Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Allow me to apologise to my blog followers (all 20 of them) for being lethargic in updating this blog. I am still without a phone line and my Celcom Broadband is not behaving too well. In spite of being very near the Menara Telekom, I am apparently too far from a Celcom tower to get a trouble-free connection. It was satisfactory during the 7 day trial period. After that it went downhill.

The beauty of blogs is that we learn from each other. You learn something from me and I learn something from your comments and feedback. I wonder if any of you are familiar with the language of our Terengganu nelayan. Like any other professionals, they have their own terms and phrases. I am trying to collect as much istilah of these orang kelaut as I can and I need your help. I did ask a friend in a fishing village in Terengganu to collect as much words as he can but he is busy ferrying tourists to Pulau Redang.

I do remember a few words unique to the orang kelaut though. Words like awok. To the ordinary Terengganu Jusoh, awok is a crude form of "you". To to the orang kelaut, awok is a member of the boat crew. Galle (standard: tenggala) is usually when you plow the land with the plough. To the orang kelaut, galle is the sticky stuff that you plug leaky boats with.

While some of the ordinary Terengganu folks might enjoy listening to keroncong, the music, orang kelaut know keroncong as the part of pukat tarek where the fish are caught. They may or may not hum a keroncong tune when they see a full keroncong rising out of the sea.

Orang kelaut also have specific words to describe the condition of the sea. If it is a bit choppy, they say that the sea is kucoh. Worse than kucoh is gelora. I and other sea-sick people would wait when the sea is lenang before venturing out in boats. Lenang, as my sea-sick uncle described it is "when the sea is like teh-o in a cup".

Now tell me of other words and phrases that the orang kelaut use. Until then, let us wish all the fishermen of Terengganu to always come ashore with their boats muat luang (filled with abundant catch).