Monday, November 09, 2015

The National Heritage: "Beautiful Colours of Meranek"

Assalamualaikum, Guten Tag and hello to the readers. This time, the entry is quite long and if you were a lazy reader, just stop and don't read further because it's gonna be boring. Reallyyyyy boring. But, aaaaaaaaaaaaaI am just kidding. I'm sure it'll be interesting for you to read. Trust me. I am a good journalist.

Culture. How can you love me if you don't know and love my culture. I was blended into the culture just like a blended hash browns. Aippp.....? a blended hash browns? really? hmmm. I don't think so. Technically, hash browns is not blended. It's just mine mind made idiot idiom that's absurd and senseless. hahaha. Btw, hash browns or hashed browns is one of my favourite food. hehe. Now, back to the topic.

MERANEK. The name of a breathtaking, awe-inspiring, magnificent, wonderful, amazing and stunning place for you to go. I've spent a big part of my life living here. I am a part of the society and I know most of its culture, customs and traditions. Whether you like it or not, Das gehts dich nicht an(That's non of your business), I will share about it anyway. hehe.

The Flag of Sarawak

Let's start with the briefing first. Meranek village is one of the village in Sarawak. It's located in Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia, under 197 parliamentary constituencies led by the Honourable Mrs Rubiah bt Wang who won the 2014 general election last year. Based on the Google Map, It's situated at 1°26'24"N, 110°27'40"E. The village headman Basuni bin Haji Seman appointed since October 1985. Only half an hour is needed if we are driving a car from the village to get to the Kuching city. The majority of villagers are Malays and their religion is Islam.

 Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS)

 Universiti Teknologi MARA Sarawak (UiTM)

 Institut Perguruan Tun Abdul Razak

The best thing is, it's located near several higher learning institutions such as Universiti Malaysia Sarawak(UNIMAS), Universiti Teknologi Mara, Sarawak(UiTM) and College Tun Abdul Razak. Thus many villagers program with the staff of higher education is carried out every year. The main economic activities of the villagers are pineapple, rice plantation,
freshwater fisheries and yeast companies.

Pineapple Plantation

Earlier, my family has 3 pineapple plantations all over Samarahan (Lubok Mata, Paloh and Marong) but the lands have been sold to another people because there's no one have time to take care of the lands. Our paddy field also sold out for the same reason. Now there're only a bamboo field and orchard left. Hurmm. Nanas nanas. Oh ya, my mom can make "sos cili nanas"=Pineapple Chilli Sauce and it is a fingers licking good. mamamammm. That sauce also once had been produced by KEMAS for small industry production but now I don't know why they are not producing it again.

Freshwater Fisheries.. ermm.. that lobster.. slurrppp

Lobsters? Of course this is the place where you can find a "billig"=cheap and big lobsters. "Sonderangebot!". hehehe. You can also catch it by yourself but "pass auf"=careful there are abundance of big crocodiles waiting for you in the water. I have an experience with those crocodiles whilst enjoying the lobsters catching and guess what?, there are really big and fat like a bass not treble. Better don't get into the water for the sake of your lives. Hahaha.

Collection of antique items.
My family still have most of the items shown in the pictures especially "Tar/Hadrah/gendang"(circular music instruments infront of the radio). I have unforgettable memories about the Tar. My Paknek(Grandpa) better known as "Yak Day" in the village was a "Guru Tar"=Person who teaches people to play the Tar. But unfortunately, I'd never learned how to play a Tar from him. When I was living with my Paknek and Maknek"Grandma", almost every night people came and learned the Tar beats. And I was the one who suffered from the loud noise of everybody beating the Tars. I can't sleep at night because of it. And the culture is, when the pupils came to learned from my Paknek, my Maknek will serve the food to celebrate the pupils that came. Guess what? I was suffered again in helping my Maknek to serve the food and wash the "tapaq"=plate for food. Hmm, how hard my life could be. "When my hairs all but gone and my memory fades, and the crowds don't remember my name. When my hands don't play the strings the same way but I won't forget those memories." Hahaha.

Tudung Penyarang(to cover the food), Jakin/Takin(as a bag), Nyiruk(to "tampik"=isolate the rice from coated paddy seeds) are the handicrafts that the previous generation passed to us. My Maknek is a talented handicraft maker. Just tell her, what handicraft do you want to have and she will make it for you. One of her specialization is making variety of "Sarong Ketupat"(Ketupat Wrappers). I have mastered more than 15 shapes of Sarong ketupat from her. These are my favourite shapes:
 Ketupat Burung (Bird)
 Ketupat Kucing (Cat)
Ketupat Kambing (Goat)
*Ketupat is a glutinous rice that cooked with coconut milk and a little bit salt inside the "Sarong Ketupat".. sometime it uses regular rice(nasi himpit)

 Hmm.. yummy Ketupat Palas.. Picture credit to: Fiza's Cooking Blogspot
Growing the Fatty Acid.. lol.. Picture credit to: Dari Dapur Ummi Blogspot
The paddy plantation is one of the economic activities in the village, therefore, there should be equipments in processing the harvest. In the picture shown below, we have Jungkar(A platform that made of bamboo and rattan to dry the harvest), Cerindak/Terendak(A coned-hat), Tikar(mat) and Guni(Jute/sacks/Gunny).

Earlier, we have known that the villagers are 100% muslims, so there is a special event for those who have Khatam The Quran(Finished Reading 30 Juzuk of Quran). It is called "Majlis Khatamal Quran". The person who has khatam will be walked in a parade surround the village until reached the stage to recite the Quran in public. In this parade, there will be beautiful creative handmade accessories. Pictures of the items brought in the parade:

 Ships replica filled with "bunga telur"and "ketupat"
 Traditional Bunga Telur(Egg with flower decoration)
Modern Bunga Telur

*Bunga Telur will be given to the villagers who came in the parade . The egg will be eaten and the flower you can keep it as souvenir :)

Bunga Manggar.. Picture credit to: Arni Yusnita Ahmad Blogspot
Last but not least, I would like to thank for your willingness and excitement to read about this entry. Now you have seen a little part of our diversity in tradition and culture. I know, of course there will be some similarities that we shared together despite of differences. I hope we will altogether to preserve our own tradition and culture from lost in time. Not going to talk more, below is the last picture for this entry.
Antique bicycle with "gat"(used for carrying the harvest) at the back.

 p/s: For other pictures, special thank and credit to KLakar Orang Meranek Facebook Group

 “You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”
Ray Bradbury

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