Saturday, October 07, 2006

HELPING OUT A FRIEND – Traditional Practices @ Translator

I was asked by a Local University student regarding traditional practices that once being practiced by the KadazanDusun before. The targeted village that was selected was a remote village in the Tambunan District. It was a week before they depart to the village that this friend approached me. As a Penampang resident, I told him that I do not have any idea about practices that they practiced there. He insisted that maybe we have the same practices and forced me to tell him any practices that I knew. I told him to let me asked few friends and will call him back.

I contacted a friend from Tambunan and asked him about the village that my friend will visit. The village was a KadazanDusun village but mostly of the Muslim faith. My Tambunan friend assured me that some of the practices before are still practiced in some village. As my university friend was calling me again so I suggested him few traditional practices that I knew.

This practice consists of a group of neighbors eating lunch or Dinner together. A family will bring their own food to a neighbor’s house. The amount of food you bring is not fixed, the more the better. I usually ended eating without touching our own food as I found out the neighbor’s food was delicious than my mother's cooking then. It is still being practiced now on a bigger scale called Potluck when there is a family party, but usually some just “Tao Pao” from the restaurant to avoid embarrasment when nobody touched their food.

A global practice as most of the asian countries practices this betel chewing or “Makan Sirih”. I reminded my friend also the ‘Inai-Inai’ sticking out big rolls of tobacco sticking out of the lips or more known as Mangabu or tobacco chewing. I don’t know why some of our ‘Inai-Inai’ likes to stick their big tobacco rolls in between their teeth and lips which is really awkward.

I suggested few more practices for my friend to choose from before they stick to any topic for their assignment. I think my friend was happy to at least have something to start on with their project.

It was about a week later that I received another call from my friend. He had another problem that was finding a KadazanDusun word for “Semangat Kejiranan”. I think it was something about their assignment in Tambunan and looking for a good Title to be submitted to their lecturer. To translate and looking for the word “Semangat” in KadazanDusun was not a problem but “Kejiranan” was really difficult. I remember I heard the Radio Kadazan DJ’s translation for the word “Kejiranan” as ‘Sungkad-Tukad’ I did told my friend to contact any of the DJ of the Kadazan Radio section. As the translation for “Semangat” in Kadazan is ‘SUNDUVAN’, the translation was SUNDUVAN SUNGKAD –TUKAD.

I was later told by my friend that the Title of their assignment ‘SUNDUVAN SUNGKAD-TUKAD & AMALAN MOGINGGAT was given a positive response from their lecturer due to the uniqueness of the title and also they used the KadazanDusun language which was seldom used by the student.

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