Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Nasi goreng kampung/ ayam goreng kampung/ Madu tiga

The use of certain words either in Bahasa Melayu or English would persuade people to buy or consider buying certain things or products. In western countries words like "chemical free", "home cooked, "free range", "country style" would warrant premium prices.  These special words would give seemingly value added to the products.The same thing applies to Malaysian linguistic scenarios. I feel that the two most frequently used words that are  used in Bahasa Melayu that connote positive vibes are are "Kampung" and "Madu".
Nasi goreng kampung

If you enjoy fried rice  and visit any restaurants especially  Thai style restaurants or any Tom Yam restaurants  you will see that they have a dish in their menu that is called "Nasi goreng Kampung". " Nasi goreng kampung" is interpreted as having fried rice with the acquired taste anchovies in the "nasi goreng". Sometimes the anchovies are fried together with the rice. But occasionally for crispness, the anchovies are fried separately and put on top of the "nasi goreng" as condiments with "Telor mata" or a fried egg sunny side up. Once, while shopping for household items at Carrefour Hypermarket in Nilai, I was so hungry and decided to visit the food court and order  "Nasi goreng Kampung" and so I went to one of the stalls which fortunately or unfortunately manned by two Bangladeshis. I was hesitant at first to order because I wasn't  sure whether these Bangladeshis really know how to fry "nasi goreng kampung."  Before ordering it,I told them I didn't want "nasi goreng kampung" Chittagong or Dacca style and I only wanted "Nasi Goreng Kampung"- any "kampung"  in Malaysia. They cynically smiled at me. It turned out that their "nasi goreng kampung" was better and delicious compared to  nasi Goreng kampung that I have tasted  prepared by experienced Malay chefs. 

Yesterday, while on my way to buy some auto products to clean my car that I have not washed for more than  three weeks at  the Giant Warta Bandar Baru Bangi , I came across a Malay middle aged man selling fresh soya bean drinks at the always occupied  parking lots opposite the Tabung Haji building and he labels the drink as "Soya Bean Kampung" or "Village style soya bean drinks. I didn't really know that you can actually have "Soya Bean Kampung". I know we can order  "kopi Kampung" or "village coffee". Kopi kanpung conjures additional ingredients added to the coffee such as butter, spices, and sugar to make the local coffee tastes better. But  that was the first time that I saw someone  selling soya bean drinks with the word "kampung" or village attached to it. Probably kampung is not Jenderam Hulu or Dengkil in Selangor . Probably, he is referring to a place somewhere in Delaware  or Wisconsin in the United States. I don't think we have soya farms in Malaysia.
Ayam kampung

Another food item that is familiar to Malaysians is the phrase " Ayam goreng Kampung" . The word kampung signifies goodness, purity and chemical free. " Ayam kampung" literally translated as "Village chicken" But the more correct word is free range chicken. Talking about free range chicken my late  grand mother would just refused to eat the so- called free range chicken at her kampung/village . Her Kampung is known as  Bagan Belat which is not far not far from Sungai Dua and  Butterworth .The village people in Bagan Belat had the habits of rolling up their sarongs to cover their heads but naked at the lower bottom and practically do their business quietly near the beach or behind a tree. Later, the "kampung" chicken would do the cleaning up of the "leftovers". So much of the goodness of " Ayam kampung".

Madu Tiga
Another word that is of frequent used in the business industry is the word " Madu" or "honey" Everythng is "madu". You can get "Nangka Madu (Honey Jack fruit)" Langsat Madu  ( Langsat is a kind of fruit that is as big  as dark grapes but with really sweet fleht but having  slightly  bitter aftertaste ) , "Ayam Madu" ( bread crump coated fried chicken baste in sweet sauce that is sugar based rather than honey), "rambutan Madu" ( The hairy fruits with thick and really sweet flesh). But sometimes "madu" does not sound sweet in the case of the first wife having additional house  partners thanks to the husband. This kind of "madu" is actually "racun" or poison to the first wife.This is the only "madu " that does not have any value added or benefits added to the product.

In a nutshell, "Madu " and "kampung" would signify goodness and freshness but in a relationship or nexus with the husband's second and third wives the word " madu" can be really a bitter medicine.

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