Thursday, June 07, 2007

They'll Never Be Angry Enough.

(WARNING: Not a suitable read if you can't laugh silly at silly things written by someone as silly as a guy who calls himself Bergen, of all the names in the world.)
I've heard it a million times that you don't wanna fool around with the Malays because they are like, sarang tebuan. Maybe you've never seen a sarang tebuan in your life especially if you are a city kinda a guy, I mean born and raised in the city and never ventured outside this metropolitan place to find out what fun you can have if you stand at a safe distance, aim your throw, a stick, right at the sarang tebuan. After this you wanna run like you've never ran before. You wanna run straight to the river, nose dive deep into the murky water and grope your way to the bank, coming out of the water as slow as you can, holding your breath as long as you can, and training your ears for the buzzing sound. It's a lot of fun but it could get pretty dangerous that I got a friend Zul Tebuang on account of a few stings he got on the head trying to catch up with the rest of the gang ahead of him who got into the water first. Of course his mommy blamed me for the whole adventure that she came to the house looking for me creating such a fuss on a Maghrib when Bilal Rosek was calling out the Azan. Aunt kept saying, I'm sorry I'm sorry, but quite frankly I thought she didn't have to do that because it wasn't my idea to plekong sarang tebuang with the stick. My idea was to hit it with pebbles but those guys didn't want to listen. And so I took a stick and send it airborne right at the sarang tebuang and the rest, like they say, is history.
I am not sure where it came from, this sarang tebuan jangan diusik stuff. I know the Malays like to say this a lot, as a warning that one shouldn't over step one's boundary when skirting issues the Malays consider sensitive like, oh I don't know. Putting cream cheese in sambal nasi lemak, or something like that. But this phrase got me thinking, and lately I've been doing a lot of thinking that I'm getting pretty worried myself because I figure all this thinking is going to make me a serious guy who can't laugh silly at silly things no more. But I reckon one more thinking wouldn't hurt me none and so I figure I'd better write about it to get this off my chest. I can't afford have this issue bothering me since it reminds me of Zul Tebuang, his mother and the confusion of it all when everything happened simultaneously i.e Bilal Rosek calling out the Azan, goats in the pen, chicken and ducks putting on a show all of a sudden, Zul's mother screaming at the top of her lungs, and Aunt with her, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
Maybe you've used this strategy as way to put fear into your opponent's heart before a fight go down. You know, stuff like, this is your father's head, this is my father's head, if you are a man, try stepping on my father's head. Or how about, do-that-one-more-time-and-I'll-smash-your head routine. 99% of the time, you have no idea how to smash that guy's head with your bare hands but you say it anyway to work him up a little bit. And 99% of the time the guy will just say, try if you dare. You can walk away from this, you know. But that wouldn't be nice. Why miss a chance to get into a fight when you've come this far to make it happen.
Maybe this is a little out of the topic, but I figure, the phrase sarang tebuan jangan diusik doesn't carry that sense of threat it used to carry one time because if I know educated, urban, middle class Malays, they are not the kind who take their anger to the street. Most of the time they write blogs after blogs. Maybe pepper them with expletives, or more threats, or big talks, or being rude for no reason. But that's about it. They are not the physical kind. Neither are they the legal kind who take things to the next level by going to court, or something like that. 99% of the time they have no idea how to get enough angry people like them in a big group to do something that can do justice to this sarang tebuan thing.
You gotta know how to be angry correctly. You don't want to say this sarang tebuan thing but not knowing how to put it into action. First you gotta ask, are you willing to get physical? If you are, you gotta ask the next question, do you know how to get physical? Are you trained for this? Have you trained hard enough to know the basics of getting physical? You see 99.9% of the urban Malays are not the kind of people interested in martial art. They may send their kids to Taekwondo class on Sunday but that's about it. And so I ask this again, do you think you know what to do in a fight just in case you need to settle an issue fist-to-fist because you can't talk coherently now that you are all worked up over a sensitive issue that all you wanna do is get physical.
You seldom get enough adult students from a middle-class neighbourhood for a martial art class to sustain at least until you've covered the basics. And so when I read about Malays from this section of the society say something like this sarang tebuan jangan diusik, I can't help but to say to myself, you don't know what you are talking about, mate!

5 Comments:

Blogger tokasid said...

Salam Bergen:

Ah! The long sentences are in full drive again.But it explained everything clearly without me doing the serious thinking like you did.
I pity Zul Tebuang. Did he have all the benjols from the sting? He face must have been puffied up with all the tebuangs zigzagging him front back left and right.

As for martial arts, its more for athletics now I think. I mean nowadays bad guys uses guns and parang panjang whatnots to commit crime. You can buka all the bunga silat or bunga kungfu or bunga sumo that you know of, suddenly the baddie just pull his trigger and BAM! you drop dead. That much for martial arts eh?

The sarang tebuan mentality is deeply buried in our Malay psyche I think( not the serious thinking thing) and yes Malays do get upset easily when it comes to religion and race.

At present I am hibernating from food entries.Have lots of food pics though but no appetite to write about it just yet. I've good 3 sets of cendol pics from Taiping,Melaka and Kajang. Will write about it soon( the difference in preparing and taste of these 3 cendols).

Have a nice weekend sir.

12:43 PM  
Blogger AuntieYan @ Makcik Blogger said...

Dear Bergen..poor me!!, I had bad experienced being bitten by the tebuan when I was about 10 yrs old...just like your friend Zul..the difference was, I did'nt jolok or lastik the sarang...it happened as I was passing the sarang. I was downed with fever for a few days as a result!!

2:57 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

Tokasid: You're right, bad guys use guns and parang panjang nowadays. Those who dare to use guns usually go for big time crime so as to make it worth the effort if they get caught, which is mandatory death if it is armed robbery. Two guys in Johor are going to gallow for this crime even though the gun was never recovered.

As for parang panjang, anything above 8 inches is a considered dangerous weapon. There are lot of guys out there who go by the rule that, those who use long weapon are people who don't know martial art. But I wouldn't subscribe to this theory, or wanna take a chance on a guy with a 3-foot long parang. I wouldn't wanna take a chance on anyone with a weapon in hand because there's a fifty chance that, he knows how to use it, or two he doesn't know how to use it but he might get lucky to stab you where it matters. Either way, don't take a chance on a guy with a weapon, unless of course your honor depends on it.

Auntie Yan: I think Zul Tebuang was down with fever too. I remember he got a few behind the head because I led him home while he bowled over, walking, and crying. Good thing his dad wasn't home, otherwise I would have got some from his old man. LOL.

To everyone who dropped by this way, thank you. And oh, if this entry has made you uneasy I believe there's no need for me to apologise since I have no way of knowing who you are.

Meet you in the next entry.

5:35 PM  
Blogger Kata Tak Nak said...

What about brandishing a keris, kissing it, and hulubalangly threatening to wet the keris with blood. Do you think he would do it? Aaww

7:49 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

Kata Tak Nak: You, sir, made me laugh. Yes, you've got it right there to ask. A keris, to the Malays, is like a magic weapon that can solve their problems just by taking it out of the sheath, kissing it, while closing the eyes of course. First thing first.

First you don't close your eyes when you hold the weapon because taking it out simply means you've got your opponents ready to take you down.

Secondly, you'd better know what you are doing because you've got a weapon in your hand and you'd better know how to use it.

Now, I ask you, how many Malays out there, middle-class Malays, who know how to use the keris properly.

I rest my case, LOL.

10:46 PM  

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