12 Rabi’ul Awwal has come and gone again. In the past, I’ve written about a famous book of poetry about the birth of Prophet Muhammad (s) called Mawlid Daiba’i. Actually the Mawlid poetry more widely read in Malaysia is Mawlid Barzanji, named after its composer, Imam Zayn al-`Abidin Ja`far ibn Hasan al-Barzanji (d. 1177) (r). […]
After a 12-year hiatus, I’m finally taking formal Arabic lessons again. It meets once a week at night in the “basement” of the ustaz’s house who gave the talk at our surau last week. Not a basement really but a room built on the ground floor, underneath his house on stilts. The last classes I […]
While wandering around the Jalan Masjid India area last December during my sisters’ brief visit, we stumbled on a live performance in a small plaza. The show was of traditional Malay song and dance. There was a large squad of men sitting crosslegged, some with drums, some clapping, some singing lead, some chorus. The dancers […]
Two, three cat running Not the same dog running Two, three day more raya coming Everything is ready huh?? Pandan Island far-far in the middle Daik Mountain has three branches During Ramadhan everybody struggles So during Syawal don’t spoil the chances Jump frog jump Jump high-high What knowledge u try Ketupat rendang very delicious High-high […]
One last thing about names here is the “bin”. Bin is Arabic for “son of”. Binti is “daughter of”. Although it does not appear on the birth cert itself, it is inserted between the first and last names of muslims, or more accurately, between the child’s name and the father’s name. (So in case you […]
Malaysia is constantly grappling with the role of English in the country and in the Malaysian language, Bahasa Malaysia. On the one hand, fluency in English is highly prized. The government’s latest initiative to improve English skills is that Math and Science courses will now be taught in English medium. On the other hand, English […]
Though I’ve been here in Kuching over a year now, I’ve barely been outside of the city. Partly because of that, I had the impression that all the “real” nature was to be found far into the uplands. So I was very pleasantly surprised when I visited Semenggoh just a half an hour’s drive from […]
You’d never know he’s only catching about a tenth of the Bahasa Malaysia he hears, because anytime anyone asks him anything, “anh” he says.