Thursday, June 14, 2012

Serambi @ Malay Patio....

It is a beautiful day in June, sunny with patches of white clouds, a great day to get out to enjoy nature. As for now I am sitting here writing about the Serambi as in the image above. Serambi is a patio but it has its differences. In a traditional Malay house the Serambi [patio] is build just in front of the house whereas the patio in a modern house could be anywhere the owner would want to built it. In a friend's house in Boston I saw the patio at the back behind the kitchen. That is the difference. The traditional Malay house is always build of hard tropical wood and most of the time the Cengal is use for all the poles. It is built above ground thus there is always steps leading up in the front of the house and another one at the back. It is difficult to see a truly traditional Malay house these days. It is sort of a dwindling scene, sad but true. My generation lives in the traditional Malay house and for that I fell in love with the Serambi. It is a special space in front of the house before one enters the sitting area. It is an open space with wooden railing and do not have wall. In a way it is an area outside the main house but yet part of the house. It is in the Serambi that folks would just sit to chat or yarn during free time without disturbing those in the main house. Because the Malay traditional house is raised above ground the house is always cool especially the Serambi thus there is no need for fan to cool the air like now. When we move into our present house there was no Serambi so I decided to have it specially built with lumber. Today my Serambi as seen in the image above is a space where I spend my time to whiled the day away, at time entertaining guest who come a visiting or just daydreaming. The Serambi is indeed a space that our forefather creates with wisdom.

Have a nice day.


Temuk said...

Pak Idrus,
Having "serambi" for a house, like what you have done, is certainly the right thing to do. That's truly a wise decision. It's necessary that we have to be pragmatic too in constructing our house, and not to be swayed by the idea of just making it a beautiful place without considering its practical function. I think there is no better place within the house where one can sit and relax, and let his mind wonder without limits, except the serambi. The other "inner" parts of the house would be unsuitable, as their walls would hinder our eyes and mind from "seeing" the surrounding freely. Have a nice day!

Pak Idrus said...

Temuk, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting.

Yes our forefather were wise folks in introducing the Serambi in the housing concept. They knew at that time there must be a place for everything like kitchen, bilek tetamu, ruang makan, bilek tidor and because folks often come to each other house to chat on subject close to their heart they need to crate a space for such purposes, thus the Serambi was invented. A space not that formal or official like the sitting area but good enough to sit and chat or discuss on common interest without disturbing everyone in the main house. How wise.

So when I move to my present house which is situated on a raised ground, I had managed to introduce a Serambi which is just above my garage where I parked my car. With the limited space I got I am happy with the serambi which is just about 100 square feet. True it is a place where one could just sit to enjoy the fresh air or to day dream in an open space.

Have a nice day.