Saturday, August 22, 2009

Homestay in Sungai Dorani, Sabak Bernam

Homestay in Sungai Dorani, Sabak Bernam

So the Malay Cultural Society in my uni decided to organize a homestay program to the Malay Kampong (more like Jawa, but anyway) in Sungai Dorani. I was apprehensive about going, at first. First up, I din't noe most (90%) or more of the pple who were going along. And then, I wasn't going along with a "buddy" who could accompany me even if I was "alone".

But I went anyway. *grins* It was definitely a good experience. I didn't have "the time of my life", but it was a memorable trip with some fond experiences. I'll write a bit, but mostly I'll let some pictures do the talking. Note: most of the pictures I "curi" from others. Facebook of friends (who brought DLSR's and big camera's lol) and few are my own. there are many more, but those pple haven't posted up the pics I guess thats ok ;)

Group picture before starting out. Journey took roughly 2.5 hours.

We were welcomed by villagers busy "salam"-ing with us, and then were treated to tea. Fried cempedak, pulut, young coconut water as thirst quencher... :) It was a good start. The people were really friendly, and after a short speech by the person in charge, we were divided into our homestay groups and went off with our foster parents.

Truth to be told ,this is not a really "kampung" house...Its a malay modern bungalow. And the interior is also very modern...It even has automated air fresheners which keeps the place nice smelling! :)

The postbox. I din't manage to take pictures, but there were dozens of ayam kampung behind the house, some running free...and there were many "ikan kucing misai" (i think) which is catfish in English. We all had a go at catching the fish,hehe. Then there were some plants (cant remember what already).

Our "walit", Jawa for "Daddy", or is it Perak way,I'm not sure. Mr Zahid is a Perak-ian, really friendly man who participates actively during mealtime conversations as well, and was a very good host :)

And then there is "Encik", or what we know as mom. It was a little bit of a relief for me, as I would personally find it a little weird to call someone you've barely known for a day "dad" or "mom". Hence "walit" and "encik" served me fine, although we did try to be good foster kids ;)

Encik is from Jawa, and is more than friendly. She took good care of us, up from cooking fantastic meals such as tom yam to sitting with us at the village style feast later in the evening.

And here are my fantastic housemates. There were 4 chinese in this program, 3 girls and 1 guy. The guys, 7 of them were cramped into one household, while the 3 of us girls, with my beloved ex-pbl mate (also my roommate for the night) were housed with walit and encik.

After a lovely lunch of tom yam, omelet and watermelon plus cold orange juice , we rested then headed back to the centre, where most activities were held. And first up was the batik chanting activity.

Imagine 20 pple craming side by side to paint (well, colour actually), the base was already drawn for us. 1 lesson to take home : DON'T wear yellow (or light colours) while painting. my shirt got a lil colour, but luckily it was at the side, hence not so noticable.

My 2 finished pieces as it was being dried with the others. (I had time for 2 as I had already done mine...and there were "leftovers". It was pretty fast as there were only 1 flower for each piece , opposed to many flowers on other cloths. I actually wanted to colour another piece with multiple flowers instead of the one with the rose (my second piece)...but as the place was crammed with people on the left and right, I decided to settle for the one on my left instead.

The second piece. the foldings you see in the subsequent pictures is because the pieces were later dried and cut individually , and folded to be put into a small pouch as a souvenir for us.

My first piece (I kinda like this one much more, what about you?) :] Somehow the colours seem more lively here... The beauty of multi shade colouring haha. I mixed the darker purple myself! *bangga sendiri*( haha kidding bout the bangga part. I really mixed my own dark purple as I wanted 2 shades of purple while there was only one).

The butterfly up close. Somehow the colours just blended beautifully :)

Drink /tea after the batik session...

Then we walked to the next house (not that far away, 3 mins walk?) to the next "menumbuk padi" activity.

The traditional way of removing padi pounding them.

Then the pounded padi(its hard work!) will be put on a sift...

And you sift it! haha

We came 2 weeks after the padi was harvested. but saw a small padi plant at the side of the house near the parit. See the dried up plants behind. We saw a farmer conducting open burning too! The wind, thankfully drew the smoke in the opposite direction.

Then there was the health awareness activity. We were divided into 4 groups. My roommate and I were in charge of blood pressure station for the women. And honestly it wasn't easy for me. I felt that I had communication problems with the village folk, mostly because I don't speak their language too fluently. And was a little shy as well. So yeah...Mizah was a natural. I felt a little out of place. And the amount of people who came was wayy more than we could handle, with only 1 blood pressure set. Most womenfolk were nice, but some of them naturally were a little impatient, and were frustrated that it took so long for them to get their blood pressure checked. A few of the women were really "difficult" patients...I barely could feel their pulse / hear their karakoff sounds! (systole and diastole reading)

Later in the evening, we went back for a quick shower before heading for the "kenduri arwah". It was a village style feast, held in conjunction with prayers for the deceased. We ate on the floor, male and females separate (males outside at the tables, females inside nearer to the kitchen), with dishes on a dulang (large tray). The cendawan goreng was my favourite dish! It looked plain, but it was fantastic man... =D

Then we sat around on the chairs while waiting for the next program, performances :)

First there was the nasyid performance by the ladies. And our encik was one of them :) hehe you know, when we went to centre, we looked at each other when we realised that 1, later 2 and subsequently 3 of them were dressed in the same kurung outfit, same design! We wondered, and reasoned with each other - until we saw the ladies walk on stage! haha it was a surprise - and a little of a shock at the same time.

Then there was the IMU performance by the guys...who presented 3 songs. Pardon me, but most of us were laughing throughout. It was funny! (try getting 7 guys ,not natural singers to try sing 3 different songs with 3 different tones and you'll see what I mean). But you know I salute them for going out there...with the little practice and many in the audience! :P

Then there was the "kuda kepang" performance. It was pretty much a new experience for most (I think all ) of us. And I can't exactly tell you, you need to go see for yourself. We were given the chance to learn / try the dance as well. Not as easy as it looks. For me the most horrible part is the cracking of the whip sound (to slow / hasten the pace of the dance / to signify the start/ end of the dance etc). My fingers were in my ears throughout the performance -___-

The next day, it was time for us to leave. BUT before that , we had a few more activities. :)

Leaving our foster family homes, on the way *scenery pictures alert*:

The harvested padi fields, and a machine that makes the job much much faster.

Hay rolled into a roll? I dunno. haha

A kampung style house on stilts (most of them here are on stilts still)

Dragon fruit tree.

We then fished in the padi fields. *see the fishing rod* with prawns as bait.

The flowers in the padi fields nice, no? :)

I was severely sunburnt...all for one fish! not worth it ler... (others were lucky enough to get up to 7...(my housemate)... and even got a catfish! but some dint get any, so perhaps I was still lucky...

We also visited the nata de coco factories and the kerepek factory. a disappointment though as the factories were closed as it was weekends. then lastly we visited the manggo farms... laden with mangoes. Bought a kilo worth of manggos.

See what I mean by "laden with mangoes"? the tree is practically bent man.

Before we left, we naturally had to take some photos.

I assure you, doing this jump is highly painful when you hand on your soles! >< onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="">
The girls

Group photo (minus the photographer >< ) with some of the foster parents.

It was definitely a fond memory for me. I got to experience for myself a little of the lifestyle in a village. I did not see any computers nor any luxury items like Benz, but people there were contended. They were willing to share their lives and culture, looking beyond the skin colour. As the emcee of the sungai dorani homestay counterpart said "It doesn't matter if you're Indian, Chinese, Malay, Korean, Japanese...we treat you all as our family here. Thats why we ask you to call us "dad" and "mom" (in bahasa, Abah, mak...) rather than "pak cik" and "mak cik". Like that kurang mesra, call us family more warmth." Well said, I think, and that sums up the short but enjoyable trip to the Homestay program.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Random stuff

Saw an ad for adult art classes. So felt like going for it. I like art, deep down. (Yes, although I cant draw. Sooky can attest to that :p ) but well, don't think my parents will like the idea.

Am done with dermatology electives. Sooky has more pictures than I do, but I'll post what I have soon...hopefully. haha. not crazy over blogging lately.

Things to do: clear bed, clear table (hardly possible , knowing myself), do elective report, wash hair tomorrow... ... ...

Back from homestay too. at sabak bernam, in a place called sungai dorani. Did I enjoy myself? Yes. Did I get new experiences? Definitely. Would I go back / recommend the place? Sure. the highlight for me was the batik chanting. (well, I got to colour batik for real. :) I love art wert... )

Am pretty tired of the animals around / in the house. cats, dogs, etc...u name it. "pitiful" cries and soil diggers who make one's blood boil is so not entertaining.

Should have slept ages ago. Chiao