Thursday, July 2, 2015

Gasing Uri; the Spinning Gasing of Terengganu

Gasing or Spinning Top; is a folk game that is being played as a past time as well as competitions and performances by the locals in Terengganu and Kelantan. It also serves as a unity platform amongst the locals where it bridges generation gap, cut across all races and knows no social boundaries. With the current social media advocates trending on virtual space, this once a traditional game has taken one step further; now a major tourist attraction.

There are 2 categories of gasing in Malaysia; ornamental purposes and while the other is for playing. Ornamental gasing are namely the Plate-shaped, Heart-shaped, Hat top-shaped, Egg-shaped and Berembang-shaped (Berembang is a mangrove tree, home of the fireflies), where else the playing or competition gasing are Pangkah Totok, Pangkah Hentak, Pangkah Layang and Pangkah Tebang.

One that impresses spectator most is the Gasing Layang or Gasing Uri from Terengganu, whereby when the gasing top is launched, the top is carefully scooped off the ground using a thin wooden bat called cokok (a 60cm wooden spatula like) which then transferred to a lopok (a 45cm piston like handle made of wood). The team is required to ensure the gasing spins the longest time possible, current record stands at two hours, only an experience and skillful gasing master will be able to know the technique of sustaining a spinning gasing. Monthly spinning gasing competition is still being held in Kelantan till this date.

A good Gasing Uri is made from selected wood such as kayu semeru (Micromelum pubescens), kayu bunga cempaka merah (Michaelia chanpaka) and kayu kemuning (Murraya paniculata) which is not termite-prone. Copper is usually being used for decoration as it is heavier, however for competition gasing; lighter aluminum is being used. Standard weight for Gasing Uri is around four kilograms each.

One can easily purchase or custom made a Gasing Uri, price is subject to the size, type of wood and aluminum used, it can range between RM100 to RM400 each.

Note :

Terengganu International Squid Jigging Fest 2015 or Pesta Candat Sotong Antarabangsa Terengganu 2015 is sponsored by the state government of Terengganu, this annual squid jigging carnival aims to introduce as well as relive the old tradition that was once livelihoods for many along the coast of Terengganu between April and August each year.

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