Nov 2, 2009

The Kelantan Encyclopedia: Kelantan A - Z

Assalamualaikum to all my dear friends and readers.

Do you still remember the fashion show that I attended last Thursday? Yes, the one where I got to wear my pretty green caftan batik. I got a fancy goodie bag with several interesting items inside. One of them is an official corporate magazine of the Kelantan Chief Minister Incorporated (PMBK) called QIADAH. I was browsing through that magazine a few days ago and suddenly got an interesting idea from one of the segment. And why not? As a Kelantanese myself, I think I shall do my part to introduce my beloved State to all of you by introducing the Kelantan Encyclopedia. Can you bear with me? I've already told you a few things about Kelantan before and now I'm sharing our dialect with you. Hehehe... Welcome to Kelantan!

Let's begin...

A is for AMBO
Ambo is the pronoun for the first person, I or me. Ambo is the most refined way for a Kelantanese to refer to the "self". Incidentally the term is also widely used by the Minangkabaus in Indonesia.

B is for BALASOH
Balasoh could be described as a mini mosque. It is another term and the usual name used by Kelantanese for a madrasah, a place of worship of the Muslims. Apart from its lower stature in terms of size and authority as compared to the mosque, it is normally not ordained to hold the Friday congregational prayers.

A "balasoh" or a mini mosque. Pic is from here.

C is for COME
A very common adjective used by Kelantanese for "beautiful" or "pretty" or "cute". A beautiful woman is described as "come". However it is also used to describe men. The word "come" may also refer to an action that is seen as very appropriate or decent. It must be noted that "comel" in Malay also means "beautiful".
Kota Bharu, the capital of the State of Kelantan is labelled as "Kota Bharu Come Sokmo" or "Kota Bharu Forever Beautiful".

Pic is from here.

D is for DEMO
Do not be confused for the word "demonstration". It is the Kelantanese pronoun for "you". However, "demo" is not refined or cultured as "ambo" and is commonly used among peers or friends. Hence using "demo" for elders is seen as uncultured and is therefore not allowed.

E is for EJAH
Just like its original English word, "adjust", "ejah" means "to adjust".

F is for FARDHU
The root word is the Arabic "fardhu" which means a must-do or an obligation as a good Muslim.

Solat is one of the obligations as a Muslim. Pic is from here.

G is for GOBEK (go-back)
It is a traditional instrument used for mincing the "sirih pinang" or betel vine. The chewing of betel leaves with betel nut is a practice sometimes seen among old ladies. The "gobek" consists of the bamboo tubing/container and the iron blade mincer which helps mince the "sirih pinang" into fine pieces.

Pics are from Google. L - gobek and R - betel leave

"Hari Hudud" or the "Hudud Day" was introduced by the Kelantan Government to help explain and educate the public on one of the facets of Islamic Criminal Jurisprudence. The celebration of this very special day is seen appropriate in order to mitigate and ward off misconceptions and the negative publicity given by the mainstream media to the public on the subject of hudud.

Pic source is here.


Ihya is the Arabic word for "to enliven". Hence Ihya-Ramadhan is "Enliving the fasting month of Ramadhan", the effort introduced by the Kelantan Government in order to enrich and enliven the true meaning of the fasting month.

J is for JKR10
A government building built as the Official Residence of the Chief Minister of Kelantan. However, the present Chief Minister, Tuan Guru Haji Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat resides at his own home in Pulau Melaka, and JKR10 is now made as the official guest house of the State Government.

Pic from

Hmm... I think that will be enough for today. InsyaAllah I'll be back with the rest. So... what do you think of our encyclopedia? Can you pronounce the words? Hehehe... you would have to hear it to know the correct pronunciation. To experience that, please come for a visit and I'll be happy to tell you.

Bye for now. Wassalam.


Muhammad-al-Fateh said...

terima kasih atas kredit kak chik.. ini sumbangan saya kepada tanahair tercinta, Kelantan, sy terpanggil utk berbakti kepada kelantan dengan mencoret serba sedikit tentang Kelantan, sya amat baik berbahsa melayu, cuma sy terpanggil utk menulis dalam Inggeris kerana ingin membuang stigma lama 'orang luar' yang kata orang kelantan ini adalah 'cetek inggeris'... sya asal kota bharu, menuntut di U malaya... blog ini cume mengajak org kelantan berfikir sejenak tentang sejarah kelantan.. kalau ada kelapangan.. 'paste'kn url sy di blog kak chik untuk tujuan penghayatan umum.. terima kasih..

esok, 3 hb 11, entry terbaru sy.. Uniquely Kelantan. mesti tengok!!!

kakchik said...

Muhammad al-Fateh, alhamdulillah kalau begitu. Terima kasih ya kerana mengambil langkah proaktif dalam mengetengahkan perkara2 yang kurang diminati golongan muda. InsyaAllah kakchik akan baca kemaskini esok tu.

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