Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chölök and Api Läk

This entry is a variation from my other earlier entries, written partly in jest, to promote Trengganuspeak.

I have read an interesting entry from a fellow blogger, Anak si Hamid (Puan Maznoor Abdul Hamid) on safety matches , you can read it here. I always found her writing interesting and inspiring and as a mark of appreciation I am sharing with you small Trengganuspeak snippets on the subject.

In Trengganuspeak the safety matches is called chölök. I believe it is partly due to the fact that when you want to lit the match..i.e. you strike it against the box (CHEH in Trengganuspeak).. it make a sound ..CHÖ .
then in order to make it ..lit.. you have to let it be for a while ( trengganuspeaks for " let it be" is LÖK )
hence the name of safety matches : Chö Lök or just chölök.

Safety matches in the 60's, were relatively expensive.. a box of matches shown below will cost you 5 cent then, when 600 gram (1 kati) of flour and sugar prices were only 15 cent and 25 cent respectively.
the picture is from Anak SiHamid blog (with permission)

Due to the relatively expensive price of safety matches then, we have this puzzle in Trengganuspeaks (with translation) which I used to share with my peers at workplace..
The three liner puzzle (no prize for getting it correct though) goes like this..

Oh kayya krajéång ök, ---- oh the government is so rich.. eh
Api dalang makkuk.. ------ (you have) the fire in the bowl..
cheh bööh..cheh bööh - -----(you) lit it up & blow it off..(you) lit it up & blow it off)

The question is Who or What is this Trengganu guy refering to...

There are still some friends who on seeing yours truly and will immediately shout across the room "Krajéång" :))

My mother, the other day, quote this pantun which she had heard from her brother( who was very young then) some 60 over years ago , here is the pantun.. without translation though ;)
(you will have to excuse me if it is not your liking though).

Cheh, cheh chölök
Cheh chölök tteppi telagê
Hök dia belök
Dök ccayyê cubê bukê.

OOPS! this is written in JEST :)))
and this time around, I am not asking anyone to guess anything!

Oh, by the way what that Trengganu guy was refering to is a "light house".

The "light house'" - in Trengganuspeak is API LÄK. This is my understanding, partly due to the fact that, as far as I can remember my friends in Pulau Duyong, Kuala Trengganu called Pulau Che Kob (in close vicinity of Pulau Duyong) which housed a light house as Pulau Api Läk.

Have a nice day!


R.A.S said...

En Wan,
I have been staying in Ganung for 9 years already and this is new information for me. Banyok lagi mende yang dok tahu..
Cholok..ada gok ye..
Well..learning is a continuos process..One thing I like about the Ganu people is the bekwoh they have...a very close-knit society surfaces out of nowhere!!!
Cikgu penat menanda kertas..

DrSam said...

Salam Pak Wan. Very interesting story of which reminded me my of my toddler's days playing with safety matches under the house of my tokki (having thought of it, luckily I didn't burn the house down :). In my remote kampung area, this safety matches is fondly referred as 'mecheh'.

Wan Sharif said...

Puan Rosfida,
Ha the bekwah.. it might come from English words Big Wash or Big Work yang telah di Trengganukan atau di Kelantankan.. Yah everybody chipped in ..make the work much easier and can be accomplished faster.
As for menanda kertas you can not expect the farmers and fisherman to assist.. like NS people say "tak dapek den nak nolong" he,he..

Wan Sharif said...

Salam to you too DrSam,
Hah ha .. you are giving yourself away.. you must be coming from the areas to the north of Kuala Trengganu.. mecheh was normally used by the people from republic of Besut(he, he..) in place of the English word matches..
Kelantanese used gessek..

Then again Trengganu fishing folks (Besut people included)have been using English word such as flewel(flywheel), gohed(go ahead, gostan(go astern), chok (choke) and lately the word saksorbar(shock absorber) has been introduced as the fisherfolk get to buy motorcycles and cars..
You might be familiar with trengganu words such as bok(book), kayu ro(ruler) and kalam (Arabic- Qalam for pencil) in your not-so-distant primary schooling times..he,he

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Ayoh Wang,
Unlike Angelina, I'm not very well versed in Gganuspeak. I haven't even seen those safety matches, ever. Our kitchen comes with an electric stove so we always have the "dapur tak berasap" situation. Coz our stove has no fire. har har har *evil laughs*

Wan Sharif said...

Sh.. do not let your mum knows this
"dapur tak berasap" thingy.. you cats might be put on ration..he he..
Just seen Maicon goal for Brazil.. heiii Brazil 1- PRK 0. Oh BTW, your neighbour- NZL was very lucky to get the equilizer half a second before the final whistle.
Take care & Stay fit for the late night world cup vigils

Al-Manar said...

Jangan maing maing cholok gitu. Lepah tu kata pulak 'light house' . Macang mu kata ke aku. Kesiang kePakcik dengang'AL-MANAR' dia.

Wan Sharif said...

Salam Abang Hassan,
Kesiang memang lah kesiang.. nanti kalau ada lebih ..kita tumpang sekaki .. InsyaAllah kalau berjaya dengan projek integrated farming tu.. boleh tumpang banyak kaki..
main cholok ni bukan apa..
nak tengok market.. kalau orang ramai dok kennan kena buat macam biasa.. cuma payah sikit la..
pengalaman hidup 56 tahun takkan semua kita boleh guna untuk buat pengajaran untuk anak anak kita..
nanti kita test buat cerita macam mana kita besar dan sedikit cerita di Pulau Duyong tu kot dia orang boleh buat pedoman atau sempadan.. apa kata Abang Hassan?

Unknown said...


Unknown said...


Ini adalah lawatan balas!

Nice blog U've got here. Thank you for stopping by my humble one.

mamasita said...

Wan..lama I have not been to Trengganu..
As for mancis..theres always a box in the kitchen..gas stove sebelah dah ghosak.Kalau tak cis dengan match..alamat tuptap tuptap banyak kali sampai berbau gas!

Lee said...

Hi Wan Sharif, ha ha, I love this interesting post. And I sure had fun back in the '70s, '80s when I frequented Trengganu and Kota Baru....
Me with my sebelum Merdeka bahasa VS the Kelantan and Trengganuspeak.

Not to mention the ahemm, SYTs I dated, their giggling at my "saya ta'faham what you saying, come back again...".
Was caught for speeding outskirts of Kota Baru and the cop thought I was being rude, ha ha when I looked at him not understanding his strong accent.
Fortunately he had a sense of humour....
Love that box of matches, used to buy them to light my Lucky Strikes.
You have a nice day, Lee.

Siti Roffini said...

I think my first and only exposure to Trengganuspeak was through Salim's song about those turtles laying eggs. I was fascinated by Trengganuspeak "telo" for "telur". Well, we Kedahans are equally proud of our "teloq".Hehehe

Wan Sharif said...

Welcome to my small gerobok, Thanks for the kind comments.

Wan Sharif said...

Thank you for the return visit, believed your blog to be very good one..at least from my point of view..
sekali sekala dengar lawyers punya English.. huh best nyer..

Wan Sharif said...

Trengganu.. banyak dah kerosakan yang berlaku dengan bandar kesayangan hamba.. Kuala Gganu.. hancur luluh hati saya tengok bangunan bersejarah, masjid-masjid bersejarah hilang dan di robohkan begitu saja.. untuk memenuhi ketamakan sesetengah manusia..
Those safety matches.. for the gas stove.. it is safer than using newspaper to lit the stove..

Wan Sharif said...

Bro. Lee,
You always have kenangan mengusik jiwa dimana mana tempat di Malaya ni.. agaknya itulah balasan untuk orang yang mempunyai ramai SYT di mana mana.. but then again life was interesting then..he..he..
You keep young and have a beautiful day.. and nice weekend too..

Wan Sharif said...

Salam Puan Siti Roffini,
Ahh that "Trengganu Kita" song from Salim.. it happened to be my first Karaoke song that I was forced to sing when I was in Sudan back in 2003. In that song.. the turtle was sang as penyu.. but Trengganuspeak for penyu is "piung"
Tapi Kedah tak ada pasar dan basikal cuma ada markhet dan gerhek...Hehehe,.. OOPs kat sana pun tak askar kan..
Well, to tell you the truth.. I was an "adik ipar" of a Tandop guy for 10 long years..