Saturday, 6 November 2010

Kedah heritage, my Kedah memory


Good day, I would like to share with myself about the history of  our life in the states where my mother and father spend their life times there during their childhood and youth times. Also the state where I was born and where my ancestors landed so that I may not forget my root and heritage. 

 My mother was born in Sanglang district of Kedah state. While my father was born in Kodiang in Kubang Pasu district. I don't really know what Sanglang means. I checked in some dictionaries and they said it means aborted calf. While Kodiang came from Thai compound words which means Red Hill. However my mother was raised in Arau district of Perlis when her parents exploring new lands there together with those Thai speaking villagers from Thai side during those days where immigration wasn't so strict as today. Both of my parents are from Northern Kedah. My father has to move to Alor Setar and later to Singapore after his father passed away and his mother had already passed away when he was still in cradle.

That is a bit an introduction about my parents. In my part, I was born in Sungai Petani in Central Kedah. Just like our fathers, we are nomads. We use to move from places to places. I always lamenting myself for always being a nomad, we can't even develop friendship with people around like normal people.

Although raised in other states, our heart is still the heart of Kedahans and we never forget our dialect. Well sometimes I do try to hide my dialect by speaking in southern Malay dialect but that doesn't mean that I am shy of my northern heritage. I know many archaic Kedahan words which are only used by people around 80's because I use to speak with our elders. 

We love our states although we might feel that we have nobody anymore in Kedah after grandparents died.  My parents are still fond of our state and will try to find reasons to return back for few days just to express their saudade to the state. Hurmm, saudade is a Portuguese word. I don't know how to translate it into English. But it means the feeling that someone is missing someone or something with the memory traced their way back to the old days.

I still can remember when my late maternal grandparents were still there in Arau. May Allah bless their soul in the world there. We had sticky rice with dried fish or mango. Ramadhan and Syawwal that we spent together. Grilling meat and fish beside grandparents house. Walking in the sugar cane plantation. Learn to drive motorbike and fall down, laughing to my sister's driving skill while me too can't even drive the bike at that time. 

But to be frank, I don't really have any good or close childhood friend in Kedah or Perlis. I just know my siblings and few cousins. I still remember a Quran teacher who taught me some portions of Moqaddam at my grandparents village when I was a kid. I called him, Pak Dollah.

My half  Muang Yuan Thai cousin, I am so sad for him. Muang Yuan is another name of Lanna kingdom in North Thailand. His mom was detained in Thailand for stealing accusation, we believe she never did that as she is a very noble and hardworking woman. My grandmother loves his mom so much and we always recite moqaddam surah and listen to her recitation when we meet her. We never meet her anymore after she went back missing in Thailand. His son which is my cousin becomes lost. He used to be a good and polite boy.

One of my colleague during my bachelor degree time is in Jitra. Few others who are not really close to me are in Alor Setar, Padang Besar, Kuala Perlis, Pendang and Yan. I only had been to one of my hostel mate house in Yan which is in Central Kedah because I did not have the chance to visit his dad's funeral during our first year. Allah bless my friend dad's soul. I went there and getting to know his family, talking with his mom and expressing my condolence to the family.

Till now, we still heading north during Eid festival. This coming Qurban celebration is almost near in the midst of students answering exams. I am not sure either my parents will come back to north. My father was affected by stroke during the first Ramadhan this year. I am worried for him and for my family. Our state too is having hard time dealing with this recent flood. And this Wednesday, I will be sitting for exam.

I myself faced many problems like stressed out of myself when I have bundles of assignments, a psycho roomate, and I am so sad when I see my dad become so restless and not in peace during my holiday for revision week. Insya'Allah, I will try to focus and taking my heritage and state as a motivation.

Our state has this motto, Kedah pantang kalah, walau sakit jatuh dan rebah, pasti bangun semula. It means that we will rise again no matter how hard the obstacles had made us fallen. This motto is a lyric from our state's soccer team song.

Although now the state soccer team is not really as it was in the once upon a time glorious position but it is still illuminating. We don't have to be a winner, but just do not lose hope. I had gone through many experiences if not as many as others, but I still had gone through these experiences of 24 years old of my lifetime. I pray that Allah SWT grant us strength to go through this challenges in our life.

Till now, blessed be everyone and may Allah protects us from evil eyes, smile always ya baba : )


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