Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Ramadhan Galore in Perak





From buka puasa (iftar) food to Raya food. Food and Malaysia berpisah tiada (till death do us part). Hence I don’t think words or description for this entry are required, I rather you enjoy the visual and remember the venues as it might be your (food) hunting ground for next Ramadhan/Raya *wink*.



Have you been to Kuala Kangsar Bazaar Ramadhan?



The offering there is crazy cool such as multi-flavoured donuts and giant murtabak (no photo on the rest of the 'juadah' as my hand is full carrying them yummeh food for iftar), among others. I truly believe the locals here have a secret regime work-out, reason being, despite all these food options, most of them look healthy and fit (and thin too). Kuala Kangsarian, what's your secret huh?




Buka Puasa/Iftar venue in Ipoh



Once a hostel for orphanage under BAKIP, this refurbished premise in the compound of Kompleks Badan Khidmat Islam Perak is now THUMB'S Cafe, a fusion Malay-Western cuisine  cafe served at a reasonable price with delicious menu options. Somewhat a hispter cafe, Thumb's is popular among Instagrammers and photographers as the kampung ambience with travelogue decor fit the current market craze.

THUMB’S CAFE (HALAL)
No. 133, Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil,
30450 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Opening Hours : 7am onwards for breakfast, 5pm – 1am for dinner, close on Monday




Kacang and muruku for Raya



Do you know the story behind Kampung Kacang Putih in Ipoh, Perak?
Back in 1920s, 10 people from India started a small business selling kacang putih. They settled near a limestone hill in Gunung Cheroh, of which in 1970s part of the hill collapsed killing about 40 residents there.The state government relocated them to Buntong for safety reason and there, their business flourished till now.

There are approximately 120 type nuts and crackers being sold here, the popular ones are kerepek ubi pedas, omapodi, muruku bintang, muruku kari, kacang tanah kari, kacang telur and kacang susu.




Raya with Rendang Tok



The famous Perakian rendang tok was once served to only royalty is now available in supermarkets and selected outlets. Started their rendang business in 1985, Shariffudin Mohamed uses the original recipe handed down by his beloved mother Allahyarhamah Nafsiah Yeop Abdullah (Mak Nik) and has since marketed it to Brunei, Middle East and a few other countries.



Have you been or tried all these places/food?





Perak World of Wonders -- Ramadhan Edition 2017 Media Fam Trip are organised by Tourism Malaysia with #GayaTravel as media coordinator respectively.















Thursday, June 8, 2017

Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah | Intricacy of Kelarai




Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah; a mosque similar to Istana Kenangan that I never knew existed until now.



The intricacy of kelarai or woven strip bamboo; a heritage art form of Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah wall has made this mosque famous nation wide. Also known as Masjid Kampung Kuala Dal, it shares similiarity with Istana Kenangan in Bukit Chandan of which it was influenced by.

Located just 4.8km from the Royal Town of Kuala Kangsar, this unique 1936 mosque with arabes motif was financed by Al-Marhum Paduka Seri Sultan Iskandar Shah, the Sultan of Perak and was built by a Chinese craftsmen, helped by the locals. Leafy windows (approximately 20 of them) decorated with "straight punch, no silat" carved with peanuts, Crescent moon and stars are located around the masjid (mosque). It is said that what makes Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah unique is because of the architectural design, aside from its kelarai with arabes motif, it is aslo said to resembled a bird cage.



The story behind it is pretty interesting, according to Jabatan Warisan Negara, the mosque was built after the Sultan had fulfilled the vow to build a mosque when one of his children recovered from an illness and will donate RM 8,000.00 to build a new mosque on a piece of land granted by Juragan Abdul Shukur bin Mohamad Ali. This decision was made upon Sultan Iskandar Shah returning from a picnic at Lata Bubu, seeing his subjects praying in a dilapidated madrasah. Being a pious leader, he believes that a mosque is not just a house of God but an important place for the community. Therefore, he had commissioned the construction of Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah of which named after him.

The architecture of the mosque was inspired by the Sultan himself, where else the construction of the mosque was built by Chinese artisans and assisted by local residents. The ornamentation and wall of the mosque are also carved and woven by locals making it even more special. However, the mosque was not used in 1976 after a new mosque known as Al-Wahidiah Mosque was built just next to it.




In 2008, Jabatan Warisan Negara (Department of National Heritage) has initiated the conservation work on the mosque. Upon the the completion of restoration work on 17 Dec 2009, DYMM Sultan Azlan Shah officially re-opened the mosque on 6 May 2011 and it was accorded heritage status by the Jabatan Warisan Negara.



Above the importance of unique historical buildings and architecture, the National Heritage Department has carried out conservation work in December 2008. Among the problems faced by the project is the preparation of the backdrop due to the absence of skilled craftsmen and the lack of manufacturing materials ie bamboo oils Locally to create a cliff wall. Therefore, the National Heritage Department has obtained a wickerwork and bamboo source from Perlis State according to the original type. This conservation work has been carried out using systematic work arrangements to preserve the originality of original architecture.

- Jabatan Warisan Negara –







Both ‘Jelajah Kesultanan dan Warisan Melayu Perak 2017’ and ‘Perak World of Wonders -- Ramadhan Edition 2017’ Media Fam Trip are organised by Tourism Malaysia with KTMB as main transportation partner and Tourism Malaysia with #GayaTravel as media coordinator respectively.










Monday, June 5, 2017

Tengkolok Folding (Menyolek Tengkolok/Destar)





Popularly known as tengkolok, this traditional Malay male headgear (a.k.a destar, tanjak, and setangan kepala) is nowadays being worn in official events, weddings or investiture ceremony when one is being coffered with knighthood. Historically, it is folded or binded ('solek' in Malay tengkolok term) to neaten the hair when commoners visit their Sultan. As it quickly become a great favourite, it later made into the official attire for the palace as well as for the public.


For Perak royalties, ones rank is closely related to each tengkolok binding style and colour. Each states has its own binding style and it is also said that Perak has the most beautiful tengkolok binding. However, the most famous style is called Dendam Tak Sudah from the state of Negeri Sembilan. It was learnt that the art of creating tengkolok is by folding and shaping it using hand and knee. No machine can create this piece of art.

There is a folklore pertaining how tengkolok came about in the malay sultanate custom. It was told that the first Sultan of Perak; Sultan Muzaffar Shah I ibni Almarhum Sultan Mahmud Shah (1528 – 1549) set sail to Perak to form the Perak Sultanate. Sultan Muzaffar was the second prince born to the last Sultan of Melaka, Sultan Mahmud Shah, who was then exiled to Johor following the fall of Melaka to the Portuguese (this is also the reason why Keris Taming Sari resides in Perak, under the care of the royal palace). The Melaka Sultanate royal regalia, including the Royal Crown of Melaka were brought together in his journey to Perak.



Nearing Perak, Sultan Muzaffar Shah ship entered shallow waters and was stuck hence the crew decided to lighten the load of the ship to get the ship sailing again. Many of the items carried on the ship were thrown into the sea yet the ship still refused to budge, everything was removed from the ship inclusive of the Royal Crown. Immediately the ship was able to move, pleased with the offering of the Royal Crown, and soon after Sultan Muzaffar Shah able to continue his journey.

This act of throwing the royal crown into the sea was identified as a miracle sign, he swore that he and his descendants would never wear a crown as Sultans, nor be crowned during their installation. Subsequently, this has became a practice by other states’s Sultans, thus till today, Tengkolok came as a replacement for the royal crown.


To know how tengkolok became known or existed amongst the malay culture, one has to understand the history behind it. In 7th century during the height of Sriwijaya empire, Langkasuka was conquered, and during this invasion, tengkolok was introduced and worn by the Srivijayan that eventually localized and assimilated with the locals.

There are 8 styles of Perak tengkolok folding or binding that has been recorded, namely Anak Gajah Menyusu, Dendam Tak Sudah, Ayam Patah Kepak, Alang Iskandar, Helang Menyusur Angin, Pucuk Pisang Patah, Balong Ayam and Getam Pekasam. Many might have not known that the tengkolok folding for the Sultan has a higher ‘pucuk rebung’ as compared to commoners. Hence, the art of tengkolok folding in Perak is cared for its heritage and culture are highly valued.

Below are the Perak styles and colours that are associated with ranks :
DYMM Sultan –Balong ayam. White and gold
DYTM Raja Muda –Ayam patah kepak. Yellow and gold
DYAM Raja Di-Hilir –Lang Menyusun Angin. Black and silver

Tengkolok Helang Menyusur Angin worn by Sultan Perak, Sultan Nazrin upon his coronation.






Both ‘Jelajah Kesultanan dan Warisan Melayu Perak 2017’ and ‘Perak World of Wonders -- Ramadhan Edition 2017’ Media Fam Trip are organised by Tourism Malaysia with KTMB as main transportation partner and Tourism Malaysia with #GayaTravel as media coordinator respectively.












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