Songket, Malam Namat and Koleh lemok
Few days back, I called Che’ (my mom) at my hometown Kuala Trengganu, the land of keropok lekor. My nephew answered the phone and he told me that Che’ was very busy at her kitchen preparing a big feast for the masjid. I was told later the feast was for a special occasion in this holy month, in Ganuspeak we called it ‘malam namat’ with the sabdu at the alphabet of ‘m’.
Again, ‘mlam namat’ brought back many fond memories for me. As we used to enjoy ‘malam namat’ with all the special and exotic gastronomical delicacies at the masjid, which happens only once a year in this holy month of Ramadhan. ‘Gulai itek sekati’ and ‘khesek’ are the most anticipated dishes. But something stuck at the back of my mind and this has really puzzled me. Until now, frankly speaking (and shame on me), I am not sure what ‘malam namat’ is. I don’t have the gut to call my father and ask him what ‘malam namat’ really is.
(What is malam namat Ayoh?)
Ayoh : mende mung Awang (nama manja :), besor jalo tue bake pong dok tahu lagi? (What wrong with you Awang , at this age you still don’t know what malam namat is?)
The prospect of having reprehensible conversation with him, has led me to call my younger sister instead , Cendawanintim (who was with Che’ doing the same kitchen chores) for some clarification.It turn out that ‘malam namat’ is actually ‘malam penamat’ or the day to mark the ‘khatam’ of 30 juzuk of Al-quran, recited from the first day of Ramadhan by the qariah at the masjid. My younger sister told me later that my kampung is among the first to finish (khatam). Bravo and Alhamdulillah.
This afternoon I received a package from a courier service. It was from my Che’. It was a special order from me earlier for the big day. As Che’ is also probably the last remaining traditional Ganu Songket weaver, I have the privilege to choose the ‘songket’ to match with this years color theme. They are for the request and order from my colleagues as well.
I called her again today to inform that the consignment has safely arrived. Again she was very occupied with my other nephews, in her kitchen preparing and cooking a long list of local saliva-dripping kuih, and some are my favourite traditional kuih-muih. Sekaya, koleh kacang, koleh lemok, beker nyor, kuih telinga lembik, kuih bakor, nekbat, kuih tepung bunga, kuih golek abu, tok aji serban, akok and belede. Ahhhhhh…..neleh air liur 🙂