web counter The Madness of MokcikNab: October 2007
The Madness of MokcikNab
Motives, movements and melodrama in the life of a thirty something mum.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I celeng you

This post is dedicated to my father, who enjoys finding out the origins of Terengganu words. The following are actually, verbatim, from a dictionary:

gocoh - to box, to thump, scuffle
gohong - hole, cave, den
celeng - money box
colek - to take a little of, to nudge a little

Sounds familiar enough if you're from Terengganu or Kelantan, yes? Amazingly this was taken from the Kamus Lengkap Indonesia-Inggeris.

This started out when I was talking to Dr Rohani, who is the wife of the MSD chief in Indonesia. She's from Seberang Takir and I remarked that I found many Indonesian words similar to Terengganuspeak. She agreed wholeheartedly, and pointed out how Indonesians call 'making noise' geger, which is an utterly East Coast expression. Iseng-iseng (just on a lark), I went through Adam's dictionary and found so many words that my grandmother would have used in her conversation.

Words like:

ganyah - to scrub
pongah - conceited
gerai - sitting platform (as opposed to the Malay 'gerai', which means stall)
karih- to stir
katik - small or dwarf
geluk - drinking-bowl
congkong - to squat
cobek - to tear away (usually associated with food)

And then, there's 'kedaung' and 'lepang', both of which are trees, the former I guess is really green and the latter, bitter. A 'celeng' is actually a small boar, which is probably why Terengganu people call the piggy bank after it.

Indonesians always use "ngga usah" for don't, similar to the Terengganu "dok soh". We also use "takmboh", when we refuse something. The dictionary says 'emboh' means to like, or to have a mind to, which makes sense, because "tak emboh" would mean exactly the opposite.

Saiffuddin thinks it is time I get off my butt and find out exactly the link between Indonesia and the East Coast. My ancestry, songket, gamelan and pempek (their version of kerepok lekor) have given us a rough outline, but I am dying to fill in the blanks. Anyone want to help? Nok ke takmboh?


Just for the fun of it, I think I will blog today

This rare opportunity to blog was brought to you by the fact that:
a) I am sick with flu and did not go to work today
b) I could therefore get hold of this PC before three screaming kids maim each other for it; and
c) the internet service provider actually provided internet, and not just 15 bits of connection

Ah well, too bad no one's going to read this.

Hmm. For a moment there I thought, since no one's going to read this I might as well record for posterity (and for scientific research) what my husband and I did in bed last night; but I cancelled that because:

a) my father regularly looks me up because he's such a dear; and
b) this post would consist of only a few sentences, which would read as thus:

We were both in bed, lying down, naked. Saiffuddin read Kompas and cut out
a tender announcement for power barges in Sumatera. I played 'Extreme Snake' on
my phone. When I 'sudah mati', we turned off the lights and went to sleep.
The end.

I have to pretend my life is more exciting than that. Tch.

So, anyway. Here's a brief update on the past two months -- sort of. I went to work as usual, and edit, edit, edited all the copies for this media tracking outfit that has so kindly given me a part-time job. The I go home and help my kids with homework. If I have no patience I do the homework myself, so that I can quickly get some sleep.

Ramadan came, and we spent most of our time at Mesjid Agung Sunda Kelapa, where nightly, Adam, Saiffuddin and even the visiting Firhad would lose their sendal jepit (selipar). Tarawih was a pleasure this year, we had an imam from Arab Saudi who read the Quran with conviction and emotion; and most of the doa's were translated so we understood the gravity of the prayer. Towards the end of Ramadan, we had what I call "Tearjerker Terawihs", because the imam would be sobbing through his extended doa qunut during the last rakaat of witr, and because we were told beforehand the meaning of the qunut, the makmums would be crying, too.

The jemaat at Mesjid Sunda Kelapa in Menteng is a truly mixed lot, but all are also truly welcome. There would be the low-income populous who would travel from miles away to arrive before Asr, and enjoy the free iftar the mosque would provide for about 700 people every day. Then, there are the Menteng denizens, who come to mosque in their gorgeous telekungs and their Fendis and Hermes, and you can see one or two fiddling on their Blackberries during tazkirah. The Vice-President, who lives right next door, is a regular makmum, and a usual target for donations. After the earthquake in Padang, the mosque collected funds to rebuild the destroyed mosques in the affected areas. Some donated Rp40 million without batting an eyelid. The Wakil President gave more than Rp100 million of his own money.

The night before Lebaran we helped Wisma Malaysia cook for hundreds of students who beraya away from home, some for the first time. (Most could not go home because they had just arrived and had to wait for their visa to clear). I learnt to cook kuah kacang, for the first time. On Lebaran morning, we solat Idul-Fitri at the embassy. I brought kerepok lekor which my husband and I made ourselves, and I was scolded because there wasn't enough to go (several) round. In the evening, we went to Kebon Jeruk, to celebrate with my friends Lindy and Winky, and their family, who are like our de-facto relatives here. Ibu Savitri ("No, you must call me Mummy") cooked 92 kilos of rendang and an array of Minang and Batavian delicacies and desserts. At the end of the evening, she played the piano and called everyone to sing, which everyone thought was the cue to leave.

The most beautiful woman at the gathering was a septuagenarian, who was tall and elegant and had perfect skin. I was kinda flirting with her, which wasn't terribly religious of me.

Saiffuddin and I later hosted our own Raya gathering at our house, but only for small groups of people because our house can't accomodate crowds and we had only ten dinner plates and most of the drinking tumblers were broken. I had Chris, Hera and Riri from work bring along their spouses, and I cooked nasi kerabu, which they suprisingly enjoyed. I also cooked pasta with scampi because I didn't know if Riri's husband David, who is from New York, would eat the nasi kerabu, because the dish calls for petai and budu. Turns out he was the one who ate with the most gusto. Never underestimate a Jewish boy from Jersey, that's what I say.

Minal aidin wal faidzin. Better late than never.