Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Cari Kepah @ D' Bayan Mud Flats in Penang

I had nothing much to do before dinner so I went down to the beach to see activities there. At the beach there were people bending and digging on the mud flats. Most were families--mothers with young children and fathers. Some were still in their work clothes. They were very absorbed in their digging activities. I asked one of the men to show me his catch and asked him what it was that he was digging. He replied "Kepah". I asked how do the people eat it and his wife replied, "Boil it with serai and salt and dip it in sauce". I asked whether it is worth digging for kepah here and she replied "Yes, especially on weekdays as there are many more people on weekends. I asked him for the price of kepah at the local market but the man said he doesn't know.

Where the sewage meets the sea...
... kepah grows aplenty.
Even kids help out their mothers to dig for kepah.
Little mounds of dug mud on the mud flats.
Mud flats and sandbank.
Digging on the sandbank at low tide.
... with Pulau Jerejak in the background.
Start in the centre and scoop 2-3 inches deep in a circular manner. Expand the periphery with your legs wide apart till you feel like falling in the mud. Then pull out the kepah.
Kepah from the mud flats..., a delicacy of the local Malays on Penang island.

Masjid Jamek Sungai Gelugor, Penang

This village had a low-lying old green mosque for a long time. Two years ago that old mosque was demolished to build a brand new brick mosque. The new mosque is a white and blue mosque with blue domes and golden spires. One early Malay doctor is buried here - Dr MJ Che Lah, along with his wife and son-in-law. There are many others buried here but I don't know them. This mosque and village behind the mosque and across the street up on the hill in front, all belong to the Rawa people (Orang Rawa) from Sumatra. The imams here were also from the Rawa people, for example the famous man Yusof Rawa, who also operated the Hajj pilgrimage company based near Masjid Jamek Melayu Acheh in George Town (Georgetown). The Rawa houses are small Malay village houses (rumah kayu kampung) found typically in all the Malay villages on Penang island, including the village at Jelutong. However, the houses at Kg Dodol at Jalan Perak are styled differently - they could be people who migrated there from Kedah or north Perak.

Main entrance
Right corridor, facing the graves

Left corridor
Additional women's prayer space upstairs
View towards Minden Heights side

Dr MJ Che Lah's grave under the frangipani tree (pokok kemboja) on the right
Viewed from Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah