Tuesday, February 24, 2015



Standard 'Bahasa Melayu' is 'Bahasa Melayu Johor-Riau' 

Also known as Johor-Riau Malay and originally spoken in Johor, Riau, Malacca and Singapore, has been adopted as the basis for both the Malaysian and Indonesian national languages, Malay and Indonesian respectively. Due to Johor's location at the confluence of trade routes within and without the Malays Archipelago, as well as the former economic might and influence of Malacca and Johor, the dialect spread as the region's 'lingua france' since the 15th century; hence the adoption of the dialect as the basis for the national languages. And, we, JOHOREANS proud of it.

Things you should know about Johorean

1. They end 9 out of 10 sentences with Ekkk...

"Ekk" is trademark of the Johorean. This word 'ekk' uses at the end of each conversation sentence, normally in tems of question mark?.Eg: "Ni awak punyer ekk?", "Nama awak saper ekk?", "Kenapa kite kaler tak cantik macam awak ekk?", "Ini gambo adik awak ekk?" and 'macam-macam 'ekk' lagi. ek ek ekkkkkkkkk...

So, please observe your friends when they are talking to you. If he/she uses so many word 'ekk' , so, comfirmed 'Orang Johor".

2. The Johorean refers 'bandar Johor Bahru' as 'Johor' and not JB.

If your friends (stay outside from Johor Bahru) said that "tomorrow we all want to go to Johor to visit your uncle" it means they want to go to Johor Bahru (JB), the city not 'Johor', the state. Eg; Eh, Beb, esok pagi gua nak turun Johor laa. Lu nak ikut tak?....

So, if you are already in Johor, regardless in which district, and you hear the locals said they want to go to Johor, please do not ever to counter them with the question or joke, "Eh, kan sekarang kita dah ada kat Johor?" and worse enough, do not try to 'memandai-mandai' to add word 'ekk' in with that question unnecessary. "Eh, kan kita dah ada kat Johor ekk?"

3. They pronounce Muar as 'MUO' by pouting your lips (kena juih bibir).

In fact the Johoreans pronounce everything that ends with "AR" as "O". .... eg: 'keluo', 'ulo', 'seluo', 'tiko', 'beso', 'selipo' and 'beluko'. Eg : "Suruh keje mengulo je, kata nak pegi bando Muo kejap je, tapi keluo pagi balik lepas Aso. Kena marah terketo-keto, memang nak kene penampo dia ni"

4. Most Johoreans are brash with a CRAZY sense of humour.

Very difficult to meet a Johorean that really serious and couldn't take a joke. Eventhough they are reserve or a quiet person but their sense of humour are OK. Almost all of them are either 'kelako', loyo buruk' or 'bigo'*. The sense of humour is unique that sometimes we find thet the outsider (non-Johorean) afraid with the brashness of the Johorean.

(*'bigo' is not the word from 'bigar' but it mean 'bodoh-bodoh dan gila-gila' sikit). 

5. Kecik-kecik dah "BERENDUT!" dengan budak BEGETAH!.

'Endut' mean 'lover' or 'buah hati' or 'kekasih', and 'berendut' mean sedang berkasih' or in couple.

Eg: "Haa...kau dah ada endut ekk? Kau pergi berendut kat mana ekk? Tu la ko, orang berendut ko pun nak berendut jugak".

'Bergetah' or 'begetah' means sticky refers to pretty or attractive gals. 'Budak tu begetah ekkk" means 'that girl is pretty/beautiful and attractive" atau... "eeee...makcik tu dah umo 50 tapi masih begetah ekkk!"

6. Johor Specialty: 'Sagun' and 'Botok' (not Botox).

Today, very difficult to find 'sagun'. However if you go to Ayer Hitam or some of the 'PLUS R & R', you may find it. 'Sagun' is one type of light food made from the mixture of grated coconut, flour, and sugar. Packed in the plastic or scrolled paper. One rule to be followed when you eat 'sagun' is don't talk while eating, otherwise the 'sagun' will be spurted to the face infront of you!. See picture below for how sagun looks like and how to eat it.

'Botok' or 'botok-botok' is another famous traditional food of Johorean. Brought over here by 'Javanese immigrant'. This food is good for those who concern about nutritous food because the ingredients consist of various type of herbs such as chillies, shallots, turmeric leaves, lemon grass, and mengkudu leaves. The main ingredient is fish (spanish mackerel) and grated coconut white flesh. This mixtures will be wrapped with banana leaves or 'daun mengkudu' steam. The longer you steam, will be more delicious. (see pictures below).

7. Johore and Mat Rock 

Because of the proximity in location between Johore (especially JB) and modern Singapore, most probably the western culture (yellow n blues) penetrated Malaysia through Johore. Many 'Mat Saleh' live in Singapore doing business. If you read the history of Johore, Sultan of Johore was the first Sultan from Malay States married to 'Mat Saleh'. Almost all Sultan of Johore married to 'Mat Saleh'. Our almarhum Sultan Abu Bakar, almarhum Sultan Ibrahim, almarhum Sultan Ismail and almarhum Sultan iskandar married 'Mat Saleh'. The mother of present  Sultan Johor is also Mat Saleh'.

Amy Search- kira-kiranya adalah antara kumpulan Rock yang mengeTOP di Malaysia

So, no wonder most of the Rock Groups in Malaysia are originated from to Johore. Top rockers like Amy Search, Zainal Abidin, Tam Spider, Hurricane, Crossfire and Nash Lefthanded are Johorean. Even 'Kumpulan Lawak Sepah' is also Rock! Dato' Shake??? Is my theory applicable?

Almarhum Sultan Abu Bakar (1862 - 1895)
one of his wives was Cecilia Catherina Lange (Che Puan Zubaidah), a Danish

Almarhum Sultan Ibrahim (1895 - 1959)
two of his wives were Lady Helen Bartholomew (Sultana Helen), a British and
Lady Marcella Mendl (Sultana Marcela @ Fawziah), a Romanian

Almarhum Sultan Ismail (1959 - 1981) - he did not married to 'Mat Saleh' woman.

Almarhum Sultan Iskandar (1981 - 2010)
his first wife was Josephine Ruby Treverrow (Che Puan Kalsom) of British.

8. Wedding Festival/'Kenduri' and 'Telur Pindang.

'Telur pindang' or herb boilled egg' is another specialty of Johorean. Telur pindang ialah telur ayam yang direbus dengan segala macam rempah dan dedaun untuk mendapatkan that special taste. Lepas rebus, telur akan berwarna cokelat. Both kulit dan isi. I don't like to eat telur pindang, so I cannot to describe the taste. Normally orang buat telur pindang ni for special occasion, seperti majlis perkahwinan. Zaman dulu-dulu, you can tell the social class of the tuan rumah - normally orang kaya-kaya jer buat telur pindang ni sebab ianya rumit dan makan masa berjam-jam therefore menggunakan kos yang tinggi.

Macam mana nak buat telor pindang ni, kena tanya kakak aku (Rahimah).  Dia memang pakar dalam hal ni.  Kalau dia buat kerja kawin untuk anak-anak dia, memang dia akan masak sendiri, telor pindang ni.  Bila balik KL, kami tukang bawak balik buat bekalan.

9. Keep Your Clothes in the 'GEROBOK'. 

Johorean do not use word 'almari' for wardrobe. We called it GEROBOK or GOBOK. But not GUBOK (gubok means pondok rehat di kebun-kebun). 'Gerobok' is special to keep folded clothes. Eg: "Ni mak dah lipat, pegi simpan dalam gerobok!

10. Johorean Don't Watch TV Malaysia.

This character is mere to people from Johor Bahru, Kulai, Kota Tinggi and Pontian. They never watch RTM/TV3 for imported programmes. Semua dah ketinggalan zaman. TV Singapurer dah tunjuk lamer daaaaa......  Tapi sekarang ni tak tau la sebab kat Malaysia pun dah banyak saluran TV.  Mungkin ada yang  kita lebih advance dari Singapura.

11. Epok-epok, Onde-onde and Jemput-jemput. 

Before leaving Johore in 1977, i did not know what is 'karipap' or curry pup. In Johore it is known as 'epok-epok'. And also 'buah melaka' or sometimes people called it 'kueh bom'. When i was a child, i called it 'onde-onde'. 

epok-epok atau karipap (curry pup)

Curry-puff (karipap) is one of the famous traditional food in Malaysia. Ia terdapat dalam pelbagai perasa, bergantung kepada inti di dalamnya. Bahan utama inti karipap ialah daging, ubi kentang or sardin. Ubi kentang sering digunakan sebagai inti karipap selain inti ubi keledek. Jenis-jenis karipap bergantung kepada intinya. Bahan utama yang digunakan sebagai bahan perasa ialah serbuk kari. Selain itu inti karipap juga kini menggunakan lada hitam. Terdapat beberapa jenis antaranya karipap daging, karipap ayam, temosa (karipap ikan), karipap sardin dan karipap pusing.

In Johor, 'karipap' is known as EPOK-EPOK
. In English it is called 'curry puff', tetapi bezanya ialah bentuk curry puff tidak semestinya seperti karipap. Perhaps, in terms of baking curry puff and 'karipap' is also different. Baking process of 'karipap' skin need the sound skill to fold the pattern or in bahasa Melayu 'kelim'.I am not sure, which one isolder 'karipap or 'curry puff'.

ONDE-ONDE is one of the traditional kuih in Malaysia. They are either made from sweet potato or glutinous rice flour.  In other places in Malaysia they called this kueh as BUAH MELAKA and sometimes KUEH BOM.

onde-onde (buah Melaka @ kueh bom)

The cute little onde-onde (or also spelled as ondeh-ondeh/ are infused with pandan (screwpine leaf) juice and filled with 'gula melaka' or palm sugar and then rolled in with some fresh grated coconut. The palm sugar that’s in it literally bursts in your mouth when you take a bite. They are sweet and delicious.  

But, if ask Orang Johor what is Kueh Bom, they will show you a different kueh. For the Johoreans, the round shaped cekodok is called Kueh Bom.

kueh bom for Johorean but in other places they called it 'cekodok'.

And, in Johor, the free-shaped cekodok pisang we called it jemput-jemput.

jemput-jemput pisang (or cekodok pisang or cucur kodok)

Satu lagi kueh yang orang Johor panggil berbeza ialah kueh 'SERI MUKA'.  Kita orang panggil kueh 'PUTRI SALAD". This 'kueh' is originated by Nyonya Melaka. It is two-layer dessert with steam glutinous rice forming the bottom half and a green custard layer made with pandan (that's why the colour is green).  Coconut milk is the key ingredient in making this kueh.  It is usedas a subtitute for water when cooking the glutinous rice flour and making the custard layer. Nowadays, some of us change this part (the green custard layer) to other taste such as 'gula melaka' or corn or yum or durian.


12. "Aku 'JAKI' betul tenguk perangai dia.."

Jaki ni, maknanya kurang lebih macam 'meluat' atau 'tak suka' atau 'benci' atau 'heran'. Kadangkala juga boleh memberi makna 'dengki' dengan pencapaian seseorang.  "Dia tu asyik nak cerita pasal sedara-mara dia yang kaya-kaya je, jaki betul aku dengar".

13.  Baju Kurung Johor (Telok Belanga)

Johore has it own fesyen or design of baju kurung (Melayu) called 'baju kurung Telok Belanga'.  Telok Belanga is the name of place in Singapore (one time part of Johore) where the palace of Temenggong Daeng Abdul Rahman was located. The neck part of baju kurung or Baju Melayu worn by the Johorean is different with national baju Melayu (national dress)- see picture below. Until today, in any official 'majlis'  most of the Johorean (men) (including Sultan of Johor)  like to wear 'baju kurong Telok Belanga'. 


Mee Bandung Muar

I have been in Bandung before but I can't find this mee recipe down there. The Indonesian do not like eat mee. This mee (noodle) is famous in Johore, especially the west coast districts. How 'Mee Bandung Muar' became so famous, I do not now. But if you wanna try, please go to Warung Mee Bandung pak Abu Bakar, at Jalan Abdullah, Muar. Taste and enjoy it.

Otak-otak Muar 

Otak-otak is a fish cake, can be found throughout Malaysia, but the popular 'otak-otak' among the Malaysian can be find in Muar or Kluang, Johor. 'Otak' means brains, and the name of this dish is derived from the idea that the dish somewhat resembles brains, being on the soft and squishy side. It can be eaten as a snack oe with bread or rice as part of a meal.

Pasu (Hiasan) Ayer Hitam

Aksesori dan Barang Untuk Majlis Perkahwinan

Dari dulu-dulu lagi, selain dari pasu tanah liat Sarawak kalau di Semenanjung Malaysia, pasu Ayer Hitam menjadi pilihan.  Pada tahun 1980an, ketika corak pasu Sarawak masih kekal dengan identiti lama, pasu Ayer Hitam telah mempelbagaikan coraknya.  Cantik2.

Manakala untuk aksesori perkahwinan, sebelum munculnya NILAI 3, Ayer Hitam memang sasaran satu Malaysia untuk shopping.  Walaupun sekarang Ayer Hitam masih popular, khususnya untuk penduduk kawasan selatan Semenanjung.  Penduduk NS, Selangor, WPKL dan Pahang akan menuju ke Nilai 3.  Lebih banyak pilihan dan lebih banyak gedung.


Pisang Salai
Kerepek dan Rempeyek Parit Raja

Another Johor specialty is 'Mee Racun'. This mee is very popular in Batu Pahat. Why they called mee racun. The word 'racun' or poison is a killing material. The taste of hotness or spicy (kepedasan) is killing. So, if you eat that 'mee' without ending with sweating or tearing eyes it will not achieve the standard of 'mee racun'

Mee Racun Batu Pahat

Kerepek and Rempeyek (Jawa originated light food)- if you go to Parit Raja you will be crazy with the various colour and types of kerepek; namely ubi, pisang, keledek, keladi, sukun etc. Banyak industri ringan dan sederhana di kampung-kampung dalam daerah Muar, Batu Pahat dan Pontian.  Tapi paling popular ialah Parit Raja, Batu Pahat.

Nasi Beriani Gam Batu Pahat

Lontong Daun Pisang Batu Pahat
The MOST IMPORTANT thing i would like to tell you is, this lontong is "MY MOTHER SPECIAL"

The common 'lontong' (you find in KL) is actually 'nasi empet' (pressed rice) but the shape 'lontong Johor' is cylinder like 'lemang' but it wrapped by banana leaves (not bamboo). This 'lontong' wiil only be found during Hari Raya (Syawal) only (not everyday in any 'warung' or canteen which normally sell for breakfast). 'Lontong Daun Pisang' is an alternative to 'ketupat' and 'lemang' (lemamng is not familiar for Johorean). The 'kuah' for this lontong are 'kuah lodeh' and 'sambal satay' or 'rendang daging' or 'sambal tumis'.

sambal tumis ikan bilis

(normal 'lontong' or 'nasi empet' that you can find throughout Malaysia), this one is 'lontong with sambal kacang'

'nasi empet (lontong)' with 'rendang'

if you put 'nasi empet' with 'kuah lodeh + sambal tumis', they also call it 'lontong'

if you put 'nasi empet' with 'chicken soup', they they will call it 'soto ayam'

Asam Pedas Parit Jawa

Asam pedas famous di Melaka, tapi asam pedas Parit Jawa mempunyai 'brand tersendiri'- ada kawan saya (duduk di KL) yang tiap-tiap minggu akan turun ke Parit Jawa nak makan asam pedas ini.

asam pedas ikan pari

Asam pedas ikan parang

Other Johor Specials

Halwa Maskat

Laksa Johor

Syurga Tekstail Tangkak

Sebenarnya semasa Tangkak telah begitu popular dengan gelaran syurga tekstail di pertengahan dan akhir tahun 90an, saya sendiri tak tau. Tapi setelah saya tahu di awal tahun 2000, saya akan singgah membeli kain (especially untuk raya).   Tapi sejak ada Nilai 3, saya dah tak pernah keluar dari PLUS di exit Tangkak lagi. 

After Raya 2009, a friend of mine, read my blog and she told me (she is from Trengganu) said that in Johore there is one more famous food namely; Nasi Penyet.... (penyet is Javanese word mean 'deflated caused by strong hit or smashed'). She 'sms' me the picture of 'nasi penyet'. Aku orang Johor pun tak pernah merasa nasik penyet niiih....., so, I think this food is a new food which was brought in to Malaysia by the pendatang-pendatang Indonesia nii.... ye la, sekarang kat ramai orang Indon kat sini....  In KL also a lot of restaurant  selling Nasi Penyet, and I tried one at Wangsa Walk- not bad. 

Baju Kurung Teluk Belanga

complete dress of baju kurung Johor - the 'kain samping' is worn inside the 'baju kurung'.  But nowadays,most of Johorean put the 'kain samping' outside like the national dress.- but still many Johorean wear this fashion.

the neck of baju kurung 'Cekak Musang' which is use as national dress

The modern Malay modified the fashion of 'leher cekak musang' into various fashion- especially the number of button, position of buttons and some adopted Chinese dress.

Sasterawan Negara, Allahyarham Usman Awang, dalam satu sajaknya telah menukilkan sifat Melayu Johor.

Antaranya Usman Awang menyebut bahawa orang Johor ini:
  • kurang ajarnya tetap santun,
  • lembutnya cukup jantan,
  • dajalnya masih selamba,
  • nakalnya bersulam jenaka,
  • menikam dengan pantun,
  • menyanggah dengan senyum,
  • marahnya dalam tertawa,
  • merendah bukan menyembah,
  • meninggi bukan melonjak.
Pelukisan watak Melayu itu dicerna melalui pengetahuan dan pemerhatian terhadap budaya yang membentuk watak Melayu dalam sejarah yang begitu panjang sebelum zaman Kesultanan Melayu Melaka membawa kepada Kerajaan Johor-Riau, Kesultanan Melayu Johor, penentangan terhadap penjajahan British, liku-liku perjuangan kemerdekaan negara dan mengisi kemerdekaan sehinggalah ke hari ini.

Sajak itu diilhamkan sempena usaha menyatukan orang Melayu, khususnya di Johor, akibat perpecahan besar di seluruh negara yang dicetuskan oleh pertikaian politik 1987 (perpecahan UMNO Team A dan Team B). Usman Awang melukiskan watak sedemikian rupa sekalipun ketika bangsa Melayu berada dalam keadaan cukup rumit termasuk berdepan suasana yang amat mencabar nasib masa depan bangsanya.


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