Experience The Malay Traditional Kampung's Lifestyle
By Miss Doo Ree
Traditional house roofs are very steep and always have wide overhangs for shading and protection from heavy tropical downpours. In many cases, they have beautifully carved timber eaves to decorate the ‘visual connection’ between roof and sky. On the lawn, there are local flower plants and the usual daily used spices and herbs such as ginger, lemongrass, pandan leaves and ulam (local salads). We can also find the pangkin (long low bench) under the shade of mango or coconut trees, which is used to rest after a long tiring hard work. The women also use the pangkin to have their friendly chats with neighbors as well as enjoying raw mango dip with rojak sambal belacan! (A mixture of local sweet and spicy dip) On the backyard, we can find a small orchard planted with local fruits trees such as durian, rambutan, langsat and manggis.
Oh, have I mention that they raise chicken, duck and goat for personal use? Yes, they animals are let loose on the territory being fed by surroundings resources and leftovers. Indeed, what a wonderful life it is! Early Malay Traditional House has the toilet and bathroom outside, - on the backyard. However, it is uncommon to see the scenery nowadays but there are some rural areas that still use natural water supply from nearby stream or a self-digging, self-maintaining well. Picture this - a cool, fresh and pure spring water bath….Surely, it is the most breathtaking bath you ever experience!
You Tube:The Legendary Kota Mahsuri
Malay houses From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Traditional timber houses also incorporated design principals relevant in contemporary architecture such as shading and ventilation, qualities present in the basic house features. A main characteristic of a typical kampung house includes the obvious fact that it is raised on stilts or piles. This was to avoid wild animals, to be above floods, to deter thieves and for added ventilation. In parts of Sabah, the number of dowry buffaloes could even depend on the number of stilts there are in the bridal family’s home.
A traditional Malay timber house is almost always in at least two parts: the Main House called Rumah Ibu in honour of the mother (ibu) and the simpler Rumah Dapur or kitchen annex - this way if the kitchen catches fire only that part would be damaged, saving the main house. Proportion was also very important to give the house a human scale. Indeed, the Rumah Ibu was also named such because the spacings between stilts are said to typically follow the arms-spread width of the wife and mother in the family of the house when being built. There is also at least one raised veranda (Serambi) attached to the house for seated working or relaxation or where non-intimate visitors would be entertained, thus preserving the privacy of the interior.
Ariffin, A. Najib; "A Disappearing Heritage: The Malaysian Kampung House", in Heritage Asia (Kuala Lumpur: Mediahub), September 2005, 6-8 -Passages in the above entry appear with permission of the Author/Publisher
Lee Ho Yin, "The Kampong House: An Evolutionary History of Peninsular Malaysia's Vernacular Houseform," in Asia's Old Dwellings: Tradition, Resilience, and Change, ed. Ronald G. Knapp (New York: Oxford University Press), 2003, 235-258.