Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Kadayan Frog Under a Coconut Shell

Written by Kadayan Banaa

Katak Di Bawah Tempurung

Balingkatak Di Bawah Tampuung

A Frog Under a Coconut Shell - a malay proverb

I dunno if there is such a frog ever lives under or inside coconut shell in reality. It is purely accidental, I suppose. First, an adult frog lay eggs unto the water, then the eggs hatch into thousand of tadpoles. Tadpoles swim, eat and live underwater, they live the life of fish until the time comes when their legs sprouted, and they can walk and jump accordingly. Just how one of them suddenly leap into a coconut shell, which is in upside down position, I really wonder how.

And how it gonna eat while inside the shell?

Latest Revision, 28 July 2008.

Okay, cut the crap. That is not what I wanted to say, nor the above statement exposing the proverb real meaning. I just wanna have a good intro, thats it.

The proverb actually describes a state of narrow mindedness due to confinement, and tight surrounding. Its about a person who never get out of the comfort zone. As he stays in such a limited place, living in a tiny world of his own, he or she thinks the dark world inside coconut shell is everything, and complete.

Until one day, when somebody (others, who live outside the shell and need to be bigger than a mere frog to lift the shell) remove the shell and all of the sudden, a bigger world is being presented to the misfortunate frog.

Well, this applies to the new generation of Kadayans in the IT era nowadays. A real katak di bawah tempurung. I'm one of those, I suppose. I don't travel much since birth, I admit.

This is also true for most of young Kadayans. We did early schooling in shanty hometowns. Finished off, then wandering in state capitals such as Kota Kinabalu, Kucing, or Bandar Seri Begawan.

Some manage to go to Kuala Lumpur, the farthest city we can reach, and the biggest city that we can see with froggie kadayan eyes. But not for all kadayans. For some, Kuala Lumpur is still an Atlantis. Its just a legend, shining on TV but beyond our touch even until now.

The luxury of large batch of scholarships has long gone.

Opportunity to study oversea is next to impossible for most of us.

So for majority of young Kadayans, they are the product of local universities. Not from England. Not From USA. Australia. New Zealand. These are "The Fantastic Four" of the older generation.

Many top leaders were educated there. Some just bought quick degree...

Some Kadayans manage to finish undergraduate study off in a later stage of life. They completed them via distance learning programs, while working in government departments or companies at the same time. Equally growing number of us graduated through government-supported “open” university system. Until now, I really can't tell the difference from distance learning and “open” university system, except the program offered by different universities.

Its definitely katak di bawah tempurung isn't it.

The only difference is that, just in case that you don't notice, the tempurung actually is getting much, much bigger.

Now, the whole planet earth is just a mere tempurung.

The “library”, the “windows” (the Internet) had full blown into billion websites, provide us with nearly unlimited source of knowledge as never before. With the help of the Internet, our tempurung boundary stretch to it widest frontier, so long we know broken English.

Thanks to language tools such as Google Language Tools, Babelfish and dozen other similar tools that enable us to read as many materials as we can, provided we familiarize ourselves with few English words. With them, we can translates non English material from major languages such as French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Danish, Russian, Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, etc...

So much for a tempurung life.


But honestly, good English grammar is outbound in the Internet

But honestly, good English grammar is out of bound in the Internet. Afterall there is no governing body to safeguard English grammar quality, except we have to abide our own country law in order to live safe and sound. And what is known as English to us may not meant for others. There are such terms like SingLish - (corrupted) Singaporean English and MangLish - (corrupted) Malaysian English. So, in the Internet perhaps its good to be called as NengLish - (corrupted) interNet eNglish.

Good English grammar is a luxury even in Google Language Tools, its truly scarce even in Babelfish.

Global netizen (interNet ciTizen) including Russians, Chinese, Arabs, Indians, Kadayans or almost everybody who get used to the Internet generally understand this netthic (interNet eThic) and trend quite well.

In my case for example, If I wait until I have a decent knowledge of English before attempted to write something, I can't complete the task even after my next life. The answer is simple, I don't have the urge to improve it.

I believe that no matter how good the language quality is, its just a communication tool. It is useless if nobody communicates using it as medium. Take a look at Latin, Hebrew and Sanskrit and you will understand. They were the most civilized languages of the past, and now survived only in ancient texts. Nobody uses them as an effective communication mean anymore.

A sure thing. As far as the English language is concern, embarrassment due to poor grammar, or poor English command in general, for me, is outbound too. You don't have to be a "judge" to judge my language skills, but rest assure that my stupidity has nothing to do with English. I made it up on my own, English is just an accessory that helps myself look even dumber.

Therefore, the above statement holds the same merit to my wisdom and intelligence, if i have any of them. It has nothing to do with English. Worst still, as I can't fully grasp English, I can't use it as an accessory to further beautify my wisdom.

As for young Kadayans failure on noticing the importance of good command in English, don't put your blame on them, blame the government of the day.

After 50 years of independence they still even struggling to find the correct name for their education ministry from "Jabatan Pelajaran" to "Jabatan Pendidikan", then reverted back to "Jabatan Pelajaran", before divided into "Jabatan Pelajaran" and "Jabatan Pendidikan Tinggi"; let alone to promote English.

This is the personal view of the author and it does not necessarily reflect the view of KadayanUniverse.Com on the matter – Kaawai Tanah.

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