Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Dikir .....

It’s been a long and tiring day. Lately, by the end of the day, feeling drained, exhausted, tired, you name it, it’s all there. Today is no exception. May be I should start taking those multivitamins especially Vitamin B complex again. Don’t dare to take any other energy boosting supplements. Excessive energy has its own problems too.

Despite being a long day, today brought back a lot of childhood memories. Sitting and listening to Dikir Brunei brought those memories back. Years ago, when I was still a kid, alum besunat as my nini always referred to me and my cousins those days, bedikir sessions were common, almost nightly. Led by my late great grandfather, a group of us, young and old gathered at his house and practice the dikir. It was fun. Those days we did not have much else to do, no distractions, no video games, no computers let alone internet, no mobile phones and only limited TV channels.

As I grow older, some say wiser but I may beg to differ in this particular case, the ability to do Dikir Brunei just disappeared like that. Only a few phrases remained in this head now full of other supposed to be more interesting things in life. Then one day, in London, a group of us, the so called Surau Boys, were told by Ustaz we will be performing the dikir at one of prominent Bruneians’ house. We thought we had a few days to practice but in reality we had only one night to practice. There we were this group of “dikir rookies” at the centre of the majlis looking like the real deal. Lucky there were dikir pros amongst us and the whole thing went well, at least the dikir sounded alright to us, the rookies, despite some of us were clearly miming ala Milli Vanilli.

Nowadays, many people, many organisations, either in the Government or privately, put a lot of efforts to keep Dikir Brunei alive not just among the older generations but also the young. Well done to these people. They have done a great job and I am sure they will continue to do so.

But one thing still puzzled me, among the various names given to the “lagus” they used, there is one or two titled with the word kopi in it. An example is “Badat Kopi”. Why kopi? What is the significance of kopi here? I jokingly theorised that may be it took a cup of kopi for the whole thing to be completed, which is shorter than normal dikir. When I asked a friend, a veteran of Dikir Brunei, he replied may be because “teh abis” he he he. Anybody who knows the real answer, please help me out of this misery, and make it one less question running around my head....

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