Posted in Books, Friends, Special Occasion, Terengganu, tagged 1960's, Awang Goneng, Dictionary, Growing Up In Terengganu, Heritage, History, Improvement, London, Malacca, Penang, Prof Muhammad Al-Mahdi, skill, Terengganu, The Writing Mind, Tips, University Putra Malaysia, Vocabulary, Wan A. Hulaimi, Work, workshop, Writing on 12/08/2009|
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Today, I met Uncle Awang Goneng at the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). Awang Goneng (a.k.a. Wan A. Hulaimi) grew up in Terengganu but later on moved to London, a place so far away from his homeland. His beautiful book ‘Growing Up In Trengganu’ (originated from his blog –http://kecek-kecek.blogspot.com) was written to share with everyone about the life in Terengganu in the 60’s.
I attended ‘The Writing Mind’ workshop where Uncle Awang Goneng taught us some tips on writing. One of them which sticks in my mind was to increase your vocabulary skills – or in other words, never be afraid of using a dictionary. It reminds me of Prof. Muhammad Al-Mahdi’s ‘favourite assignment’. He would tell my classmates and I to make a list of 20 hard words and remember all 60 words, it’s spelling and definitions. To make sure we memorised each of them, we shall have to take a test at the end of the week.
Uncle Awang Goneng also taught us to read aloud what we have written after finishing a piece of work. It helps us to correct unnoticeable small mistakes. This was also taught by Prof. Muhammad and since then, I made a huge improvement in my writing class.
But Uncle Awang Goneng was really sad to hear about the unacceptable act of the government to demolish a more than a century old shophouses row in our hometown, Kuala Terengganu. Such historic building should be kept and preserved such as those in
Penang and Malacca. But we were even shocked to know that Uncle Awang Goneng’s house in Terengganu was going to be demolished
too. I guess one day, Terengganu would be the only state in Malaysia to lose all of it’s history and heritage clue to the cruel act of the state government.
Before leaving, I took the opportunity to ask Awang Goneng to autograph in my diary. Thank you Uncle Awang Goneng (Uncle Wan).
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My little brother Ahmad Ali loves watching advertisements on television. Well, not only did he watched them but he also tried to understand them.
One day he told us that he was puzzled over one advertisement. The advertisement shows a boy (who was supposed to be smart) came home from school and when asked by his mum about what did he learnt in school he started counting from 1 – 8.
My little brother argued that it is very funny that a smart ‘big’ boy had just learnt counting from 1 – 8 in school when he should have learnt them when he was two years old.
The other day our father’s friend Pak Cik Saidi offered him some cookies (that he knew Ahmad Ali loves). So Pak Cik Saidi was puzzled when my brother refused the cookies. When asked, Ahmad Ali said that he still loves the cookies but he do not want to eat them because they are ‘not good’.
He then explained that in the advertisement a pair of siblings who wanted more cookies stole their father’s cookies. They even replaced the cookies (that they stole) with play dough cookies! He stressed that those are bad values and he won’t want to be like them (by eating those cookies).
There are a number of other advertisements that he used to complain about. These included advertisements featuring kids fighting over the advertised items and also an advertisement showing a pair of siblings fighting over a game of Play Station. Fighting is bad value and Play Station is empty fun (which is also bad).
It makes me wonder that if a little boy could be able to value things; why did the adults who ‘create’ the advertisements can’t? My little brother once said that it is okay for him because he knows that junk food and lollipops are bad but what about the other kids who had not known about it? And what about the ‘cheating’, ‘stealing’ and practical jokes (by kids on adults) that been featured freely in advertisements? I’m really proud of my little brother; he may has his ‘angin’ sometimes but he is a wonderful boy!
Note: Allahyarham Prof Muhammad Al-Mahdi (the founder of Khalifah Institute) really loved and was very close to my brother and until the last day of his life, Prof Muhammad kept on reminding him about the good values, Khalifah responsibilities and on being a good Muslim. Ahmad Ali who was 3 when Prof passed away really miss him until today.
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