This project will be a review of Kelantan, mainly focus at Kota Bharu and Tumpat which I spent most of my time during the holiday and it is the place where I grew up. My house is at Wakaf Bharu, which is a small town nearer to Kota Bharu but under Tumpat territorial. My schools located at Kota Bharu. My primary school was SRJK (C) Peir Chih and upon entering secondary school I moved to SMJK (C) Chung Hwa which I spend 7 years of study there before I manage to get a place in University Malaya which I’m going to graduate in a few months.
If you ask me to describe Kelantan, I won’t know how to describe it in brief, but the life as a Kelantanese is totally different from life in KL. Chinese in Kelantan is a minority but being minority in Kelantan does not make us feel different from other races. Why? Maybe the life of the Kelantanese Chinese had been mixed up with the life of Malay. We have the same yet different lifestyle. The different between us is just the tiny line of the practicing of religion. Where can u see Chinese eating using hand? My family does. I remember my late grandparents eating using hand, and this way of eating is practice by my parents as well, and even among our sibling sometimes we do eat using hand, especially when we eating ulam with budu(fish essence).
Why we can live the way the Malay lives? I think because most of the Chinese in Kelantan already gone through many generations in Kelantan/Malaysia. Malacca famous with the culture of Baba & Nyonya which in other word, the Peranakan. Kelantanese, we do have Peranakan too (Sometimes called Cina Kampung here). My school counselor is the President of Persatuan Cina Peranakan Kelantan. I think I am one of the Peranakan too. My aunt was one of the active of Chinese Peranakan Society in UM when she was an undergraduate if not mistaken (I wonder whether the society still exists). According to my own research through questioning my parents about my family, even my grandparents are the descendants that were born in Malaysia. You can imagine how long my family had been living in this land. Not hard to imagine that our life is much affect by the lifestyle of Malay. Maybe my skin colour also affected because of this.
There are a few FAQ from the people from others states. One of the questions is whether we can find pork in Kelantan. My dear friends, here I assured you, you can found pork in Kelantan, and we have sufficient supply of pork (some is illegally imported from Thailand). You can buy pork at an open market at the center of the town. It is located next to a busy bus station and taxi station and opposite is the hypermarket Giant & Parkson. The place is crowded with Malays on Friday during prayer hour as there is near the Tok Guru Nik Aziz Markas- PAS HQ. As for my family, we get supply from my father friend which sell from his home at Wakaf Bharu. Some people even get deliver to their doorstep.
where you can fresh pork.. read the comments.
No Chinese food in Kelantan? No, that is a false statement. You can go to Jalan Kebun Sultan where the whole street accommodate Chinese restaurant, food court and stalls. From Bak Kut Teh to Char Siew Rice, Chinese food is widely offers to you. Most of the visitors and Kelantanese living at other states, Chiang Mai restaurant, Ban Kok restaurant, Kg Kulim restaurant are the place to go when they are in Kelantan. This few restaurant are the famous Thai food restaurant. Served authentic Thai food that hardly found in other place. If you can’t take the hot and spicy food, try Kg Kulim restaurant then, it served the local Chinese delicacies (what I usually take). And all the place I mentioned, there are booze of beer for you!
food court at Jalan Kebun Sultan
one of Chiang Mai famous dish the Pig Knuckle.
Another thing about Chinese from Kelantan that different from other states Chinese is that we love eating Malay food. I don’t know why my friends in university don’t like Malay food. In Kelantan, we can survive having 3 meals of Malay food. Start from breakfast, we usually take nasi lauk (rice with curry chicken/beef..etc), nasi dagang, nasi kerabu, nasi ulam…etc.
As for next and future post on Project IntroKelantan, I will write about place of interest in Kelantan. Next post will be about a Buddhist Vihara ( or you can call Buddhist Temple but I don’t really like to use the word Temple as for me Buddhist Vihara and Temple got it own distinction). In Kelantan, we call a Vihara Wat according to Thai. The Wat is called Wat Phothikyan Phutthaktham or better known as Double Dragon Temple.