Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Gamma Gamma Gamma

I get t-gasms the moment the students of MRSM Kuala Krai call me "Sir Azham"; the kind of excitement that only teachers like me can enjoy. Alhamdulillah, I have started to love what I am doing right now and I hope that I am not making a mistake :)

P/S: I love my kids of 4 Gamma.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Krai Krai Krai

Alhamdulillah; I am so excited of my first day as an English language teacher in MRSM Kuala Krai Kelantan! I hope that I will get a lot of presents by the end of this "teaching practicum" and insyaallah I can take this time to figure out whether I still want to become an educator or take the glamorous path in life :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Documentary Shooting: Part 4

Click these links for Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of my East Coast Adventure.
Kelantan Darul Naim still maintains the use of tulisan jawi for billboards, signboards, banners and advertisements. It is the only state in Malaysia that is proud to elevate the values of tulisan jawi, consistent with its image as an Islamic City (Bandaraya Islam). The uniqueness of the use of jawi script (tulisan jawi) in Kelantan grabs the attention of the producer, Puan Jamilah Taib and that was also one of the many reasons why we went to Kelantan for three days. 
Through the lens of the cameraman and the producer, jawi script is beautiful but many have forgotten its importance as the medium of communication in the Malay Archipelago (Kepulauan Melayu) those days. Alhamdulillah, Kelantan State Government takes a very brave effort in preserving the use of jawi script so that youngsters are aware of this ever disappearing heritage.
I do not have other photos showing the use of jawi script in Kelantan because we had our shooting outdoors and it rained heavily in Kelantan last month. The photo above is taken from this site and hopefully it can give you the idea of how jawi script in used widely in advertising industry in Kelantan. 

Pengkalan Tok Bali, Kelantan.

Tok Bali is a famous fishing port in Kelantan, located at about 48 kilometres from Kota Bharu. Pengkalan Tok Bali, on the other hand is a fish landing spot for the fishermen in Kelantan and it has a big complex consisting of docks (limbungan), wet market and many other infrastructures. 
You can get fresh seafood here and see it for your eyes how fishermen unload their catch of the day. At Pengkalan Tok Bali, seafood such as fishes, squids, prawns and crabs are separated according to the size before they are sold to the peraih (wholesaler).
Puan Jamilah bought a kilogram of udang ketak and wanted me to taste it. She cooked udang ketak at her mother's house in Bachok and brought them for Abang Mahzan and I, and I totally like it! It tastes like a mixture of udang and ketam, and udang ketak has a thick outer shell (kulit) that is as hard as a crab shell. 
And just outside the complex of Pengkalan Tok Bali, there is a "satar ikan" stall by the main road. According to the official portal of Jabatan Perikanan Malaysia, satar ikan is made from isi ikan, mostly ikan selar kuning, kerisi, gelama and tenggiri and it is super delicious!
The isi ikan will be mixed with kelapa parut, bawang besar, bawang merah, cili hidup, garam, gula and wrapped with banana leaves in the shape of cones. The cones will be put together with a bamboo stick and they are grilled until it is cooked. Satar ikan is quite similar to otak-otak but we can taste the coconut inside it and that makes it even more delicious! I totally love satar ikan and I recommend all of you to try it one day, miam-miam!
Then we headed to Restoran Raja Ikan Bakar near Pengkalan Tok Bali to have our dinner. Here, we have to select the seafood and give them to the man in-charge of grilling the food with its ingredients.
Alhamdulillah, the food was awesome! Sambal belacan at that restaurant makes the food tastes so much better and I am addicted! Even writing about this makes me "kecur liur". I will definitely go back to Raja Ikan Bakar again next time hehe :)
The total cost of the damage food was only RM 45 for two person and look at what we ate, totally satisfying! Alright, I guess that is all I have for today and I will update about my adventure in Terengganu in my next post okay. Take care and God bless, keep on supporting us at http://dtubes.tv/
Home of Documentaries presented by Galaxy Features Sdn Bhd & Anak Muda Production Sdn Bhd

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Documentary Shooting: Part 3

Click here for Part 1 and Part 2 of my East Coast Adventure :)
Hey there, we meet again! This time I will update about copper (tembaga) and silver (perak) at Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah, Kota Bharu Kelantan. According to the website of Perbadanan Kemajuan Kraftangan Malaysia, copper is among the earliest metal used by human and it has been utilized since pre-historic time in Malaysia itself. According to history, copper was brought in by the Funan community when they settled in Tanah Melayu long time ago. Yeap, this can be a good way to refresh our knowledge in Malaysian History that we have long forgotten since school age. 
The artwork of copper is still maintained in Kelantan and Terengganu and the artisan (tukang) still preserves the old ways of making copper items. Among the classic Malay items made of copper are tepak sirih, kaki lilin, kuali, periuk, and pahar. The colour of copper is the closest to gold (emas) with a very high thermal and electrical conductivity. 
The process of making copper begins by pouring the molten (lebur) mixture of the metal into the mold (acuan) made from the combination of clay (tanah liat) and wax (lilin). When the copper hardens, the mold is broken and the metal will be cleaned and polished. You can view the photos in the blog post here, thank you to the Visit Terengganu webpage. 
This is the mold (acuan) of my favorite kuih during hari raya! Yes, kuih ros or some people call it kuih loyang. Imagine the crispy and warm kuih made using this authentic copper mold that really adds up the flavour, miam-maim! Does any of my blogger friends know how to make this kuih? Can you please deliver the kuih to me and we can be very good blogging mates in time hehe :)
This shop also sells silver (perak) kitchen utensils such as cerek, bekas nasi, periuk and mangkuk tingkat, a great choice for feasts (kenduri) and as collectible items. 
Acuan bahulu and other kuihs made up of silver metal are also sold here with a really affordable price. Please bear in mind that silver and copper materials takes a lot of effort to produce unlike plastic materials, hence it is quite pricey. Please head on to Level 3 of Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah, Kota Bharu Kelantan because I believe that there are only two shops that still sell copper items in the building (correct me if I am wrong).
I like Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah; this is the place where women rule the business and they do it very well! Its original name is Pasar Besar Buluh Kubu but Y.A.B Tuan Guru Dato' Nik Abdul Aziz Bin Nik Mat, the Chief Minister of Kelantan changed its name to Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah (the name of Prophet Muhammad's wife) to commemorate the role of women in the industry. 
Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah is the most photographed market in the country due to its uniqueness. This market is located in the heart of Kota Bharu and it is surely a 'must visit' destination for tourists. The three-storey building houses hundreds of stalls that sell all sorts of fresh produce, traditional local delights, batik, silver, copper and household products. The market is open from 8 AM until 6 PM and please cash out your money before heading here because you will surely be rambang mata to shop!
Okay, that is all for today and please feel free to drop your comments about my East Coast Adventure, shooting for a documentary with Galaxy Features Network Sdn. Bhd. Insyaallah, the documentary will be aired on our local TV stations and http://dtubes.tv/ insyaallah. Take care and God bless, I will see you in the next part of my adventure :)
Home of Documentaries presented by Galaxy Features Sdn Bhd & Anak Muda Production Sdn Bhd

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Documentary Shooting: Part 2

Click this link for Part 1 of my East Coast Adventure.
Part 2 of my journey begins on the second day in Kelantan when Abang Mahzan and I went back to Kota Bharu to shoot video footage of songket as this is a part of the art of the Malays in the East Coast of Malaysia. We went back to Bazar Buluh Kubu searching for exquisite design of songket made locally in Kelantan. 

A songket is made up beautifully of floral motives embedded with careful weave(tenunan) in silk or cotton and intricately patterned with gold or silver thread. In the weaving process that can take up to more than 6 months per piece, the metallic threads are inserted in between the silk or cotton so that the threads stand out against the background to create a shimmering effect. 
A songket is worn during ceremonial occasion such as royal weddings and also as an important part of the Sultan's royal dress. This is because, the process of songket-making is very delicate and the price of a piece of a songket can exceed to more than RM 1000 according to its delicateness. Nowadays, there are quite few numbers of songket-makers that made large scale songket production and this results in a generally lower price of a songket
Can you guys and girls guess the price of these two songket? These pieces of songket in those photos will cost you for about RM 900-RM 1000 each if I am not mistaken and I am lucky enough to have touched such luxurious songket! Yes, these songket are expensive because of the time taken to finish each piece and the materials used. These kinds of songket is usually purchased by royalties in Kelantan and according to the owner of this boutique, there are visitors from outside of Kelantan who will come here every two months just to get the latest design of songket, unbelievable!
According to the boutique owner, there are two basic steps in preserving the beauty of the songket. First of all, songket owners SHOULD NOT wash their songket at all. This is important so that the colour of the songket will not fade. Then, you should hang (gantung) the songket inside out (menterbalikkan) and keep it in a closed cupboard or wardrobe as sun-rays can affect the color of the songket too.  
I guess that is all for Part Two of my East Coast Adventure with Galaxy Features Network Sdn. Bhd. shooting a documentary for http://dtubes.tv/. According to the producer, the documentary will also be aired on our national television soon insyaallah. Take care and God bless, watch out for Part 3 of my East Coast Adventure!
Home of Documentaries presented by Galaxy Features Sdn Bhd & Anak Muda Production Sdn Bhd

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Documentary Shooting: Part 1

As some of you might have known, I am currently freelancing for an internet TV portal called dtubes.tv under the supervision of Puan Jamilah Taib, an ex news correspondent of TV3 for IndoChina region. This is a very great learning and working experience for me because I get to learn on how to becoming a TV host and also experience inside out the making of a documentary with the crews of Galaxy Features Network Sdn. Bhd. Allow me to blog about my experiences as a Production Assistant in the East Coast of Malaysia recording unprecedented access of Malay cultures of Batik in Kelantan and traditional Malay houses in Terengganu. 
We kicked off our documentary shooting at Bazar Buluh Kubu, Kota Bharu Kelantan because the producer instructed the cameraman, Abang Mahzan and I to capture as many video footage of Batik as possible. Abang Mahzan went into one of the boutiques there and asked for permission to start our recording while I set up the equipment. 

Abang Mahzan was an ex-school teacher who dedicated his life filming for TV and film for almost 15 years. One his most notable work is for the series "Adam & Hawa" on Astro Mustika HD. I was in charge of carrying the tripod and setting up the equipment and I also learnt on how to record using the camera. Puan Jamilah, the producer, wants me to start from ground zero and pave my way up step by step as she is actually training me to do a bigger task next time. 

Some boutique owners did not want us to record the footage at their store as it interferes with their business but some were willing to cooperate. They even came to us personally and invited us to their store because that was a great opportunity for them to promote their business and therefore acknowledge Batik as the national treasure of Malaysia. 

Apart from shooting for video footage, Abang Mahzan also recorded the tutorial on how to dress Batik the best way. The girl in the photo was one of the cooperative businesswomen in Bazar Buluh Kubu who was really excited with our coming to their store, thank you so much for your cooperation. 

These are among the best way for women to dress their Batik; and I have fallen in love with the motives and the designs of our local Batik. According to the producer who is a Kelantanese by the way, there are various types of Batik in Malaysia. Among them are the Batik Kelantan, Batik Terengganu and Batik Merbok. The most current trend of Batik nowadays is the design with "batu manik" if I am not mistaken and it really brings out the beauty of our Malaysian Batik.

Batik should be our everyday wear; they should not only be worn on Thursdays for government servant but if we exploit the delicate craft of Batik extensively then Batik will no longer be known as the expensive material for baju kurung and baju batik lelaki. The women in Kelantan are proud to wear Batik everyday because this is the symbol of their pride to their own magnificent culture. 

Baju kelawar wanita and baju batik lelaki.

Other collections of Batik Malaysia.

And please do not confuse Batik Malaysia with Korean silk because they really look similar! I was clearly deceived when I took this photo because I thought that those are Batik materials but the producer said that they are NOT! Phew, I am lucky that I have learnt something new at Bazar Buluh Kubu because I really thought that Batik are all the same. It is true what Malay people says "jauh perjalanan luas permandangan" because this journey in Kelantan really broaden my view about our precious Malaysian Batik. Stay tuned because I will update the second part of my journey in the East Coast of Malaysia soon, take care and God bless.
Home of Documentaries presented by Galaxy Features Sdn Bhd & Anak Muda Production Sdn Bhd
P/S: Kindly visit http://dtubes.tv/ for more interviews and documentaries, all for your viewing pleasure :)