|image source http://www.sabrizain.org/|
The life of a particular community depends largely on factors like customs, races, its size and locality. A ‘ kampung ‘, is a name given to a typical Malay village and it is usually situated in remote areas.
However remote or backward a community may be, it certainly has sits own way of life. ‘ Kampung Bahagia ‘ is no exception too this and this village is a replica of those found when our country was ruled by sultanate and also the time when our fore-fathers were striving for independance.
When we talk about Independence, we talk about the Father of Independence, Tunku Abdul Rahman.
A small and exuberant village covering only a square mile and shielded from the hustle and bustle of cities by miles and miles of cultured land indeed is a peaceful place to live in.
Small artistic houses on stilts which can only be built by diligent craftsman, pervading the entire area are the usual sights in the Kampung.
The occupants of these houses are Malays who make up the majority of the inhabitants here. Looking from a distant hill, the panorama of the village is picturesque. Clusters of attap houses have sprewn all over the area and shaded from thte sultry sun by slender palm trees swaying gracefully in the breeze.
During the harvesting season, one can see the continuous stretch of golden paddy fields ripening under the sunshine and glistering golden ripples caused by the wind.
The evergreen rubber trees covering the entire slope of the hill have greatly contributed to the wealth of the people there.
Water cascading into a nearby stream from a spring uphillm makes life habitable here.
Life begins early in the village when the first crow of the cock is heard. It is still dawn and the atmosphere is chilly but refreshing. The sun is slowly ‘rising’ and is a sign of a preparing fine day.
The men are the ones to get up first, preparing for another day’s work. Rubber trees have to be tapped, paddy fields need to be unwooded and irrigated and the poultry need to be looked after.
They cannot afford to be lazy and extragavant. They have families to support and looked after and a hard day’s work is necessary. Wives are expected to be sincere and must bear the responsiblities of looking after their children and doing the household chores.
Not far away, prayers from a mosque break the silence and still atmosphere in the early morning. Children are going to school and they feel proud of the prestige of the only small school which they have and was built years ago.
Some women are seen washing clothes in a nearby river, beating their clothes hard on the rocky bank.
The villagers have believe in ‘ gotong royong ‘, ready with a helping hand. This can be seen during the festive season like ” The Hari Raya Puasa ” which is grandly celebrated after a month of fasting. They are ready to impart their knowledge and give guidance and help on how to make the most mouth-watering delicious served during the festival. The villagers do not live solitarily, but their livelihood depends largely on their fellow folks. This unique practice has undoubtedly united them and brawls of any sort seldom occur.
Road-side huts are not uncommon in the area. They are small coffee-shops providing refreshments for workers. Late in the afternoon, some of them would take their lunch there for a couple of cents. Before 1941, a plate of fried noodle was only 2 cents.
Instinct will certainly tell us that, these men would certainly ‘chit-chat’ away, covering topics like the recent news in town, incidents happening in the village and many more. Children are already back from school at this time and are relieved or not having been caned by their impetuous teacher, who do not hesitate to punish his pupils. Before independence, say, slightly before and after 1953, a qualified teacher earned 500 Malayan Dollars.
On the front-yard of their houses where flowers are growing in profusion, children are kicking away with a ‘ raga ‘ ball, a typical Malay games. The ‘ Raga ‘ was originated from the Malacca Sultanate in the 15th. century. Today, Heritage Malacca housed many museums for you to discover as much as you want.
Young girls are prohibited to mix around with the boys, on the other hand, they are expected or nurtured to be good housewives in future. Chastity and morality are the orthodox thinking of the kampung people.
Sunset here is as captivating as dawn and the scenic spots are breathtaking view. Dusk is regarded more restful and exuberant. It shades away unpleasant memories and relieves exertions caused by overwork. Birds are flying happily back to their destination and men are hurrying back to be united again with their families. Norturnal activities are limited in the kampung.
Some of the more loyal or faithful followers of Islam may go to the ‘surau‘ and pray. Once in a while a ‘ wayang kulit ‘ show or ‘ berbalas pantun ‘ may be put up to reactivate the cultures of their race.
It is at this time that there will be a huge gathering in the open field of the headman’s house and these shows usually drag on till midnight. In fact, teenagers of the opposite sex are looking forward to these gatherings as their meeting place.
Many a couple are united or fallen in love on such occasions.
Under the dark sky where stars are twinkling like diamonds and the moon slowly emerging from the clouds, we may hear, ‘Romeo’ exchanging love poems with his ‘Juliet’, stimulating the still hours of the night.
Who can but help feeling Kampung Bahagia is a peaceful and romantic place to live in ?.
Page 63 Optimist 1977