22 February 2007

World Tidbits: Malaysian Master Plan, Johnny Clegg

When I hear of someone's global master plan, I tend to hear in my voice the guy with the movie-trailer voice saying "Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid!" But all master plans are not created equal. Take for example the laid-back master plan outlined in the not-so-evil animated Malay music video "Enjet-Enjet Semut."



I laughed myself silly watching the video (particularly the part about the flowers and the Vespa, as well as the Malay Master Plan!), then asked a friend to explain the Malay verses. She explains:

The refrain literally means: enjet-enjet (pinch-pinch) semut (ant), siapa sakit (who hurts) naik atas (go on up). It refers to a game all Malay children (mostly girls) used to play when we were small.

We gather around in groups of 3 or 4 and then one by one we pinch another person's back of the hand and make a tower that way. Of course we cannot pinch our own hand. but both hands have to be used.

Then we sing the song and when the person whose hand is at the bottom-most feels the pain (sakit) and strain of the whole "ant" tower, he/she will move her hand up to the top-most position and the game goes on while we continue singing the refrain.

Are Malays the chilled-out Hawaiians of SE Asia? Anyone want to fund my travel-intensive research efforts to find the answer to this burning question? Watch the video by clicking on the image above. This video, by the way, was the result of the Back to My Roots competition, which asked youths to express what ‘Malay’ meant to them.

Umoya: Tribal Beatz of Africa feat. Johnny CleggIn other news, The Gazette (Canada) today published an interview with Afropop legend Johnny Clegg. My favorite quote: "South Africa is not a place for sissies." By the way, did you know that Clegg has put out a recent album under the group name Umoya? The album is called Tribal Beatz of Africa, and includes the Clegg solo number "Sihamba Nawe (We Walk With You)" on which he plays all the instruments.


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