Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Apa macam in Seattle...


How interesting! Like finding a needle in a hay stack, we found it by chance. Now that is an interesting finding. We were on our way to the Space Needle in Seattle. While walking along the pathway toward it, our daughter Lin saw what look like some words written in Malay engraved on a blue tile laid along side the pathway. It is part of the many engraving with all sort of character that line the sidewalk. And this one caught her eyes. She told her mom and then told me of this finding. I walk back and indeed I was sort of surprise to see something written in Malay on a tile in this part of the world, the site of the 1962 World's Fair. I took a closer look and thought that it is authentically Malaysian.

So what does this 'Apa Macam' mean in English. Well this is how some Chinese Malaysian says How are you. The Malay would not do it this way. The Malay would say 'Apa khabar' for How are you. But in Malaysia where the cross cultural influences are great, greeting like ‘Apa Macam’ is often heard when a Chinese Malaysian greets a Malay for example. It sometime sound awkward because the official way is 'Apa khabar' but then for those who have been to Malaysia know that the communicative language that Malaysian use are a bit of a mixed up and often use as a Malaysian vocabulary. Like Ngam a Chinese word for exact is often use by all Malaysian to mean exact when measuring or to mean in agreement. They would say ngam ngamlah, which mean it is perfect in aliment or exact. So it is rather interesting to see such word have travel outside its boarder and this time engraved on a tile, in a faraway land, Seattle!.

It do made me smile and wonder of what else are to be found that Malaysian contributes to the world unofficially. So Rita and Louis of Seattle 'Apa Macam?' or as some folks here would say 'Lu Apa Macam?’.

Have a nice day.

24 comments:

Rita Ho said...

Haha! Nice post, Pak Idrus. I have been waiting for this entry since you showed us the picture of that tile.

My mom and her Malay customers use the phrase often when she had a tailor shop in Jalan Gurney. Another meaning to it was "How? or How-ah?" -- to express a worrying thought or seek a solution to a problem. I should add these to David's vocabulary. He has caught up with a lot of Manglish and loves it. :)

Ms B said...

Pak Idrus,

What are the odds?!? :-) You must be pretty lucky to have found it.

Anonymous said...

Pak Idrus,

Your truly just got back from visiting Malay community in Seattle a few week ago. I met many Malays who make their permanent home in the city. A few of them are involved in construction business. One of them is my friend's wife and she's doing very well indeed. Some of her projects involve millions of dollars! Tu la Melayu ni sekarang dah ade dimana mana aje sekarang. kan Pak?

Salam
Wan
Boston

Pak Idrus said...

rita thanks for the visit and the good words and sharing your experience on this subject, the communicative language of Malaysian. Language is organic and it grows with times and only the one used by all would remain, the rest would be history.

I am sure with your influences David would be able to speak manglish very well by now.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

ms b, thanks for the visit and the good words. Well the probability is one to ten plus luck. It was indeed a chance finding and it do happen from time to time.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

Wan Zain, thanks for the visit. I know that anon must be you there in Boston.

Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts on the subject of the Malay. Like all immigrants and that includes our forefather, they work hard and succeed unlike the crony nowadays. That is why meritocracy is important to the development of the Malay. They do not need special right to succeed in this ever changing world.

Have a nice day. Salam to Ginny.

louis said...

Hi Pak Idrus,

This section of the Seattle Center is dominated by the International Fountain. Several festivals featuring the cultures of various countries are held here throughout the year.

The walk in your photos illustrates the theme of multicultural awareness and acceptance to which this Center is dedicated.

Pak Idrus said...

louis, thanks for the visit and sharing information on the Seattle Center. As for us it was a surprise to find those words in such a place. So now you know what 'apa macam' is.

Have a nice day.

Penang Tionghua said...

En Idrus

So Malays or Malaysians are everywhere around the globe and ISS in space.

Memang Bangsa Malaysia tak boleh lenyap daripada dunia... hahahah, Great discovery!

Pak Idrus said...

penang tionghua, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on Bangsa Malaysia. Indeed a discovery of sort.

As for the ISS thing I think it is simply not right to spend millions of taxpayer money on a space tourist.

Have a nice day.

Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam Pak Idrus
Once when I was in LA, I saw a car with the registration plate of "DATUK".
We waited for the owner of the car to come out of the restaurant. True indeed, it belonged to a Melayu.
Selamat Berpuasa to you and family.

Pak Idrus said...

fauziah, thanks for the visit and sharing your experiences of the progress of the Melayu.

Well, it is because they migrate to another country that they became successful entrepreneur. I met a numbers of Malay in New Heaven who are doing business and made New Heaven their home. In places like Huston and Boston I do met with many Malay that has set up home there.

It is because our forefathers are immigrant that made them successful in a new land call Malaya. We should not forget that we once were immigrant as well. It is the immigrant in them that made them successful.

Have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

haha..how about this one - a close friend and a melayu businessman who already made Seattle his home has a "MELAYU" car plate on his BMW SUV. Usually this sign is not pemitted in other states like New Hampshire, but he managed to get it in WA state somehow. Lucky him! ..hmmm ME-LAY-U..that's not nice to hear, is it? Now wonder it was banned in other states. It's hard to believe sometimes - it's ok if it's in Malaysia, but not ok in some other part of the world. Watch out, folks! Next time around when you're in the different neighborhood, careful with your language! Just a thought.

Salam and selamat menyambut bulan Ramadhan!

Wan
Boston.

Ms B said...

Pak Idrus,

Wish you a blessed ramadhan!

Pak Idrus said...

ms b, thanks for the greeting. Blessed Ramadan to you as well.

Have a nice day and take care.

Pak Idrus said...

anon, Wan of Boston,thank for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the enterprising Melayu and forewarn us as to the choice of words for the registration of our car. After your explanation I am sure many would think twice before using the word Melayu as their number plate. But then you just cannot take away the pride of a person who felt so passionate of using such word in a foreign land. This shows that the Malay who migrated are more enterprising then ever.

Wan keep em coming, it would surely enrich our knowledge.

Have a nice day.

ruby ahmad said...

Apa Macam Pak Idrus? he he

Here's wishing you Salam Ramadhan to you & family.

I sent a comment before but there was some glitch, nevermind I send again now.

Pak Idrus said...

ruby, thanks for the visit and the greeting. I am glad you enjoy this simple yet informative posting. The next time you are in that part of the world, I hope you get to see it or leave a mark of sort.

Have a nice day, so lu apa macam?. Take care.

Salt N Turmeric said...

apa macam tu macam wht's up here in the US. but yelah, wht are the odds of you seeing something like tht half way across the world.

Pak Idrus said...

salt n turmeric, Farina thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on this subject. Well, the probability of seeing the 'apa macam' is one to ten plus luck. The next time you are there do look it up.

Have a nice day.

Carol said...

What does muka dia macam mean then?

Pak Idrus said...

Carol, thanks for the visit. It look like you somehow knew Malay. Muka dia macam mean His or her face looks like..... Normally it could meant negative/positive, like Muka dia macam monyet - translate His/Her face is like a monkey. Or Muka dia macam bulan mengambang - translate His/Her face like the full moon. Or you could say Muka dia macam muka Carol cantik- His/her face look like Carol gorgeous.

Well, hope you get it. Have a nice day.

Carol said...

Saya tinggal di Malaysia selama dua tahun. Saya belajar Bahasa Malayu dengan ramai orang. Saya pergi di luar and berlatih setiap hari. Saya lupa banyak perkataan sebab saya balik ke Amerika 10 tahun lagi. Terima Kasih untuk lesson!

Pak Idrus said...

Carol, thanks for the return visit. Do have a nice day.