Sunday, August 5, 2007

States Of Malaysia - Kelantan

From Wikipedia & Malaysiana1.

The state of Kelantan Darul Naim (The Beautiful Land) is at the north-east of Peninsular Malaysia.

It is bordered by Thailand to the north, Terengganu to the south-east, Perak to the west, and Pahang to the south. To the north-east of Kelantan is the South China Sea.

Kelantan is a land of colourful traditions. It derives its name from the Bahasa Malaysia word Kali Intan which means Diamond (or Blue) River, for the main river in the state, the Kelantan River, was once very blue.

Kelantan is an agrarian state with rice fields, rustic fishing villages and casuarina-lined beaches.

Kelantan is also home to some of the most ancient archeological discoveries in Malaysia, including several prehistoric settlements.

The people of Kelantan are the Cham indigenous people.

The Cham people did not only form Kelantan but also Patani, a now-defunct kingdom which makes up southern Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

Kelantan was the first kingdom in the Orient to receive Islam. It received Islam from the Arabs during the days of the Rashidun (Righteous) Caliphs. From Kelantan, Islam spread to Vietnam and China.

Kelantan was originally a vassal of the Johor Empire. In the 1700s, Thailand occupied Kelantan and forced the Sultans of Kelantan to pay annual gold tribute to Bangkok.

In 1909, Britain signed an agreement with Thailand, and effectively brought occupied Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis, snatched from Johor in the 1700s, back into Malaysia.

Patani, however, remained a protectorate of Thailand and was, against Bangkok’s 1909 promise, dismembered and annexed in 1959.

Rising high on the slopes of Mount Korbu, the second highest peak in Peninsular Malaysia located in Ipoh, Perak, the Nengiri River flows east to merge with the Galas and Lebir Rivers (the latter born in the Taman Negara National Park, Jerantut, Pahang), before turning northwards and emptying into the South China Sea.

At Kuala Krai the conjoined streams become the Kelantan River, which dominates the fertile, coastal plain rich in hardwoods, rubber and tropical fruit trees.

Kelantan has a chiefly agrarian economy dominated by rice, rubber and tobacco.

Fishing along its 96-kilometre coastline is also an important economic activity.

Cottage industries such as batik, woodcarving and songket-weaving are also widespread.

Kota Baru, the capital, is the major urban centre.

Kelantan has a tropical climate, with temperatures from 21 to 32 degrees Celsius and intermittent rain throughout the year.

Kelantan is ruled by a Sultan who is a ceremonial monarch. The chief executive officer is the Menteri Besar or Head Minister who heads the State Executive Council. There is also an elected State Legislative Assembly.

Kelantan’s indigenous Mons are known for their hospitality. They have largely preserved traditional art forms such as Wayang Kulit (Shadow Puppetry), Mak Yong (traditional opera), kite-flying, top-spinning, bird-singing and drum festivals.

Kelantanese culture is heavily influenced by both Vietnam and neighbouring Thailand.

There is a small Thai community in Kelantan, which is centred in Tumpat. The Chinese community is also very small, but economically strong.

Kelantan Chinese have largely adopted indigenous Kelantanese (Mon) and Thai culture.

Kelantanese cuisine is both spicy and sweet and rich in coconut milk.

They include the following:

Nasi Dagang - Literally Traders’ Rice, it is a mix of white rice and brown glutinous rice cooked with coconut milk (santan), onions, garlic and spices. Fish, chicken, vegetables and eggs accompany the rice.

Nasi Kerabu - Literally Salad Rice, it is rice dyed blue with the Kacang Telang bean flower, and served with herbs, vegetables, fish, salted duck eggs and garlic.

Nasi Tumpang - Literally Packed Rice, it is rice packed in a cone-shaped banana leaf, together with eggs, meat and chicken.

Ayam Percik - Literally Spicy Chicken, it is wood-fire broiled chicken dressed with coconut milk and chilli sauce.

Nasi Berlauk - Literally Mixed Rice, it is rice served with fish, chicken and vegetables with a yellow, tumeric gravy.

Nasi Ulam - Literally Herb Rice, it is rice served with raw vegetables and herbs.

Kau Jam - Literally Chlorophyll Rice, it is green rice cooked with seven types of herbs, and served with raw vegetables, fish and spicy prawn paste.

Keropok - These are fish crackers which are served with chilli sauce.

Keropok Gote - These are fried fish sausages made from minced fish and sago.

Laksam - This is a pasta dish served with curry and vegetables. The gravy is creamy and white.

The most famous Thai dish in Kelantan is Kaeng Matsaman, a beef curry cooked with peanuts, potatoes and onions in coconut milk.

Other Thai specialities include Kaeng Phanaeng Kai chicken and coconut curry, Kaeng Som Nom Mai Dong bamboo and fish, Pla See Siad Haeng Thawt fried, spicy fish, Khao Yam Pak Tai vegetable salad, and Somtam spicy papaya salad with lime juice.

Colek is the most popular dipping sauce in Kelantan and is a sweet chilli sauce. It goes well with fish, chicken and beef.

Budu is a fermented anchovy sauce which goes well with all local dishes in Kelantan.

Tempoyak is a fermented durian dip, used with Nasi Kerabu.

Kelantan is divided into 10 districts namely Kota Baru, Tumpat, Bachok, Pasir Putih, Pasir Mas, Macang, Tanah Merah, Kuala Krai, Jeli and Gua Musang.

The state anthem God Save The Sultan was composed by Tamil police bandmaster Mohamad Mohamad Said (1888-1939) on July 5, 1927. Its lyrics were written by Kelantan State Secretary Mahmood Hamzah (1893-1971).

In Bahasa Malaysia:

Lanjutkan usia Al-Sultan kami
Sultan Kelantan raja ikrami
Aman sentosa Tuhan sirami
Kekal memerintah kami
Kasih dan taat setia disembahkan
Keriangan diucapkan
Segala kebesaran Allah cucurkan
Bertambah kemuliaan.

In English:

Extend the life of our Sultan
The exalted Sultan of Kelantan
May God bless him with peace and happiness
May he rule us forever
Love and loyalty we offer
And we ask for happiness
May God grant him all of His greatness
And amplify His glory.