Literary giant Salleh Ben Joned Salleh Ben Joned passed away a few months ago. His taste in pantuns favored the more … spicy. His short essay “Salacious Pleasures of ‘Pantuns’” on four classic pantuns from the book Kumpulan Pantun Melayu (published by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka Malaysia) features his loose translations into English and some […]
Stuck in traffic day by day /
Clouds wrap ’round Mount Santubong /
Try’s I might, try as I may /
English pantuns come out wrong /
A twitter-essay on Beras Perang, unpolished, unbleached, lightly milled local long grain rice.
Beras perang tampi di nyiru,
Tumpah melukut merata-rata.
Haiwan yang garang lagi diburu,
Siapa takut semut melata?
Bamboo thrusts dramatically out of the soil, clean, symmetrical, very sharp. The shoots grow fast, shooting over my head within a matter of days. Only once they have reached their final height, long slender swaying canes 25 feet tall, will they leaf out and send stiff woody side branches out from the nodes. They can grow so fast because all […]
It is well known amongst Malaysians that any illness on earth can be treated by drinking the appropriate 3-in-1 instant coffee.
A banana leaf wrapped and held with lidis could hold just about anything. In this case, it holds tapioca root, ubi kayu, that has … crossed over. Normally a dense, bland, starchy tuber considered poverty food or at best home cooking, it is transformed into a pillowy soft sweetness soaking in a fiery liqueur
by Raja Ali Haji (1808-1873)
English translation © Bin Gregory Productions
This is the gurindam of the sixth issue:
Seek you a companion
Who can be for you a medicine …
“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.