Terengganuans and Kelantanese seek comfort in groups. Conversation with a complete stranger would go to a different level if both of you come from the same state, a slightly higher notch if from the same district, and of course in ascending order if the person were of the same kampong and knew a mutual friend. The next stratospheric level would be if she or he happens to be “WAREH.

Wareh” loosely defined by Kelantanese and Terengganuan as people who had their great great grandma or great great grandpa sharing same wombs making them a brother and sister to each other in that part of the history before the Japanese drop by or the day Raffles landed in Temasek. It is very important for the people of Kelantan and Terengganu to know both sides of the families and if you are married that would be at least four generation and four family lines that you need to get to know and identify them with their appropriate titles in the family.

Along this huge ‘cengal’ family tree, there would be branches that entwined (married) or untwined (fighting, divorced or just plain ‘can’t stand’ each other for no particular reason) and as part of one big tree, you (if you are a Kelantanese or Terengganuan) are supposed to ignore any negative vibes (esp. the divorced branch) and greet and pay salutation to them just like they are any family members.

The most important event is the ‘khenduris’ for the wedding which all would  gather from all nooks and corners and getting to know each other all over again. The ‘gotongroyong’ would be in full force and something funny does usually happen.

If you were born with big eyes and had been a point of ridicule by your playmates, it will become a sore point in your personality. Over time, you might start to like it and perhaps eventually you would truly believe that you were quite fortunate soul to be born with beautiful eyes.

Come ‘khenduri‘ times your deep believe in your uniqueness may be shattered as there would be invariably one or two similar set of eyes like yours… that would be funny. Then you may notice someone who walks like your sister or have a shrieking laugh similar to your aunt who teases you endlessly, then….it may not sound funny anymore. The worst would be if you were to see some obnoxious looking old lady who says you look like her when she was young. That freaks me out, for sure.

With that in mind, this conversation I had with my mother certainly brought me down to this plain earth. Her priority certainly is noble but then am I not another propagator of a gene in big kahuna scheme of thing called “wareh?”

Mama: “male sabtu nih, gi rumoh tok ayoh so and so deh? Dio buat semaye hajat, anok dio nok gi ITM.”

Mother instructed with confidence only mothers could possibly have.

Me: “dok leh kot, Kak Long ader plan rasonya weekend nih –” I said timidly in a desperate attempt for a swift way out.

Mama: “Hal gapo? Kalu setakat nok gi shopping & dudok keda buku berjam-jam tu, tok payoh lah. Perabih pitih, perabih maso, tak dok sebutir paedoh pon!”

Of course, Mama found my passion with books is a sheer waste of time and money.

Me: “dok eh…..mana ade…

As usual she overpowered me! Typical kelantanese woman! (I mean my mother, not I).

Mama: “Mesti gi, wareh kito tuh. Kirim salam mama, bui pitih ke anok dio sikit. Anok dio nok gi sekoloh ITM tuh.

At this point, I am rolling my eyes over and over again.

8 thoughts on ““Wareh”

  1. hee..hee… I dont come from the east coast. Everytime i go for my balik kampung, Terengganu, i sometimes get to meet my husbands friends at Ketengah. They speak like , “…ak,…ok…ik,…ek ” then habis satu ayat. Sometimes you can can only catch the question mark at the end saje, mampuih tak tau nak jawab ape.

    Baru tahu ‘peneng’ means finance! 🙂

    Ye lah, husband awak kan org terengganu. You must be an expert of the dialect already by now sister

  2. Eh..Elviza, this Wareh bizness is not confined to u east coast ppl only. Kito kek nogori semilan pun cam tu gak.
    Only we call it Worih! and use it not only to refer to sedaro maro, but also those yang sekampung.

    That is why a keling celup like me got to be called worih and daro for the longest time…

    I sympathise with u over the Perabih Pitih comment. I spend inordinate amount of time and money at bookshops sometimes sampai kopak my monthly budget.

    but wot to do laa….kito nyo public library cam sial jo…

    heheh…we have so muych in common dear. Bilo nak teh tarik ni?

    Dear Galadriel,

    Ye lah, diaorang ni semua sama, bila “wareh” jer mesti pergi! Tak kiralah hujan ke, ribut ker, apa ker! Duh. And please, you are single completely by CHOICE what? Oh dont start on the money spent on books. Aku dah boleh pegi travel europe kot kalau kumpul kumpul semua duit tuh. Sigh. Teh tarek? You name the time and the place Sister!

  3. Dek pong mung ning, mok suruh gi jangang babey. Gi rumoh sedara mare buleh pakai baju mmolek supaya napok ccomel.

    Oh Bergen! Lamo doh tak denga org panggil saye “BABEY”. Heard a lot of it before!

  4. and they (old folks) like to call it ‘sekoloh itm’. even my teachers did… haha…

    accia… pong tau? The very first time i heard it… made me blur like sotong… after a while… watched what he took… oh…. borang rupanya…

    Dearest El,

    Yup, they call it “sekoloh”. It could be Harvard or Cambrigde for that matter, it still is “Sekoloh”.

  5. Its perfectly allright to give priority to the ‘wareh’ first in any event or functions especially ‘kenduri’. Its the only way to strenghten family ties. I am appaled at the current deteriorating closeness among ‘wareh’ when even among cousins who are almost like brothers, we are drifting further apart. In order of protocol ‘wareh’ should come first before friends.
    When I was small my mum used to take me around to visit as many ‘warehs’ as she possibly could. In many houses we stayed the night over. Sadly things are not the same anymore. That contributed to our close knit wareh.
    There are now big clans like the LongJafar which organised big family gatherings based on the wareh. its another way of knowing who are your wareh. So if you dont intend to practise inbreeding, you have to know who are your wareh.

    Dear Silhoute,

    Thanks for dropping by and giving us your thoughts. Come again. And no, I dont want to practise inbreeding so I ll go to “wareh” house whenver mama instructed me to. Huaaaa!

  6. ellooo..
    accidentally found ur blog..
    terus teringat zaman dulu.:)
    anyway, gud luck in whatever u do
    and Luqman hensem laaa…

    Ini Normazita Ismail ker????? Ohhhhh kecilnya dunia….. apa kahabar? how long has it been? Twenty years? My my my…

  7. Hahaha..Mich, this is a good one….talk about ‘Wareh’ 🙂 I can ‘feel’ you sistah when you talk about it. It takes a Kelantanese to understand another Kelantanese. Only thing i want to point out is…why do u spell kenduri as ‘khenduri’ ??? Furthermore we Kelantanese call it ‘bbekwoh’ instead of ‘khenduri’ or however u spell it… R u sure you’re a Kelantanese muahahaha!!

  8. Salam Elviza,
    I hope you can still remember me. We were classmates at SK Banggol Guchil. I think u, me and Normazita are in the same class. Myself and Normazita went to the same MRSM too.
    Went back to Kuala Krai last week and realized that it has been a long time since I last met with my ex classmates. Are u still in touch with them (I.e you, Fauzi, Ridzuan, Zuraini, Roslan, Che Hasmadi etc).
    I was thinking maybe we all can re-group one day. It has been 28 years since I left the school (I moved to another school in 1985).

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