On Trengganuspeak and the Spirit of Trengganu

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

22. How To...Aténg

A man lights a bonfire on the beach as the mist is lifting and the cold morning wind flaps the folds in his sarong. It is the start of the monsoon, before the Monsoon Cup which now seems to have driven away the wind, but in Trengganu the word anging (wind) has at least two meanings, one of which is reserved for one who lives beyond his/her means, or one who aspires to wasteful things. But our man who lights the fire is none of that: his wife Mèk Song has gone to sell kkölèh lemök in the market, and he is seeking warmth. As the fire is in full glow and the man, let’s call him Pök Téng, is basking in the heat, dreaming of ikang duyong (mermaids) and other lascivious Trengganu things, a real life lady appears before his eyes with hands clutching tapioca roots (ubi kayu). "Tupang sikik gök!" she says, as she dumps her manioc into the blazing fire of Pök Téng.

Now that is the Trengganu way of tupang, or, to give it its technical term, aténg.

Aténg, as you may have now guessed, is a free ride, the sharing of someone else’s thing, with or without as much as by his leave. It is energy-efficient and a welcome or an unwelcome intrusion. For Pök Téng, his mermaids fizzled away and his dreams interrupted, the real world of Tanjong has come back to him in the shape of tapiocas and the edentate Mök Song, now stoking his fire and poking and turning the ubi in the sand.

Aténg is a togetherness word, often at another’s expense. It is tagging along without bearing the burden, an opportunistic grabbing of the opportunity and the moment – a root in someone else’s fire, a personal fulfilment in someone else’s ceremony, a beating of another when someone else has got him down. A true aténg player is no chance seeker, he looks for real opportunity, and then — with charm and without let or hindrance — he stokes his ubi into the fire and gatecrashes a party and dispersing the mermaids to the back of Pula Wang Mang. And as you already know about Duyong, its difficult to bring her back when she's gone.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Selamat Tahun Baru China

Wishing All My Chinese Friends





New Year Ox From Here. With Thanks.

Monday, January 19, 2009

We Stand With the Majority

We will not be silent on Gaza.

by International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)

We write with grief and rage as we watch the horrifying Israeli air and ground attacks on Gaza. As Jews committed to ending Zionism, the founding ideology of Israel, and all forms of colonialism, we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people, who continue to struggle in the face of these attacks, much as they have against more than 60 years of ethnic cleansing and racism. As Joseph Massad recently wrote, Gaza is in uprising against genocide, and is receiving today the same indifference from the capitals of the West that the rebels in the Warsaw Ghetto received in 1943.

We stand with the hundreds of thousands who have taken the streets in solidarity with Gaza’s resistance. We stand with all those who struggle against racism, dispossession and genocide.

We stand with the majority. We will not be silent on Gaza.

We reject Israel’s pretense to act in response to rocket attacks on Israel by Hamas. Israel broke the ceasefire on November 4, 2008, while world attention was focused on U.S. elections.

What the Israeli government calls “security” is fundamentally opposed to the real safety of all people living in the region. Residents of Sderot and other towns bordering Gaza have begged the government of Israel to maintain the cease-fire and accused it of “wasting that period of calm, instead of using it to advance understanding and begin negotiations.” With United States, European Union, and Egyptian collusion, Israel imposed on Gaza a siege and blockade for over two years, intentionally preventing its economic recovery, degrading its civilian infrastructure, attempting to dismantle self-governance, and preventing travel and obstructing humanitarian aid. That siege, which was and continues to be a gross violation of human rights and a crime against humanity, led directly to the present escalation. As of today, Israeli forces have killed over 700 people and injured thousands. Israel has bombed mosques, universities, police headquarters, roads, office buildings, and residential neighborhoods, and schools, causing indescribable and horrible destruction. This isn’t defense. This isn’t a war between two sides. This is terrorism. This is genocide.

We stand with the majority. We will not be silent on Gaza.

As Jews, we have an additional responsibility to speak and to act against these despicable acts, because we are heirs to the victims of a genocide, because Israel is claiming to “defend” us through the ethnic cleansing of Palestine with the ultimate goal of erasing the Palestinian people, and also because of the role played by the Jewish organizations in the United States and the West in justifying, perpetrating, and escalating Israeli state terrorism against Palestinians.

We recall that the violence in Gaza today is the inevitable outcome—the latest link in a chain of terror—that results from an ideology based on the dispossession of the indigenous people of Palestine in favor of European Jews. Just as the ideology of White racism was the backbone of Apartheid in South Africa, so the ideology of Zionism explains the history of violence in Palestine, the ethnic cleansing of 1948, the occupation of the West bank and Gaza in 1967, and the many massacres that Israel perpetrated periodically since 1948 to the present one in Gaza. The maintenance of the Israeli state as a state founded on and perpetuating Jewish privilege requires the denial and attempted annihilation of the Palestinian people.

We recall that unless this ideology is delegitimized and defeated, the violence in the Middle East will continue to escalate until either Palestinian or Jewish existence in the area ends, and possibly both. Racism and colonial domination will never be the basis for peace.

We stand with the majority. We will not be silent on Gaza.

We insist on an immediate end to Israel’s assault, a complete withdrawal of all Israeli forces, a complete and unconditional end to the siege, and the restoration and extension of the ceasefire. We insist on the establishment of a special international tribunal for investigating the crimes of the Israeli leadership of this siege.

We affirm the urgent need for Jewish resistance to Zionism and stand committed to the extrication of Jewish history, politics, community, and culture from the grip of Zionism.

We situate our work in a long legacy of Jewish people throughout history who have stood in solidarity with others in common struggles against all forms of racism, empire building, and repression. As a growing sector of the Palestine solidarity movement, we call upon all Jews of conscience to take a strong stand against the current escalation of violence, as well as the murderous ground upon which Zionist ideology and the Israeli state has been constructed. We call on Jews to put an end to complicity, to break the silence, and to confront the fallacy of a Zionist consensus. We call on anti-Zionist Jews around the world to organize in escalation against the massacres on Gaza, and to continue to support Palestinian resistance through campaigns of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, and through actions that target their own governments’ financial and political support for Israel.

We stand with the majority. We will not be silent on Gaza.

WE call on you to JOIN US in continued ACTION!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Solidarity With Gaza

In soldiarity with the people of Gaza and with other websites that are expressing concern about developments in these dark days, I have decided to suspend my blog while the assault is continuing on Gaza. Meantime, here's an open letter from Jews for Justice for Palestinians to British PM Gordon Brown.

JfJfP Open Letter to Prime Minister, Gordon Brown MP:
In the light of Israeli air strikes against the Gazan population, Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JfJfP), the largest Jewish peace group in the UK or Europe, released this open letter to Gordon Brown on Sunday 28 December 2008:

Dear Prime Minister,

At the time of writing, almost 300 Gazans are dead, hundreds more wounded. The air strikes appear to be aimed indiscriminately at both civilian and military targets. Israel is using its extensive military power to wreak carnage on innocent civilians. This is a condemnable act of mindless violence, and we call upon you and the international community to intervene immediately.

Claiming that this is an action to stop rocket fire is a wholly unpersuasive argument. The six-month ceasefire has been squandered by Israel. The populations of Sderot, Ashkelon and southern Israel have been left unprotected by their own government, which has failed to either build shelters or make a more lasting agreement. The Israeli government is exploiting the understandable fear of their own citizens as an excuse for today’s strikes.

The Israeli government steadily sought to break down the ceasefire, not just in Gaza since early November, but also in the West Bank. Israeli forces have carried out an average of 33 incursions, 42 arrests or detentions, 12 woundings and 0.84 killings a week in the West Bank during the ceasefire. The tactic has been to continue attacking Hamas and other militants in the West Bank, provoking responses in Gaza, and to use the responses as the pretext for the massive attacks of the last 24 hours.

On 23rd December Hamas offered to renew the ceasefire if Israel would undertake to open border crossings for supplies of aid and fuel, and halt incursions. For those of us appalled at the collective punishment involved in the ongoing siege, and concerned that Israelis should not fear death or injury from Qassam rockets, that seems a truly reasonable response.

For Israel to reject it bespeaks a bankrupt body politic especially since the army and the politicians are acting against the wishes of the Israeli public. It is after all the civilians on both sides who will bear the brunt of this dangerous folly.

You regard yourself as a strong friend of Israel. When a friend crosses acceptable lines of behaviour as Israel has again done, one has a responsibility to intervene.

Yours sincerely

Sylvia Cohen, International Liaison
Diana Neslen Campaigns Co-ordinator
for Jews for Justice for Palestinians