally thirsty throat thirsty)

Jalang kaki (literally walk feet meaning to go on foot)

and other similar words that you might know.

Lovers of Terengganuspeak would know that Terengganu speakers are economical with their words to the point of combining and truncating two or more words to become one for example kekgi (in a while) from sikit lagi, setabok from sebutir habok(a speck of dust) and other words that you might care to contribute. So why the redundancy in pening pala, lapo perut and other pairs mentioned earlier? Were the Terengganu speakers being precise while seemingly being redundant? You have seen that Terengganu people know exactly what they want. It is very clear to them that Monsoon Cup is not the same as monsoon drains.

If in the English language, “see” can have many meanings as in

“I see dead people”

“I will see you in court”

“I see your point” and other examples that you might care to add.

Technology added another dimension to the word “see” when you can “see” someone without being physically in the same location. To add to the pening pala, there is the “see” used in metaphysics that involves the “third eye”. Thus, “eyeballed” is used to mean “see with eyes”. Lapo perut or sometimes lapo nasik (hungry for rice) is precisely that. Not hunger for power, Not hunger for sex. Ngato’ mata means your eyelids are drooping and getting heavier and you need to sleep. This is to differentiate it from the condition you are in while listening to the droning of politicians (power hungry or sex hungry or not) when your mind wanders to more pleasant things and you are asleep with your eyes wide open.

Dahaga tekok or also dahaga air is of course the physical thirst for your beverage of choice. After slaking your physical thirst you then can go and take care of your thirst for knowledge which should not be quenchable. Prophet Mohamad (peace be upon him) exhorted us to “seek knowledge even to China”.Even in the olden days you cannot go to China jalang kaki.

I hope I have not made you pening pala. At least pening pala is not as bad as serabut perut. Serabut is all tangled up, rat's nest messy and knotted like unruly fishing lines. Serabut perut is not your stomach all knotted up and messy (with undigested fibers or whatnots). It is a mental condition. It is used to describe when your head is filled with a myriad of problems and unresolved questions. If it is in the head, why blame the stomach? In their wisdom, Terengganu people would want you to know that when you have problems and unresolved issues and take to the street to do unintelligent things, you already have no head. You lost it.Thus serabut perut.

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Monday, February 02, 2009
I am trying to make a talking blog for the benefit of visually challenged people and also for the sighted to learn the pronounciation of featured Terengganu words.
Now you can listen to the blog. Here is the WAV file (979 kb, virus and spyware free or just click PLAY on this MP3 Player. Excuse the less-than-perfect delivery. The guy does not have enough teeth.)

(The current events folding and unfolding in the country put me in a mencarut mood. Thus this post is RATED SX 18. You have been warned.)

As a diversion for Lioness who has to contend with a house turned untidy easily, I will divert her attention momentarily to the word that she inquired in her comments to my previous posting.

Kreko' does mean crooked, as in not straight although I have not heard it used to describe politicians. Maybe it could have been used to describe a part of the politician's anatomy by
a) His Tok Mudin
b) His wife
c) His mistress (partner/coffeeboy/whatever) or
d) His urologist
who comes from Terengganu or speaks in Terengganuspeak.

Kreko' ( o' ryhmes with bongok, which is also a synonym for some present day politicians) is sometimes replaced by belok although belok is less severe in the sense that it could be remedied whereas kreko' is not. You have to live with your kreko'ness. Terengganu children of old used a more familiar variant of kreko', reko' + wo' when they swear their innocence. Refer to my early (January 2005) post I Swear. These were the days before Statutory Declaration was in vogue.

Other Terengganu words pertaining to perceived imperfection that I can think of at the moment are
kerutu', keripu' and gelding.

Kerutu' (pronounced crew-took) is both the heavenly kenduri offering and the description of a surface full of nubs and bumps much like the back of katok puru (our political animal of the month) or, if you are non-political, there are condoms that are kerutu'. The Standard BM equivalent is roughly menggerutu. My friends told me of several mutual friends who injected silicon into their burung (kreko' or not) so that it becomes kerutu'. Why? Only they and their ajinomoto (penyedap rasa) know.

Keripu' (pronounced roughly as cree-put) is deformity caused by shrinkage whether through accident or old age. I know the West Coast Malays use kerepot to call something old and shrunken.
Keripu' is normally used to describe a mouth. Readers are invited to cite other examples.

Gelding (pronounced like girl -ding) is when something became not straight due to warping. Put a piece of plywood outside at the mercy of the sun and the rain and soon the plywood becomes gelding. Gelding is often used with geliat (meaning to stretch or sprain) to reproach someone who is slow to do one's duty. Parents who bribed gelding geliat kids by giving them money to do chores that they should have done for free could be responsible for the money politics of today.

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