A traditional Malay house is spacious – there are two doors meant as separate entrance for the male and female during Islamic functions. The living rooms are built to accommodate relatives sleeping over during festive season. In 2008, my host 57 year old Jamilah Binti Musa registered her house in in Kampung Sg.Chenaam to the homestay program cooperative.
“The Ministry of Tourism pays a visit each year and checks the condition of the house as well as the visitor’s book. They also offer financial assistance in case the foster family needs it”, she revealed, while we’re having a traditional Malay breakfast. Her charming abode has 3 rooms which can accommodate 6-8 persons. She charges RM 70 per person but if guests want to include breakfast, additional fee will be billed.
Part of the fun of Jom Jelajah Koperasi homestay experience is playing the traditional games, it reminds me of my younger days back in our province. I grew up in the countryside; our unassuming abode is just a stone’s throw away from a palm-fringed rice field and our backyard is a lush forest interrupted by a river. Though the games here have different names, they are somehow akin to Filipino traditional games.
At Mengkuang Titi Village, we played tarik upeh game wherein one player sits on a dry palm tree leaf, while the other two will pull him/her until towards the finish line. Whoever finishes first will be declared as the winner. Next up is the pancing botol, in this game, bottles are lined up on the field, and then the players were given strings with a thin small twig attached at the end. The player needs to drop the string inside the bottle and carefully lift the bottle using only the string with the small stick as the bait. Typical village games like running while inside a sack and tug of war – where two teams align themselves at the end of the rope (the center line is marked) as they attempt to pull the other team until one of the team crossing the center line, were also played.
Games at Kampung Sg. Chenaam, Nibong Tebal are more daring; I tried the pukul bantal – a pillow fight set on a fallen coconut tree trunk in the middle of the rice field where the loser will eventually fall into the filthy water. I needed to maintain my balance while hitting the other player to prevent myself from falling. Unfortunately, in this game, only one will win, and it was not me!
Part of the fun was the duck chasing game wherein the poor ducks where set free on the same water while the players go after them. I was lucky enough to catch one despite not knowing how to swim!
Jom Jelajah Koperasi Homestay:
Homestay Mengkuang Titi
679 Mukim 19, Mengkuang Titi
14000 Bukit Mertajam,
Seberang Perai Tengah, Pulau Pinang
Tel: +604 370 7587 / +6019 412 7095
Fax: +604 399 7589
Homestay Sg. Chenaam
Lot 299, Sg. Chenaam 14320 Nibong Tebal, Pulau Pinang
Tel: +6012 509 4368 / +6013 430 2026
Homestay Pulau Aman
145, Pulau Aman, 14100 Simpang Ampat
Seberang Perai Selatan, Pulau Pinang
Tel: +6013 459 0330 / +6019 570 8385 / +6019 540 8238
Disclosure: Our Penang Homestay Experience was made possible by Jom Jelajah Koperasi in cooperation with Gaya Travel Magazine.