23 November 2007

Melayu Proverbs on Silat

Proverbs in Bahasa Melayu touch upon various aspects of Melayu culture. Thus, it isn't surprising to find that quite a few of them relate to silat, either as a physical method of combat, or a total guiding philosophy underlying the actions of every Melayu.
In some of these proverbs, we recognise the influence of Islam, in others, the intuitive Melayu mind capturing universal truth. I hope this will be the first in a series of proverbs posted here. I'll try to find more for you to read. Enjoy!
"Gayung bersambut, kata berjawab"
Meaning: An attack parried, a word replied; good begets good, evil begets evil.
"Gayung tua, gayung memutus"
Meaning: Words of the wise are normally the right ones.
"Orang bergayung sama pandai, sama bak kundi atas dulang"
Meaning: Both highly skilled; both warriors.
"Bersilat kepada si buta"
Lit: Performing silat for the blind.
Meaning: Showing your skills for those who can't appreciate it.
"Cakak sudah, silat teringat"
Lit: Silat recalled after the fight.
Meaning: After the matter has been settled, then come the complaints.
"Pendekar elak jauh"
Meaning: A person who is very careful.
"Tidak ada pendekar yang tak bulus, tak ada juara yang tak kalah"
Meaning: No pendekar has never missed, no champion has never lost.
"Bagai gembala diberi keris"
Lit: As a shepherd given a keris.
Meaning: A useless gift.
"Berapa panjang sarung begitulah kerisnya"
Lit: Long as the sheath is, so too is the keris.
Meaning: Doing something within one's own limits.
"Berkeras tidak berkeris"
Meaning: Taking tough action but with no strength to defend oneself.
"Hujan emas perak di negeri orang; hujan keris lembing di negeri kita; baik juga di negeri kita"
Lit: Though it rains gold and silver in another land; and rains kerises and spears in ours, better be our own land.
Meaning: No matter how rich and prosperous another country is, your homeland is where you belong.
"Jangan menghulurkan hulu keris ke tangan orang"
Lit: Never offer the hilt of your keris to another hand (Note: This is an actual taboo of silat, to avoid giving a keris hilt first, because the blade will naturally point to the giver, allowing a potential foe to draw the weapon and stab him).
Meaning: Never give power to another, he will destroy you.
"Keris panjang berkeluk, ke mana bawa ke mana olok"
Meaning: A person who can be used for any purpose.
"Keris pedang tiada tajam, lebih tajam mulut manusia"
Meaning: Words are sharper than weapons.
"Keris tersisip di dinding, pedang tajam dalam sarungnya"
Lit: Keris hanging on the wall, a sharp sword kept in its scabbard.
Meaning: Foolish actions.
"Menyisip keris tak bersarung di pinggang"
Lit: Keeping an unsheated keris at your side.
Meaning: Raising a child without providing knowledge will eventually trouble his parents.
"Patah lidah alamat 'kan kalah, patah keris alamat 'kan mati"
Lit: A broken tongue means loss, a broken keris means death.
Meaning: When the tools are gone, the task will never be completed.
"Sebagai bujang baru berkeris"
Lit: A bachelor gaining a keris.
Meaning: Exceeding arrogance due to recent wealth.
"Seperti keris yang tak payah diasami lagi"
Lit: A keris no longer needing lime.
Meaning: Highly skilled and needing no further instruction.
"Tajam lidah manusia melebihi tuntung keris"
Lit: A man's tongue is sharper than a keris.
"Tembaga menunjukkan senam, besi menunjukkan karat, keris menunjukkan pamur, manikam menunjukkan cahaya"
Lit: Copper shows its gleam, iron shows its rust, keris show their pamur, jewels show their shine.
Meaning: Everyone has visible indications of their good or evil.
"Tiada dapat dua keris di dalam satu sarung"
Lit: No two kerises in one sheath.
Meaning: It is impossible for one woman to have two husbands at one time.
"Habis hulubalang bersiak"
Meaning: When there is no one to rule, then one has to do the work oneself.
Source: Dewan Bahasa Dan Pustaka

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

No comments: