“Take the parang beneath the stairs
Use the whetstone on an edge grown dull.
That faith be kept safe in prayer
Prostrate daily five times in full.”
Gardening in the tropics is a constant battle against the jungle. Being properly armed means carrying a machete. From Brazil to the Congo to the island of Borneo, farmers wield some form of long, sturdy knife for slashing and hacking back the relentless encroaching green. The Malaysian machete is the parang.
The 12 Gurindam of Raja Ali Haji ___________________________ This is the Gurindam of the fourth issue: Ini gurindam pasal yang keempat: The heart over the body rules all; if it oppresses, every part falls. Hati kerajaan di dalam tubuh, jikalau zalim segala anggota pun roboh. Whenever jealousy has been sown, shoot forth a multitude of […]
I can’t recommend The Raid: Redemption. It’s an Indonesian action movie that has won some acclaim internationally. I watched it because I’d seen Merantau, by the same director (Gareth Evans) and starring the same actor (Iko Uwais). Merantau wasn’t bad if you are a martial arts fan: the production quality was high and the pencak […]
Manaqib Productions is releasing the Mawlid Barzanji on CD in August, with a booklet of the Arabic verses and English translation. The first chapter is available for preview in mp3 form, via Abdassamad Clarke, who has been involved in the production. Mawlid Barzanji is the most commonly recited mawlid in Malaysia. Copies of it are […]
By Abu Muhammad English Translation and Photography by Bin Gregory Productions Datuk Hakim Keramat, or the Miraculous Judge, was the title given to a religous scholar of Sarawak well known for his miracles and mystic knowledge. His real name was Abang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Abang Haji Brahim. He was born in Kuching, Sarawak and […]
Kota Samarahan, Sarawak Large government institutions will often have suraus or masjids built on their grounds, particularly if the institution has a resident population. The mosque where I most often make my Friday prayers is one such mosque, built on the grounds of a nearby maktab perguruan. It’s a lovely building, a modern rendition of […]
Working under the hot tropical sun can take a lot out of you. Within minutes, sweat flows freely and before long you become drenched. Taking clothes off doesn’t help at all; in fact, it just exposes you more to the sun’s rays. Laborers will work dressed from ankle to wrist, often with a balaclava over […]