Monday, 26 June 2006

Of Engelbert and the merisik party

So Engelbert has laryngitis! I know so because a very disappointed fan sms’ed AND ym’ed me all the way from Malaysia about the cancellation. What a pity! But all is not lost ‘cos the legend nursing the sore throat should be fulfiling his promise to his fans this Wednesday. So, my piece about him will have to wait.

That leaves me with very little to blog about. Well, we did got out for a meal – i.e. Jane Sunshine and hubby, me and hubby plus birthday girl, ewok, to celebrate her birthday. We were having steamboat tomyam when someone said, what’s the latest from Malaysia? This person also mentioned Erra and Yusri’s break-up and that brought a look of surprise from my husband – a look that says: are they someone we know?

Well, we did talk about all sorts of things, this and that and I brought up the subject of Dato’ K and our Cik Siti, and the six million dollar question: are they finally tying the knot?

The Malaysian newspapers were abuzzed with the story yesterday that Dato’ K and entourage had finally gone to meet her family. I was rather bemused by the description of the intention of the visit.

According to The Star:
"It was not immediately known what the purpose of the visit was but speculation was rife that Khalid was there to merisik, which is a customary visit by a groom aspirant to seek the parents' consent for an engagement with their daughter. "

And the NST reported:
"Khalid and his family members were believed to be there to merisik (enquire), a Malay custom leading to formal engagement for marriage."

See how problematic the word merisik is. What is merisik? And in the case of our Cik Siti what else is there to merisik? Everything that needs to know about the singing sensation is all there in the media archives. Just google, no?

A brief vox pop around our tomyam table brought all sorts of answers: snoop, spy, enquire, to ask discreetly.

This is a brief explanation from-
When it is time for a young man to get married his family will look around to identify a number of potential candidates. Having decided upon one particular young lady, then, the merisik of investigation process takes place. For this ceremony one or more representatives (wakil) of the young man’s family will pay a friendly visit to the family of the young woman whom they have in mind as his potential bride. The visit is purely for the purpose of further investigation. Its allows the visitors to see the young lady. A hint will be given to her parents regarding the purpose of the visit, and their reaction will be assessed. The girl’s parents may also give the visitors some idea as to whether or not their daughter will be interested in the match. The merisik does not constitute a formal proposal. Following the visit both sides can begin to think more seriously about the possibility or otherwise of the union. It is possible that no progress may take place, and the young man’s parents or representatives will then look for another possible candidate.

From today’s press, we were told that it was just a casual visit by Dato K’s entourage to Cik Siti’s. She wasn't even there. Sure. For someone like her, nothing can be casual and nothing can be discreet or quiet. With scores of paparazis and reporters on the look out, even perhaps renting rooms in houses nearby, any attempt to ‘enquire discreetly’ is almost a mission impossible.

Personally, I quite like the idea of merisik. It conjures a lot of fun and game playing in the mind. You get this image of two mak ciks visiting a house they have never visited before to carry out their task on behalf of the interested party. It is quite possible too that the interested male is in his car parked somewhere a few yards away. Usually they will enlist the help of an aunt of the subject – i.e. the girl or the 'flower' in the garden.

The mother, who is roped in, will then entertain the party, calling upon the unsuspecting daughter to serve tea and preferably some cakes that she herself made.

The conversation would go like this:

Mak cik 1: Yang ni yang mana?
Mother: Yang mana lagi. Saya ada yang ni saja laaa yang belum lepaih....
Mak Cik 2 : (eyeing girl from top to bottom) Dah ada kawan kaaaaaa?
Mother: Ish, budak-budak la ni. Kawan tu ramai laaaa. Tapi tak ada sapa spesial.
Mak Cik1: Isshhh (while munching kueh thatgirl made) sapa masak kueh ni, sedaaap!
Mother: Sapa lagi...anak saya laaa!

I can almost imagine the girl’s discomfort, shaking in her sarong while pouring out the tea
while being scrutinised by two elderly mak ciks and a nervous and anxious mum.

The conversation above is quite straight foreward, very straight to the point, unlike the story that my mother told me of a merisik party that went wrong.

A mother was in her garden when she was approached by two ladies who told her how much they liked the flower in her garden. Without further ado, out came her cutter and she snipped off some roses for the friendly but very astonished mak ciks.

But seriously, what is it that the merisiking party wants to know?

First and foremost of course, whether the girl is single and not ‘seeing’ anyone else. (Even 'chatting' online will be a minus point!)
Whether she can cook – thus, some girls are asked to prepare something. I would have failed miserably on this score. Most mothers are concerned that their sons are kept well fed. I suggest the take aways. I did that several years until we got tired of kebabs.
Can she sew? This day and age – perhaps not a very important requirement.
Is she working/prepared to leave her job/able to bear children?
Is she still unplucked and unvisited by any other bees?
Aha! Now, I was told that some mak ciks can tell even by the way a girl walks, an expert glance at her heels or her forehead.

Whatever the intention of the entourage to Cik Siti's mansion, be it for a cup of coffee to moist their throat after a long journey to the east coast, I wish them well. But, please, please make the announcement soon and end the miseries of the paparazis.


Nazrah Leopolis said...

tough being siti huh?

i remember a story my late grandma told me about " adat merisik". Mak's brother Paklang had just graduated fr USM in the early 70s and it was his turn to be my grandparents (bcuz they did not want any wakil to interfere)went to this big household of 20+ kids most of them girls and were asked which flower they were interested in. grandpa just looked around the yard and chose the only one he saw doing some kind of housework.that was how Maklang was plucked from her front yard.

My mom told me once that one of the first thing that the merisik spies would check is the back of the gayung/cebok. if it's squeaky clean, the bunga of this yard is worth picking. if it's slimy with mildew...kita balik dulu lah cik kiah ya...

UglyButAdorable said...

merisik?? tak tau la kak teh..blum pernah kena risik lagie..hehh..hehh.. and i heard it too about the englebert show in shang that was shortened due to his condition..poor him..

p/s intan sesapa yg dtg tengok gayung kat rumah mesti pass nyer..coz bibik yg basuh selalu..hehh..hehh

MA said...

I like the song Merisik Kabar :-)

Eh? Tak relevan ke ?

Kak Teh said...

nazrah, that is an interesting one! checking out the gayung/cebuk. I'd be very curious as to why the mak cik would inspect the cebuk.

UbA - hehehe..nanti bibik yang dipinang!

MA- ish - memang lah relevant. tapi bukankah tu nama blog one blogger yang kita selalu visit dulu?

Nazrah Leopolis said...

well kakteh, selalunya , orang tak prasan belakang gayung kotor dan sapa mantain gayung bersih, orangnya teliti dan rajin.

merisik cara ini, is obviously cari buruh...bukan cari buah hati.

simah said...

siti n that dato.. dia orang ni kira real love ker? i am outdated.

a question..kak teh bila pulak akan jadi mak org yg nak dirisik? anak kak teh bukan dah besaq ka? hehehe

ubisetela said...

zaman sekarang, bibik makes tea and pour to guests.

The girl under inspection is most unlikely be shaking in sarong because she doesn't know how to wear one.

Mak Cik1: Isshhh, sapa masak kueh ni, sedaaap!
Mother: Tak tau sapa. kami beli kat kedai ja..

meandbaby said...

topik pagi in the local radio today was 'kenapa berahsia..dan bila yang kena berahsia.'obviously the topic relates to our Cik Siti..and her new release hit song biarlah berahsia...

my mom also told me that the merisik tour akan sibuk nk bersalam dengan org yg dirisik so dapat rasa tangan kasar ke lembut...kalau kasar..sah dia rajin buat kerja rumah..kalau lembut maknanya..dok makan tido je la kat umah...

dee3 said...

me kurang tau la bab-bab merisik ni. not party to any of it heh

anyways, ada my mother's friend cerita. dia merisik untuk anak laki dia guna telefon je. phone call ke terengganu dari sarawak to the son's girl friend punya family. dah, senang cerita! hehehe

relevant ke merisik cenggitu?
merisik kan kiranya cam bertanya khabar?

merisik - preview
bertunang - booking
nikah + akad - confirmation, BELI!

hehehe (no offence intended k) :p

ps. kalau cek tangan kasar ke lembut tu satu hal la. kalo tgk according to size tu, cemana pulak ya? :p kan payah tu, likening it to judging a book by its' cover? wallahualam....

Kak Teh said...

nazrah, wouldnt it be fair if the girl's side is allowed to merisik jugak. We too need to inspect our goods before we agree to the transaction, kan?
simah, kak teh hantar private investigator saja...
meanbaby, betul tu - kalau salam tangan lembut - memang tak pernah masuk dapur lah kan?

Kak Teh said...

ubi, hehehe! point taken. Kak teh pun sampai sekarang tak pandai ikat sarong. Pakai baju kelawar. Tak apalah lah kalau kueh beli pun sebab tengok cara dia hidang pulak! macammana dia atur pinggan, sudu, etc.
dee3, kak teh pun pernah orang merisik macam tu - the sister of this guy telefon and very straight to the point beritau gaji dan pangkat adik dia. Huissshhh!

Anonymous said...

Usually every year we will attend the OP night. This year we missed it because of the Engelbert show. ;) Hubby not so much of a fan lah :(

Ruby M. said...

alamak! erra and yusry dah berpisah!!! oh nooooo..

Anonymous said...

kak teh...

kalau saya wakilkan kak teh merisik Jessica Alba..buleh?

he he he

Sabar kak tehhhh! Sabarrr!

Ingat Tuhan!.

he he

Kak Teh said...

MM - he is too young to be fan of EH lah. EH is more of my generation..Hope u are well.
maknenek - sah ketinggalan bas.
Po - jangan start!

sue said...

apa khabar kak teh?

merisik zaman skrg lagi senang dan mudah, tak banyak berlapik2 ayat, straight to the point..tak payah pantun.

melayudilondon said...

Hallo Kak Teh
Dah balik kah???? tak habaq pun dgn chek. must meet up makan soon.

Kak Teh said...

traveller - betul tu. Just straight to the point - tak payah nak pembayang-pembayang maksud pun. La ni mana orang ada masa.
sriperwira - dah balik seminggu dah tapi hayfever teruk sangat. I thought u were in germanyfor the football. Of course, do come makan-makan!

bisutulibuta said...

depa pi nak tanya harga tu kakteh oi..

Khalid:So berapa pakcik nak ?

BAPAK S:RM1juta cukuplah datok oi

Khalid:Awat mahai sangat

BAPAK S:Awat hang tak dak duit ka ?

Khalid:Eh ada ada...nak cash ka nak cheque ?

BAPAK S:Hang Maybank2u lah kat aku. Bila clear hang talipon aku.

Khalid:Cincin cincin pulak macamana ?
BAPAK S:Ala..ikut hanglah, beli
murah murah cukup..dalam 2 3 ratuih ribu pun ok dah.

Khalid:MAMPUIHHHH..cekik darah..pakcik meniaga anak ka apa ?

BAPAK S: Hang mau ka dak ? kalau tak mau, tu BISUTULIBUTA dok tunggu nak masuk tuh.

AuntyN said...

Kak Teh, memang patut pihak perempuan pun merisik sama. From what I know, hubby's arwah granfather did that for his grandaughters' intended.

Rasanya elok kalau start balik adat ni sbb at least both sides of the family would get too know each other better.

btw, kalau tak silap BTB tu tak suka cik Siti dia suka cik Misha, habih tu dok buat apa nak potong trick Dato K kan kan kan Kak Teh?

Ordinary Superhero said...

Sekarang orang merisik just formality mengikut adat. Now the future bride and groom dah sakan bercinta cintan barulah dia orang bagi tahu suruh parents merisik.

D'arkampo, merisik Jessica Alba(r)?, kesian Kak Teh...letih nak berpantun nanti.:)

Nazrah Leopolis said...

well kakteh, the matriarchal ways of the minang in mom's family memang hantar orang selidik CA sampai ke singapura.i was not very comfortable with that, but definitely thankful when they came back and said...

"osah la dio takdo bini laei, tak ponah kawin.sodang elok la tu..."

to which my folks questioned,

"abih apo pasa baghu nia nak menikah? umo dah banyak dah...!"

and CA was 31 years old then.

*geleng kapla*

MA said...

tumpang lalu Kak Teh :

OS kalau KT nak berpantun merisik kat Jessica kena start pantun "Two three cat running....." lah !


Ewah BTB ada hati kat cik Siti ropanya ;-)

Deyyy...satu juta kalu nak TT melalui Maybank2U, berapa bulan baru habis daaa.... Satu hari transfer limit bukan ke 5k saja?

tee said...

kak teh :0 memang nervous gak bila tee dirisik oleh mem hubby dulu. control ayu gitu. mujur gak depa tak mai ghamai-ghamai, kalau dak, mesti terketaq-ketaq nak tuang air. :)

ManaL said...

KaK Teh, ur daughters nanti mcm tu ker? growing up there all their life, do u think they wud wanna undergo the malay merisik way? Or wud u do the merisik job to ur sons too? saje je nak tanya...

Unknown said...

Kak Teh,

I was there in one hospital in Ampang, where Engelbert Humperdink went for his treatmentc on Monday. :)

...and a disclaimer..I have no son named Khalid.. he he

Jane Sunshine said...

Still no word to capture the essence of merisik? Sigh. This is like sayang. What is the exact English equivalent? My take is that English is too 'hard' a language to include such 'soft' words.

Anonymous said...

Kak Teh,

I thought merisik is more about the guy's family not sure about the status of the girl. Then, what's the purpose of merisik if both are clear about their status and they want to get married?

I've never thought such practice is still common among the celebrity heheheh

Anonymous said...

27 tahoon yg lalu, my MIL & SIL hubby dtg merisik ME...SIL hubby tanya my mom, adik ni putih la...masa tu yg hidang minuman is my SIL (bini abang- she's fair..)then my bini abang jawab ME is fairer than her..he..he..boley? ME masa tu kat kolej..depa ingat kak ipar tu ME..depa tak kesah pandai masak ka, bunt*t gayung tak licin ka, yg ditanya, betui ka adik tu putih?.. SIL hubby tu oghang utara (kulit agak gelap...dan dia teringin nak bermenantukan orang yg berkulit putih...keep on tanya anak dia, GF Zak* putih mcm ME ka? walhal kulit ME colourful!!...tapi tak kesampaian...sian dia...)
P/S, ME rasa ME akan merisik untuk anak melalui email atau YM jer...jimat belanja, gambar scan pun occay!...
Mak Ety

Anonymous said...

BTB oi.....ada ka misai macam Datuk K tu..yang tu yang mahai!
AuntyN , kak teh rasa sesetengah adat ni syok juga ..just for the fun of it. Macam pantun memantun tu..memeriahkan majlis.
OSH, Po tu memang teringin nak jadi ipar menteri.
nazrah, that is funny! I can almost imagine them saying it.

Anonymous said...

tee, hahaha - control ayu??? That is so funny! i wonder what that looks like. I can even begin to look ayu...tak jadi. Either jadi sayu or layu!
manal, kak teh rasa nak kena hantark 'heavies' untuk merisik khabar! hahaha...terkezut orang sini pulak.
jiwa, awat tak pi mintak autograph?
jane - that is true! I like that - soft words - am sure there are more that we just can't find the english equivalent.
aya, kak teh ingat kes cik siti and celebs ni memang tak payah nak merisik dah - common knowledge. Mungkin meminang kut!
Mak Ety, memang ada terjadi orang meminang salah orang. sebab depa ingat yang bawa hidangan tu 'bunga' untuk dipetik. Kes nanya!

Ely said...

i am still bemused by the Siti story. i cant say that she could do better cos this man has tonnes of money. i also cant say that she could get someone younger and cuter cos this guy is kinda 'ok' (not my style lah) and stable...dont have to deal with childish men! but datuk K? hmmm, i still expected someone younger tho.

ckp pasal merisik nih, memang cute kan merisik zaman dulu? but my husband style american, dia propose risik2, straight to the point hehehe.


I remember masa i kena risik dulu. My Inlaws ni simpletons, I tak tahu.I thought everyone had at one time or another sure pernah makan fried macaroni. So i whipped up the meal and I pelik tengok diaorg makan nak tak nak. After that hubby said to me, diaorg ni tak tahu binatang apa yg diaorg dah makan tu. la...typical la hubby ni. dah berlaku baru nak bagitahu..
but it was funny.

Lydia Teh said...

Kak Teh, one must make sure the other party is also in tune with the figurative language one uses, yeah?

Kak Teh said...

ely, don't know lah abt siti nd Dato K ni..kita semua ikut baca dalam newspaper saja. Ish, kalaulah dapat invite!!
puteri, u mean u actually had to demonstrate yr ability to cook! wow! At that age, I couldnt even fry keropok!
lydia - ya - they had better be. Can u imagine if they get the wires crossed!

maklang said...

Mak lang nak kena start merisik ni...Hakim dah mintak nak kawin nih....

Iskandar Syah Ismail aka DR Bubbles said...

dear makteh, dtg nak merisik snowbella ni...

Alinlai said...

tapi orang dulu-dulu kalau tak berkenan budak lelaki tu cepat-cepat mak pompuan akan cakap lagu ni

"anak dara saya ni tanak nasi pun mentah lagi...."

case closed!!!!

Fauziah Ismail said...

Kak Teh,
I was at the Engelbert Humperdinck show on Wednesday night. He didnt sing like one who's got laryngitis. Now I know kenapa orang dok tergila-gilakan dia sampai sekarang!
Salam from KL,

Fauziah Ismail said...

It was worth it, although we got our tickets free. I did wish for Engelbert to continue to sing beyond the 90-minute show. It was a football-free night, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Saya tak pandai sangat pasal ni , tapi as usual, nice entry... welcome back kak teh *hugs*... bila can makan2 lagi ya? The entry yg itu pon pon saya tak buat lagi :D... baru terasa nak lelong gambaq ni tee hee

anggerik merah said...

KakTeh, dah lama tak dengar pasal merisek ni. Interesting kan. Nowdays meminang pun dah skip in some cases.