Tuesday, July 14, 2009

11-120709 Kettek, Kelap-kelip & Kampong

"Kayok ruso melebu kampong"
Mokno-ne, wong seng ra reti opo-opo seng di-omongi wong lio. Contoh e, koyo wong kampung seng mareng peken...Wedthi koro persekitaran seng baru.

"Seperti Rusa Masuk Kampung"

Ertinya : Tercengang-cengang melihat sesuatu yang baru pertama kali di lihat olehnya = Orang bandar yang "peghak/jakun" yang tak pernah merasai kehidupan kampung = Seseorang yang memasuki persekitaran baru dan berkelakuan pelik. Perasaan janggal. Ha ha!

* ORIGIN - Malay proverb.
Literal meaning, like a deer entering a village. This phrase figuratively means someone who enters into a new environment and behaves like a total squid/dork.

A deer has no idea of how a village looks like, and would therefore portray traits of anxiety, fear, and probably excitement. Hence, when this phrase is quoted, the person referred to is very likely to exhibit bewildered/lost behaviour/awe struck/acting like a total dumbo. A squid, or ’sotong’, is a metaphor for someone who is at total blur and not knowing his surroundings.
Jangan marah, nanti cepat tua...kah, kah, kah, kiok, kiok, kiok, oink, oink, oink!

Kettek = Monkey
Kelap-kelip = Firefly
Kampong = Village
Kapalkinjeng = Dragonfly
Hantu Raya = A very huge ghost / A glutton
Learn the Jawa dialect, click

We had a small "taste" of adventure immediately during hi-tea. We were treated with kampong fare: Boiled bananas & sukun with sweet grated coconut. Sukun comes within the family of Moraceae called as Breadfruit. Its fruit is developed for the substitution of rice. Lots of carbo for cyclist like us. When cooked the taste is described as potato-like, or similar to fresh baked bread (Hence the name).
Besides carbohydrate, protein, and fat, breadfruit also contain vitamin B1, B2, and vitamin C, and also minerals (calcium, phosphorus, and ferrum/iron). Obstetrical of water in breadfruit is high enough, that is 69.3%. It's native to the Malay Peninsula and Western Pacific islands and it's widely planted in tropical regions elsewhere. Throughout the Pacific Region, breadfruit leaves are used to cure diseases such as hepatitis, toothache, pruritis, magnification of spleen, heart, and kidney problems.

Sukun not Dukun/Shaman

Of course, further research needs to be done as traditional drug plants are usually consumed & trusted only by locals. More about Sukun here. On Dukun, read here.

Bukit Malawati in Kuala Selangor has attractions dating back from the 18 century. These includes the ruined Fort Malawati, Altingsburg lighthouse, Royal Mausoleum, cannons, slab of rock where the guilty were beheaded (You can see remnants of blood, Yikes!!) & a poison well. Legend says that a pious girl was forced on her wedding day disappeared after performing ablution at the Selangor River. Her parents dreamt that their daughter forbids them from finding her because she has found a peaceful place on an island. Her parents found her clothes hanging on a tree & built her grave there.
At night it seems you can see hear wailing & basking in the moonlight atop the 200 year old Angsana Hill…eerie...

The view’s is so inspiring & the sunset is awesome!
There is a one way road system that winds all the way up and then down. For the non athletic, we have to take the tram runs up the hill or you can choose to sweat it out & climb 2km. We went for the fun-thrilled roller coaster tram ride instead. Silver Leaf monkeys, are the darlings of the hilltop. Several families hang around here for longbeans handouts from visitors. The Silver-leafed babies have golden fur as compared with the adults of dull-ashen grey. These Monkeys are a delight - they are gentle and seem to always have a thank you for every morsel of food given.

Locals call them Lotong. (Don't confuse it with Lontong)

Lotong & Lontong

Pulsating rhythmic gongs & gendangs heated the nite despite the heavy downpour. After much swaying by the pretty girls, the male species just couldn't resist the temptation to dance the Zapin...

Located at Kuala Selangor, 67km southeast of KL. Bukit Belimbing is famous for its fireflies (Kelip-kelip in Bahasa Malaysia) dwelling along its river bank due to the Berembang trees, or its scientific name Sonneratia Caseolaris, with open foliage, which is suitable for the breeding of the phosphorescent beetle. Traveling upstream in a small boat Bukit Belimbing and in the quiet darkness you'll come across a site of one of the largest firefly colonies in the world, stretching a few kilometers along the Selangor River. You'll see thousands of fireflies flickering like Christmas light lining.
Do you know that the fireflies are at the brink of extinction? Before they become a museum piece, we took an electric motorized sampan ride to see them
ourselves. Kelip-kelip in Bahasa Melayu means 'to twinkle'. Twinkle is what these little creatures do. We requested for the boatman to steer us to the edge of the bank so that we could get a closer look at the beetle. He gently cupped a straggling individual in his hands. As he opened his cupped hands, his palms lit up a green glow, flashing on - off, on - off. Beautiful They are winged beetles, and commonly called fireflies or lightning bugs for their conspicuous crepuscular use of bioluminescence to attract mates or prey.

Fireflies are capable of producing a "cold light", containing no ultraviolet or infrared rays.
This chemically-produced light, emitted from the lower abdomen, may be yellow, green, or pale red in color, and has a wavelength from 510 to 670 nanometers. As night falls, they move to the mangrove trees (called pokok Berembang) lining the banks to feed on nectar from the leaves and to attract mates with their synchronized flashing.
When they get excited & horny, the chemical reaction in the thorax of the insect produces
a cool green glow that is controlled to flash at a rate of 3 flashes per second. The males flash within 1/30th of a second of each other whilst the females do not flash as frequently nor as flamboyantly as the males. Each tree has different groups of families and sometimes the synchronization of flashes on one tree falls out of synch with the neighboring tree. The blinking frenzy comes to an end, which time the kelip-kelip would have found mates or mated, and subsequently the flashing would stop.

When I was a kid, the elders used to tell me that fireflies are remnants from the nails of the dead. Ark!

We rode on a flatland, gentle tour of the countryside around Kapong Sungai Sireh, Tanjung Karang past rice paddies and through small, rural villages, the route selected was pretty much free of traffic and where we stopped at several points along the way (Every 8km). For the love for the environment, It was an avenue for the staff to be together, meeting and knowing each other from various departments. This activity has helped strengthen communication and leadership skills and nurture responsibility to the whole group. There was also team effort that involves individuals working together and helping to improve trust and team work and build camaraderie while having fun.

The C.O.C.O.N.U.T. warm-up routine by Pak Salamat the Sg. Sireh PR man.

The first 8km was a breeze. Unfortunately due to over eagerness, one rider decided to do a soft-landing on the mud. Lucky for this fella, nothing serious. We thought this was the last show. We were wrong, one of our marshals followed suit. He had a mud bath too! Bro, this not the place to get a facial. Some bananas & cool water quenched the parched souls. Rested for about ten minutes & continued for another 2 km.

Baby paddy sprouts like a carpet into oblivion. Five days later at 15 cm, they can now be transplanted to the fields.

It was an educational tour as we visited a beautiful Kampong House in Sungai Sireh where we were exposed to the various community customs and traditions. We were also taken back in time to experience the old rice farming ways. The group were exposed to the details of rice farming, community customs and traditions and information about the local flora and fauna. Since the harvesting season coincides, we were given the chance to try out the “Membanting” technique (Removal of paddy from the stem via beating).
In the golden days of farming, it will take a back breaking 2 weeks to plant a 10 X 10 meters area. With current technology it only took two (2) hours!
These farmers are a tough lot. Sun baked, but never without a smile.

At the final pit-stop, we dropped by Pn. Fatimah's house & were served cool coconut water. The bike marshals then demonstrated some technical knowledge on minor repairs to our bicycle.

Nasi Ambeng
Literally means "Togetherness Rice".

Traditionally, this astronomical proportion authentic Javanese cuisine is served on a dulang (a big serving tray) only at kenduri/feast. Kenduri is a form of serving food to anyone, doa & thanking the Almighty for his abundance on occasions such as the fulfillment of the of a newborn, birthdays, weddings & remembering the deceased.

5 pax per dulang/tray (Round tray is a must). Banana leaves are used to line this dulang, a mountain of white or yellow steamed rice for 4-8 persons is placed in the centre topped with fried chili paste, fried shredded coconut, salted fish, fried chicken/fish/beef, kerabu/mix of bean sprout, bergedel (fried beef & mashed potato), urap, rendang & surrounded by plants shoots & whatever is edible & halal. For a curry lover like me, it can be a bit "dry".
Banana leaves in replacement of plates & all will sit on the floor around it; obviously you gotta use your hands for the right "feel", communal style...
The end product is one enormous dish meant for sharing in groups. Story goes that a long-long time ago when these people opened up new land/forest, each of them will bring some food & mix them up into a big feast. It is an immensely intimate experience, the joy of sharing glorifies this gastronomical delight are apparent in all present, enforcing bonding at the highest level.

Sadly, in our case. The new generation - eat separately the same way we lead our lives.

Ingredients (Enuff to serve 4-8 "Hantu Raya")
& how to go about doing IT.

Line a "Dulang" (Huge round tray) with a few sheets of banana leaves,
Place a mountain of white or yellow steamed rice for 4-8 person
Salted fish, fried chicken/fish/beef/anchovies
(Placed in the centre topped with fried chili paste or groundnut paste)
Fried shredded coconut, Bergedel (Fried beef & mashed potato),
urap, rendang
Soo Oon/Glass/transparent meehoon, tempe (Fried fermented soy)
Surround it with "Kerabu", mix of bean sprouts, plants shoots,
assortsments or whatever is edible & of course, halal.

It can be a little too dry for some, hmmm.
"Wet" it with a dash of black soy sauce dish or thin curry.

Thats some spicy meal & for u to get spicier with your partner later...ha ha!

After the bloating of bellies with this enormous & splendid food, we bid farewell to the kampong life & warm hospitality of the people there. In all, I dread to leave the immensely liberating experience, particularly for us, towns’ folks.

Isham, Cikgu Nasir, Zul, Aswad, Khalib & Apai...tengkiu.

Click here for da route from Jalan Damansara to Agro Centre, Sungai Sireh, Tanjung Karang, Selangor.

Da vid is 18:14 long, while u wait for it to load, go & make you self a cuppa.

Waras jinggo man!

Azman Ali @ ManCIOCC