Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Make gula

Why did I write the title as 'Make gula' & not, 'Make sugar', or why not 'Buat gula'? Hehe... The reason simply because none of the three options are correct to define the 'Make gula' that I'm going to write about. It all started when a friend invited me to a wedding of his brother in Salor, Kota Bharu. The Kelantanese have their own distinctive unique dialect that is very different from the standard Bahasa Malaysia/ Melayu (BM). To top that off, the Kelantanese also have a certain soft and smooth rhythm in the way they speak that most of the time left me in awe! The Kelantanese Malay (KM) dialect is very, very much different from where I came from, where the standard BM is used at large. But I am privileged to have quite a good command of the Kedah and Perak Malay dialects, since I am married to a Perakian who speaks in Perak dialect. My late Papa was also from Perak and my Mama is from Kedah.
Most of the KM words are the same as the standard BM, but the different is in the way the words are being pronounced. For example, eat in standard BM is 'makan', but in KM, its make, and no... it's not make as in the English word! Another example, road or go in standard BM is 'jalan', but in KM, its jale. Writing the KM words do not do justice to their pronounciation, as I've mentioned earlier, the Kelantanese have their own rhythm and diction when they speak:) The place where I'm working now is Kubang Kerian in standard BM, but in KM dialect, its Kube Kiye! One suburb in Kota Bharu is called Cherang, but to the Kelantanese, its Chere, and Gua Musang is Guo Muse. Confused? There are more! 
There are some words that are totally different from the standard BM though. I remember when I was in Perth, my housemate told me that in the KM dialect, 'tangkap gambar' (taking photos) is pukul gambar, rosak (damaged) is punah and keluar (out/ exit) is tubik. My youngest sister is married to a Kelantanese from Tanah Merah, but since my brother in law does not have anybody else to speak with  in the KM dialect at home, he speaks in standard BM most of the time. Last year, when his mother came to visit at my Mama's place, his mother asked for a supik from me. I thought I heard wrongly and asked her to repeat. Supik, again came the word. I actually have to ask her what is supik? It turned out that supik are plastic bags to put food in! Funny? Intrigued? Wait... there are more :D 
My husband and I went to a  restaurant to eat cendol, and they have in their menu: cendol special and 'biasa' (regular). We asked the waiter what are the differences between the two, and he listed out the ingredients in the special cendol that are not in the regular cendol, one of which both of us could not comprehend even after the waiter repeated twice. When the special cendol was served before us, we found out that cincau (grass jelly) was the ingredient which we did not picked up. But, we still couldn't figure out the KM dialect of cincau, so I asked my office mate, and its actually beleda ite to the Kelantanese! Apparently, beleda is 'agar-agar' or 'lengkong' (jelly) to the Kelantanese, and since cincau is black in colour (ite in KM dialect), hence beleda ite ;D
So back to make gula... It's actually 'makan kenduri' in standard BM (loosely translated to English as attending a wedding/ feast). Somehow, the Kelantanese associate 'gulai' (loosely translated to English as curry) with weddings as it is commonly being served at weddings (but the curry in Kelantan is different from the curry that I'm used to, errr... that could be another blog post altogether!). Hence, attending a wedding in KM dialect is called make gula. In KM dialect, there is always a silent 'i' for words ending with an 'i', for example: pandai (clever) is panda, kedai (shop) is keda and pakai (wear) is paka. In the context of gulai (curry), it becomes gula, but 'gula' is also sugar in standard BM! But to the Kelantanese, gula (sugar) is gulo! Interesting? Yes? 

My brother in law listed down some of the different wedding-related terms used by the Kelantanese, and mind you, some of them are really distinctive from the standard BM terms that I know. Here are the list:
Kelantanese Malay dialect
Standard Bahasa Malaysia
English (Loose translation)
Kenduri (pada Tuan Rumah)
Wedding feast (To the host)
Siso @ telor siso
Lauk kenduri yang dibawa balik
Wedding dishes that are bought home by the attendees
Rombongan pengantin
The newly-weds entourage
Salam sambil hulur duit pada ibu-bapa pengantin
Shaking hand with the newly-weds parents (the host) while giving money
Penanggah/ Bentara
Persons who help in food serving during wedding feast

Owh, by the way, do you know that the Kelantanese use riyal instead of ringgit as their 'currency'? ;D 

C'est la vie!