Once again I am posting a visitor’s comment with my response.
Awang Goneng (AG) left the following comment against Pakcik’s Three (not tea) for Two (click here).
“ Abang Ngah: You do draw the crowd - cats, poets, investors and grateful children with timung china. Reading the comments is as good as reading your blog.
When I went to Kampung Raja to visit my grandad all those years ago when ferries roamed the rivers and tigers the jungle, he (grandpaw) would make his pre-lunch orders. Go to the pohong ttèrè (that's what they call jambu golok in Besut) and pluck the shoots. Go to the kitchen and ask them to cut the timung china. You know of course that the pucuk tèrrè (guava shoots) was to accompany the budu, but I don't think many people nowadays know that the timung china (watermelon) was eaten with rice in Trengganu in them wild days. Perhaps the three timungs arrived on your doorstep just as you were scooping out the steaming rice? So timely. That was better than durian runtuh - until we get the real durian runtuh when Pak Wan Sharif belanja us all.”
“ Sorry, a mistake: in my rush I wrote this, "pucuk tèrrè (guava shoots)". It's actually the shoots of the cashew tree. Jambu Golok. Is that Golok the place in what is now Southern Thailand, or is that the heavy cleaver ?”
Indeed, one time in the distant past it was a known practice for Terengganu folks to have watermelon with rice. The instance I read AG’s remark my memory flashed back, way back sixty years ago when my late mother’s own habit made me learn to take watermelon with rice. I have nothing to feel ashamed of to admit that, today, I still enjoy timun china with my meals. But, until AG made his remarks, I had all but forgotten that I had been perpetuating something of the past.
When I come to think of it I realise that today one can still see some old folks having timun china with rice at a party where timun china is laid out on the table. One has to watch this to realise the old habit dies hard.
As for AG’s trips to Kampong Raja, Besut, I remember those days when passengers disembarked from their bus and stood beside it while the ferry took them across the river. To us, children, it was a great fun to stand close to the edge to watch the current, imagining the sighting of hungry crocodiles. Yes, Mi, I remember all too well that very special old gentleman, Tokwan Ahmad Hakim. He liked to spin humorous tales about Orang Batak and how I laughed!
Thank you, AG for mentioning all those long forgotten facts.
You questioned where the name jambu golok originated from. Does Golok comes from the place of Southern Thailand, or ‘golok’ the ‘heavy cleaver’? Having cracked my aged brain over this very highly academic subject, I can only arrive at one conclusion that ‘golok’ comes from the heavy cleaver (or chopper – golok)
The difficult part is how to explain my rationale that it is the heavy cleaver, not the Golok of Southern Thailand. Firstly, I must assume that everyone knows the special shape of this fruit. As far as I know, jambu golok is perhaps the only fruit on earth which has its nut grown outside the main body of the fruit, in a kind of appendix. If we rest one of these fruit on its side we can see how it resembles the outline of a cleaver ( a chopper ). The crooked nut ( cashew nut ) which is attached to the broad end of the fruit represents the handle of the cleaver.
Any semblance of a cleaver ??
How else could the old folks of Terengganu design the intricate designs of songket, brass tapak sirih, keropok lekor and so forth without the kind of fertile imagination to make them think of an appropriate and simple name for that jambu fruit? For its unique structure and shape this fruit carries at least four names that I know;
Panggil Jambu golok boleh
Gajus pun boleh
Janggus boleh jugok
Ketereh pun boleh jugok
Kalau pandai orang puteh
Dengan cashew nut kita berlagok
And finally, it is my turn to wonder, and leave it to my visitors to tell me why the following fruit are so named.
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