Sunday, April 27, 2008

Thursday, April 24, 2008

ENCHANTING MINANG EARTH

Bukit Tinggi , a scenic hill town in the Western Province of Sumatera (Sumatera Barat or SUMBAR) is a 2 hrs drive away north to Padang, the capital city of SUMBAR. It is one of the many Sumateran tourist attractions and our decision to spend a 5 days 4 nights holiday was well worth. With moderate traffic flow and a population with laid-back pace, the cool and quaint Minangkabau town exudes charming warmth that embraces you the instant you enter it.

The place we stayed


Mid way to Bukit Tinggi, is a small town called Padang Panjang, a popular stop to delight your palate with the local Minang dishes, visit a ‘rumah gadang’ which is a minang house converted into a museum and also shop for embroidered telekung and head scarves. The ‘rumah gadang’ is a truly unique building with distinctive roofing architecture that resembles the bullock’s horns. In a way, it’s similar to a long house with a row of rooms and a large hall.

Rumah gadang

At both ends of the large hall are extended areas with graduated platforms, almost like a balcony. This is where they hold family discussions with the family head sitting top most.
According to Minang tradition, once a son reaches age 10, he has to leave the house and pursue Islamic studies either in a mosque or a madrassah. Thus the rooms are mainly occupied by daughters, each to a room. The family head occupies the right most room with his wife and children less than 10 yrs of age. Once a daughter is married she can occupy a room with her spouse and as more gets married, they shift rooms from left to right, till they reach the last available room which signals for them to leave the rumah gadang.

The Minang tradition are divided into 2, the pepateh or the temenggong. Those observing adat pepateh, give priority to the female family members when it comes to family inheritance. However they defend this rather ‘outlandish’ tradition by pointing out that it only involves main family loom like the rumah gadang and that sons are always being taken of and other family assets like paddy fields can be mortgaged for the expenditure for a son’s education etc. Also, as opposed to adat temenggong, the female members have strong hold in decision making. In the patriarchal adat temenggong, the family head has veto power and female ideas need not be sought. Inheritance is divided following the fara’id method.

If you’re interested in historical land-marks, then Bukit Tinggi can provide you with endless sites to visit and study. Smacked right in the centre is the jam gadang, the town clock. Opposite is Bung Hatta’s palace with his statue and bust decorating the vicinity. Then there’s Fort de Knock, a Dutch remnant down the road. From here, we can view the majestic Merapi mountain (not Jogja’s Merapi) to the south and the Singgalang mountain to the west.

Silhouettes, sunrise behind Merapi


Statue of Imam Bonjol


Jam Gadang


Interestingly, the town is rather precariously situated at the edge of a hill that sweeps into a small canyon, called Ngarai Si anok where a river meanders through the deep valley below. Strategically during the Japanese occupation, they (the Japs) chose to build tunnels at this particular edge of the hill with secret exits into the canyon, aptly called Lobang Japang by the locals. Forced men labor was imported from Jawa and Sulawesi and killed once the tunnels were completed.

Ngarai Si anok

After a short respite at the hotel, we decided to explore the town on foot. Unknown to us, Boogey had made acquaintance with the hotel owner’s son who had brought him to their other hotel and their beautiful minang house, surrounded by vast paddy fields, in a village, peripheral to town.

Bukit Tinggi town, early morning

We found a shop that offers foot reflexology and full body massage only for men and after maghrib prayers, hubby immersed himself for 1 and half hours in what was to be his best ever massage experience. He had only praise for the young masseur. After a very heavy Minang lunch earlier, we opted for a simpler dinner at a road-side gerai, incidentally run by a guy and his son, of Indian descendent. We had murtabak and nasi goring. Unfortunately he doesn’t know how to prepare teh tarik and when I suggested that he should learn how to, he politely retorted by saying, “tak tekejar saya”.

Next:

Visiting and praying in Indonesia’s oldest mosque, Masjid Bingkudu

Lembah Harau and it’s enchanting waterfalls, a spectacular sight to behold.








Tuesday, April 15, 2008

MelatiKesumaDewi


MelatiKesumaDewi- begitulah nama hedgehog ini, haiwan kesayangan kepunyaan Uda, Wan dan dua anak perempuan mereka. Saya sendiri belum ketemu dengannya. Gambar2 ini adalah ehsan ikelah dan satu lagi saya cekup dari blog Uda: Tintacreative.fotopages.com. Harap Uda tidak marah, :p

Cuma satu yang saya musykil: bagaimana nak mengusap/ dakap atau peluk Kesuma? Popaleh weii!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

TRIBUTE TO THE APRIL FOOLS BABIES


Kerteh beach. Courtesy of iKelah who has been commuting between Kuantan and Kerteh/Paka since March.


April marks the month where the most number of kith and kins celebrate their birthdays. To all of you, I wish a happy birthday, a wonderful and peaceful year ahead, brimmed with Allah's baroqah and guidance. Ameen.

4th- PakTwain (?28th)

9th- Beloved s.i.l., Mas. (29th)

10th- Beloved hubby. (47th)

12th- Beloved niece, Adrianna. (8th)

13th- Beloved second daughter, Sofi. (22nd)

14th- MekTwain's Twins (2nd)

20th- Beloved f.i.l. (76th)

23rd- MekTwain (?28th)

28th- Beloved sister, Ita (33rd)

29th- Beloved son, Muhammad. (21st)

30th- Beloved b.i.l., Boogey, ( 44th)

There you go, a very long list. Now you guys can't blame me for forgetting your birthdays this time!



“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall”

Confuscious



"Our greatest glory is not in never falling,
But in rising every time we fall."

Confucius.
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Bukit Tinggi 2008

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