By: RaY KinZoKu

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Friday, 12-Aug-2005 00:00 Email | Share | Bookmark
Wonder women of Kelantan ~


They are strong
they are full of courage
they are patient
they are colourful
they are the wonder women of Kelantan
the Kelantanese women traders ~
( and no, I am not referring to the "mek-mek kelate" or even to the tight, scantily clad ones )

For a state, with a long history of self dependant, self reliant,
these Kelantanese women are a symbol of divine struggle.
A great source of inspiration for the rest of the Kelantanese maybe.

What about the men then?
I am not against Kelantanese men (since I am one of them too)
but there is a dikir barat song with this line,


    ...bining pong junjung pissae heinggo kettaa palo~palo...

( Translated : The wife balanced bananas on her head till the head went shaken by the weight )

a song about a playful husband who do nothing but tending to his songbird while his wife went out to sell bananas for a living. Which, emphasizing the men being work-despised, playful while the women have to do the men's job. Even the famous Abdullah Munshi, correct me if I am wrong, portrayed the Kelantanese men in his Kesah Pelayaran Abdullah Dari Singapura Ka Kelantan chronicle (1838), as lazy.

by majority, I believe that the Kelantanese men are hardworking.
Often work side by side with their wives to make ends meet.
However, they prefer to leave the business at the market to the wives while they themselves indulged in craftmanships and various other energy consuming works.

A British Officer - W.A. Graham made an observation on this and had it stated in his book on Kelantan, published in 1908 :

The reason to that is darn simple,
like my grandmother used to say,


    ....tok kirgho lah sapo bennae pong, kito nih keno carghi makae sedirghi jugok,
    tok leh nok harghak ko orghae jah...

( no matter who wins the election, we still need to put food on the table ourselves, can't depend on the government )

And perhaps from there,
from the faces of those women,
you might understand, the often misunderstood KELANTAN ~ .

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