28 August 2010

What’s in a name -Part 1

This is part 1 of 2

Is a name not important?
But of course it is. Take such terms as ‘orang-orang ternama’, ‘jenama’, ‘nama baik’ and so on. They all give the sense of importance, top quality and all which should be accorded admiration and respect.



To illustrate this point let us look at how two important centres of higher learning in Terengganu got their names changed since 1994, in a period of 17 years. There is nothing magical about the choice of 1994 other than that being the year I was drawn back with Makcik to Terengganu a state I had been away from for about 40 years – since before Merdeka of 1957. So in 1994 we moved into our retirement home which we had it named ‘Nuri’ giving that sense of aristocracy, especially if the owner does not belong to one.


A short digression!

Giving the house a name gave that significance, didn’t it? That return to ‘negeri tumpah darah’ (I wonder what the English translation is – ‘land where blood is shed’ sounds like a second world war story!) coincided with my plan to establish a small tuition centre. Again it was given a name, ‘Al-Manar’ – signifying something, surely.


It should be noted here that the name Terengganu is also known by its Arabic honorific Darul Iman (abode of faith). As a child in my primary school I was given to understand that the state I was born in drew its origin, rightly or wrongly, from Taring Anu (fang of something). From that it became Trengganu which subsequently progressed to acquire an E to become TErengganu.

Now I hope the readers are beginning to see the significance of a NAME.



Now we go back to those two centres of learning I was about to describe. Coincidentally they form two important landmarks for visitors who intend to drive to our home (that Nuri) from Bandaraya Kuala Terengganu (upgraded from a simple ‘Bandar Kuala Terengganu’).


Second digression!

What used to be MPKT (Majlis Perbandaran) is now MBKT (Majlis Bandaraya) – giving Pakcik and Makcik the uplifting feeling that we are now living in a city, not just a town when we first returned here in 1994. We returned to a place somewhat rural and now a city dweller – thanks to the NAME.


The first landmark, about six kilometers to our house, is a beautiful mosque which has been popularly and passionately known as Masjid Kusza. Sited close to the main road it is the prominent symbol of this old religious college known as KUSZA (Kolej Agama Sultan Zainal Abidin) which opened its door in 1983.

The college was beginning to gain prominence when in 2007 it was restructured to signify its maturity to become a university, a full blown university named University Darul Iman (UDM). Pakcik can distinctly recall the event when it was declared that this university would be modeled after the renown Cambridge University which was described as being made up of different colleges. What was rather odd to me was when the spokesman clarified that the constituent colleges of this university would be established in various towns of Terengganu. The logic seemed to suggest that if Cambridge University has colleges throughout Cambridge , this university of Darul Iman would have colleges through out Darul Iman. Professors in Cambridge cycle round from one college to another whilst those of Darul Iman being chauffer-driven from one town to another! That sounds logical enough as a model.


Third digression !

When I mentioned ‘modeled after the renown Cambridge’ I was reminded to say something. One should appreciate that Terengganu is unique in her ability to reproduce models of world famous structures such as the famous mosques of the world. World travelers can visit the beautiful miniaturised buildings all on one island.


That change from KUSZA to UDM took place just under three years ago. I was greatly puzzled a couple of months ago, when driving home from bandaraya I saw workmen busy hacking away at the UDM sign board at the main entrance of the university. But I left it at that. Surprise, surprise, a few days later the sign board read Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA). Quite used to name changes I have not bothered to enquire the reasons for the change – presumably it is stilled modeled after Cambridge.

So when I went for my tarawih at my favourite KUSZA mosque a few evenings ago I could not miss seeing the new name ‘Masjid Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin’ on the mosque. But I do not imagine that I would bother to learn to call this mosque by another name. Let me risk being branded non-progressive. I am not about to fool around with the name of one of HIS houses, as much as Masjidul Haram, Masjidul Nabawi and Masjidul Aqsa. After all, who knows it would not assume another name some time in distance future? Nothing is permanent.

Berkhidmat Kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan

(To be concluded tomorrow, insya Allah)


ninotaziz said...

Dear Pkcik,
I came away from this post with one lesson. Stark and simple.

Nothing is permanent.

Looking forward to the conclusion.

cikzaa said...

Dear PakCik,

Only name has changed, principal is remain unchanged.

The KUSZA > UDM > UnisZA, the MPKT > MBKT, the mosque..etc..di beri 'jenama' baru so called 'upgrading' (maybe/if any).

Pada saya nama tidak penting, yg penting, ia dpt memberi perkhidmatan/sumbangan yg terbaik untuk semua orang.

Selamat Berpuasa.
Selamat Menyambut Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Zainab @ cikzaa

KotaStar said...

Dear Pak Cik,

Discovering new things of course. Meantime it seems to relate similarly to what I wrote just now. We like to make changes. Excellence when it is proper. Still with changes we erode the past too. In the case you mention the bearer of names may not even know its significance or justification. Wassalam

Al-Manar said...

Has anyone said to you that he feels insecure and it scares him to be in the presence of someone who reads his mind? – a compliment to you, getting my whole message when I am just half way through.
Salaam from Pakcik

Al-Manar said...

We will have to wait to see improvements if any.
Hope you would find time to drop by if you are around here this Hari Raya.
Selamat berpuasa.
Pakcik Hassan

Al-Manar said...

You and I value continuity. We have lived so long and have seen so many events folding and unfolding, hence a lot to reminisce. You value quality and for that you have rebuilt the old house and beautify the ancient kris. But I notice you have not bothered to give them names.
Selamat berpuasa orang Kedah

Karim Omar said...

Ayah Ngah,
Lening kang zamang "rebranding".
Kena ikut gitu gamaknya.
Isi sama je. Kulit tukar.

Al-Manar said...

Our people seem to pride ourselves with external adornment.
Ayah Ngah