Alhamdulillah, All praises due to Allah who has made us see the fruits of our efforts. Last night saw the completion of the introductory silat training held at the Aljaamiah mosque in claremont. About 30 people (males and females) joined in the fun and got to learn the basic movements of seni silat e.g; punches, blocks, kicks, footwork, breathing and also silat exercise workouts including parts of Senaman Tua, the ancient malay exercise forms. The training was held from 17th October on molndays and wednesday evenings for 2 hours, and tuesday evenings for females.
Some of the participants previously had martial arts training such as Kungfu, Karate etc, and now had the opportunity to experience what silat is. But this is only the beginning, and those who wish to take up silat now will have to register for the classes. So far we have recieved very good feedback and a lady who had a foot operation recently had beared testimony to the healing ability of the Senaman Tua movements. The interest has definitely grown in Silat as we continuously recieve calls, SMS's, and emails enquiring about silat.
Our community is growing more health conscious now as our Community Radio stations continuously have health awareness campaigns. Yesterday, the Voice of the Cape Radio station held an open air Breast Cancer awareness day called pink Hijaab day where women had to come dressed in pink and the men could have their hair sprayed to donate towards the CANSA association. We were asked to give a short silat demonstration showing the benefits of silat and Senaman Tua. Some VOC staff members participated in the demo testifying to its benefits. “The Silat demonstration was strenuous even though it is a slow paced exercise,” said VOC presenter Mugammad Zain Majiet. “I could actually feel it working and it is based on breathing techniques which is very helpful when exercising.”
Silat training has proven to be attractive to all young and old, as we have students as young as 9 years, and over 60 years. Come and join us to feel your body come alive.
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Cut Nyak Dhien or Tjoet Nja' Dhien (Lampadang, 1850 – November 6, 1908, Sumedang was the widow of Teuku Umar. She led guerrilla actions against the Dutch after the death of her husband. She fought against the Dutch for 25 years. She was awarded the title of National Hero of Indonesia on May 2, 1964.
Cut Nyak Dhien was born into a religious aristocratic family in Aceh Besar in VI Mukim district in 1848. Her father, Teuku Nanta Setia, was a Ulèë Balang in VI Mukim (Ulèë Balang was an aristocratic class in Aceh who led a district), while her mother also from an aristocrat family. When she was young she was renowned for her beauty. She was also educated in religion and household matters. Many men proposed to her until her parents arranged for her marriage to Teuku Cek Ibrahim Lamnga who was son of aristocrat family when she was twelve.
On 26 March 1873, Dutch declared war on Aceh which was the beginning of Aceh War. At the first war Aceh was led by Panglima Polem and Sultan Machmud Syah while Dutch army sent 3000 soldiers led by Johan Harmen Rudolf Köhler to take the Sultan's palace, much to his surprise The Sultan requested and possibly received military aid from Italy and the United Kingdom in Singapore. The Aceh army was rapidly modernized and enlarged from 10,000 to 100,000 soldiers. Dutch forces successfully pushed back, and Köhler died in action.
In November 1873, during the Second Aceh Expedition the Dutch successfully took over VI Mukin district and the Sultan's Palace in 1873 and 1874 respectively. In 1875, Cut Nyak Dhien with her baby other mothers and people were evacuated into a safer location while her husband Ibrahim Lamnga fought to reclaim the VI Mukim.
Ibrahim Lamnga died while fighting Gle Tarum on June 29, 1878. Hearing of this, Cut Nyak Dhien was enraged and swore to destroy the Dutch.
At the some point after Ibrahim Lamnga died, Teuku Umar, one of Aceh heros, proposed to her. At first she rejected him. But when Teuku Umar allowed her to fight, she at last accepted the proposal and married him in 1880. This greatly boosted the morale of Aceh armies in their fight against the Kaphe Ulanda (Dutch infidel). Teuku Umar and Cut Nyak Dhien had a duaghter together named Cut Gambang.
The war continued, and the Acehnese attacked the Dutch with guerilla warfare, particularly using traps and ambushes and declared Holy War against the Dutch. On September 30, 1893 Teuku Umar with 250 troops "surrendered" to the Dutch. Dutch army were happy to welcome him and gave him the title of Teuku Umar Johan Pahlawan and appointed him to be a commander. In fact, Teuku Umar secretly planned to betrayed Dutch. Even Cut Nyak Meutia came to Cut Nyak Dhien and insulted her for her husband's betrayal. However, two years later Teuku Umar set out to assault Aceh, and so he departed with his troops, heavy equipment, weapons, and ammunition from the Dutch. But he and his wife never returned to the Dutch. This is recorded in Dutch history as "Het verraad van Teukoe Oemar" (the treason of Teuku Umar).
Teuku Umar and Dhien kept resisting the Dutch with their new equipment until the Dutch sent the Maréchaussée (Marsose) to attack the Acehnese. This Dutch action is considered barbaric because the Dutch troops destroyed everything in their way and the Achenese people found them extremely difficult to resist until at last Van Der Heyden disbanded the Marsose. This event also led to the success of the latter Dutch general because so many people were killed.
The Dutch general, Joannes Benedictus van Heutsz took advantage of the condition and sent a spy to Aceh. Teuku Umar was killed during battle when the Dutch launched a surprise attack on him in Meulaboh. When Cut Gambang cried over his death, Cut Nyak Dhien slapped her and then she hugged her and said:
“ Sebagai perempuan Aceh, kita tidak boleh menumpahkan air mata pada orang yang sudah syahid ”
(translation: As Acehnese women, we may not shed tears for people who have become shahid)
After her husband died, Cut Hyak Dhien continued to resist the Dutch with her small army until its destruction in 1901 because the Dutch already adapted their tactics to the situation in Aceh. Furthermore Cut Nyak Dhien, getting older, suffered from myopic and rheumatics. The numbers of her troops was also keep decreasing and they suffered from lack of supplies. This made her troops feel sorry for her.
One of her troops named Pang Laot felt "sympathy" to her and told the Dutch about the location of her headquarter. The Dutch then assaulted Cut Nyak Dhien headquarters in Beutong Le Sageu. They caught in surprise and desperately fought back. Cut Nyak Dhien tried to take her rencong to fight but unfortunately the Dutch already caught her. While her daughter Cut Gambang successfully escaped and continued the resistance.
Old age and death
She then brought to Banda Aceh and her myopic and rheumatics slowly healed, but in the end she exiled into Sumedang, West Java because the Dutch afraid she would mobilize the resistance of Aceh people because she keep connected with them. She died on November 6, 1908 due to her old age. In May 2, 1964 she appointed to be national heroine by President Soekarno.
THE MALAY CHRONICLES : BLOODLINES (HIKAYAT MERONG MAHAWANGSA) This epic action-adventure is based on ancient writings of the same name, also known as The Kedah Annals, which chronicles Merong Mahawangsa’s quest and the founding of Kedah.“We chose to bring this ancient Malay literature to the big screen because we were intrigued by its storyline,” says Norman.
The film follows the mighty warrior, said to be a descendant of Alexander the Great, as he assists the Romans in bringing their Prince Marcus Carpenius to meet and wed a Chinese princess in Southeast Asia.
The film received a financial grant from the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra contributed to its soundtrack. Celcom is its exclusive sponsor. The filmmakers also received financing from Perbadanan Kemajuan Filem Nasional Malaysia to make a coffee-table book on the subject. After its success with Cicak-Man, Duyung and Magika, KRU Studios wanted to attempt a project with an international appeal, one with a universal theme.
“With the presence of the Romans and Chinese in the Merong Mahawangsa tale, we knew we had the right combination. And we also had the creative freedom to make the film bilingual,” says Norman, who produced the film with his brothers Yusry and Edry. Work quickly started, with research and writing of the screenplay by Amir Hafizi in 2008. Yusry took up the director’s mantle and cast talents with theatre background.
“Theatre actors are more expressive. Their body language and facial expressions are dynamic. As our cast comprises various nationalities, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, we’ve got a good mix,” says Norman.
Stephen Rahman-Hughes was picked to play the titular character. This London’s West End actor, dancer, choreographer and singer is best known on our shores as Hang Tuah from the successful theatre production Puteri Gunung Ledang The Musical. Hong Kong-born British actor Gavin Stenhouse plays the Roman prince while British actress Jing Lu takes on the Chinese princess. Other actors include Craig Fong, Henrik Norman, Datuk Rahim Razali, Ummi Nazeera, Nell Ng, Mano Maniam, Wan Hanafi Wan Su and Khir Rahman. Filming took up 52 days in 2009, at locations which included Kuala Lumpur, Kuantan and mostly Terengganu.
“We were working with a host of challenges — limited budget, a small team of animators, outdoor shooting with unexpected conditions. As it was our first time embarking on a project of this scale with extensive CGI effects, I’d say we did quite all right,” says Norman. I caught up with Norman again later — this time, with his two brothers and some of the cast — at a media event in Kuala Lumpur. Yusry stresses that while the film is based on the book Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa, what’s on the silver screen is very much KRU Studios’ interpretation. “Despite the creative adaptation, we have remained true to the tale. In the past, the penglipur lara (village storyteller) would add new elements to an existing storyline to make it more interesting to listeners. Films, in a way, are the modern-age penglipur lara.” And judging from the trailer, which has been making its rounds on TV and the Internet, Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa may just have what it takes to woo today’s discerning audience. The film will open in local cinemas on March 10. Merging literature, myth and history KRU Studios has come up with a documentary to complement its latest flick, Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa.
The documentary, which is also part of the film’s promotional initiatives, presents the viewpoints of various experts on such matters as Malaysian and Kedah history and the background of the book Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa.
Panelists featured include Professor Datuk Khoo Kay Kim (Malaysian historian), Datuk Dr Siti Hawa Salleh (philologist), Datuk Dr Wan Shamsudin Mohd Yusof (Kedah historian), Datuk Wira Mohd Shaariff Abu Samah (Kedah palace representative) and Mohan Shanmugam (Hindu Sangam Malaysia president).
“The aim of this documentary is to provide the audience with a better understanding of the story of Merong Mahawangsa,” says KRU Studios executive president Norman Abdul Halim.
Viewers will learn about the warrior and his role in the oral history of Malaysia.
The documentary includes interviews with film director Yusry Abdul Halim and scriptwriter Amir Hafizi, who elaborated on the steps taken to merge the elements of literature, myth and history to bring the film to life. “While we didn’t detract much from the basic storyline of the book, our big-screen adaptation may not carry a literal interpretation of the events,” says Yusry. The documentary, which cost RM40,000 to produce, was completed in November last year, immediately after the filming. The 42-minute documentary was first aired on TV3 on Feb 25. It will be included in the DVD and later made available for download online. — By LILI LAJMAN
Director Hanung Bramantyo is planning to release a new movie coinciding with the upcoming SEA Games 2011 in Jakarta and Palembang in November. He said that it was to enliven the event.
“I’m planning to release the new movie, titled ‘Mengejar Angin’ [Chasing After the Wind]. It is to celebrate the SEA Games in Palembang. We shot the movie in Bromo [East Java] and South Sumatra,” Hanung said in Jakarta.
He said the movie was about the Sumatran traditional martial art, pencak silat, and the local culture.
The movie features actors Lukman Sardi and Mathias Muchus, among others, tribunnews.com reported.
Malaysian Silat Federation (Pesaka) president Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam announced that Melaka is building the biggest silat 'court' in the world this year. The venue named 'Gerbang Persilatan Melayu Sedunia' is located at the Hang Tuah Village and building cost is RM37 million and has a capacity of 5,000 seats. This announcement was made at the Silat Nusantara Festival 2011 held in Tawau 15th to 19th May 2011 hosting over 250 participant from all Malaysian states (except 4 states: Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Penang).
Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam also holds position as Melaka Chief Minister. The Minsister has been very active in promoting Silat as a constructive alternative for malaysia's youth. This year saw many Silat festivals and programs attracting the participation of Silat schools around Malaysia, and one recent event is the Hang Tuah festival. This took place last weekend on 24th and 25th September at the Palace of the Melaka Malay Sultanate in Bandar Hilir.
"Youths should emulate the legendary Malay warrior Hang Tuah, who had a superior character and was loyal to king and country", the minister said. The State of melaka is also planning to gather some 10,000 silat practitioners under a program which aims to promote the Malay martial art in the state, next year. The program aims to pave the way for more silat-related activities in the future.
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