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Rumah Melayu By Tenas Effendy.
Foreword by Dato' Dr Ken Yeang.
Rumah is a collection of old Riau-Malay rhymed sayings originally gathered and published by Tenas Effendy. Referred to in Malay literature as 'Ungkapan', these eloquent stanzas depict the Malay house as a metaphor for the passage of life, the responsibilities of parenthood, the social observances of communal living, and the obligations of existing harmoniously with nature. Together, they form a complex work that vividly illustrates the values of customary law, etiquette, cultural protocols and religious tenets as cherished within a Malay home. The sayings themselves beautifully capture and radiate the warmth of a graceful Malay kampung house cast within the idyllic setting of a lush tropical oasis. Rumah has been elegantly translated by Raimy Ché-Ross and richly illustrated by Ahmad Harun.
''Peruse RUMAH and appreciate the thousand and one meanings within its pages . . .'' - Lat
Tenas Effendy once said that a house should not only be a place to live in, but it should also exemplify the perfection of life. The traditional Riau-Malay house, as eloquently expressed by him in this poem, represents these tender aspirations: the imparting of traditional mores and customs from wise elders to the young, the demarcation and respect for living spaces, the obligations owed by parents towards the education of their children within the safe, nurturing confines of a home, and the bonds of communal living within an agrarian society. Above all, the physical structure of a Riau-Malay house is a tangible manifestation and constant symbol of our place in both the temporal and spiritual realms. Through his poetic presentation of these ancient pearls of wisdom, Tenas Effendy reminds us that only by truly understanding the deeper meanings behind the symbols and nuances so lovingly crafted into its surface can we appreciate the Riau-Malay house as a timeless, living home.
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