04 September 2007

Singapore Short Stories - Ancient Discovery

Sang Nila Utama is a legendary Malay Prince who founded ancient Singapore. Legend has it that he was a prince of Sumatra. Wanting to find a suitable place for a new city, he went to the Riau island and eventually arrived in Temasak (Sea Town). Just upon arrival, he saw a beast and was told by his Chief Minister that the beast was a lion (Singa). Thus, Temasek was renamed Singapura.
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According my ancestor, Khirsah I (or was it III?) and recorded in our sacred text - The Kin Jio Leaf, what actually happened was this. When Utama arrived, there was actually a small fishing village consisting of people from different races. He was curious as to the name of this place so he asked for the name. Just before that, someone actually stole the sarong of one of the village woman. The name of that person was Gurmit Singh or Ah Seng (the text was a bit hazy on the identity of the thieve, sorry there). Now, when Utama asked for the name, the malay woman shouted "Singh/Seng kah po!"...and so we have this name...Sing-gah-pore.

However, the Monkeys couldn't agree with our texts...they claim that according to their sacred text - The Coconut Husk, Utama actually saw a tiger but he claimed that to be a lion. His aides didn't want to disappoint him (after all the stormy sailing and having to loose his crown to appease the gods), agreed that it was a lion.

Of course, the monkey's version is gibberish. First, how does one write on coconut husks? Secondly, we all know that lions can only be found in Africa and zoos and surely Utama, being a prince should know this fact. Thirdly, even the humans have recorded texts to show that there were clearly signs of early settlements in Singapore and the people came from different parts of Asia.

Thus, ends the first part of my Singapore Story...more to come if you guys are interested. Razz

7 comments:

Rascal said...

Monkeys no go west?

khirsah said...

Monkeys did went west...to Africa. Just that the Monkey King went later...with Tang San Zhang...

Gecko said...

Ahem, ahem.... according to little gecko's great, great, great, great grandpapa (Actually, da word great is quite a misnomer here as all lizards are quite humble, nothing great abt dem ;p) Khirsah is rite to say it was actually a tiger rather dan a lion cos there are no lions in SE asia even way back den ;p

Now, da interesting question here is : Given dat da Riau folks back in da 16th or 17th century den are quite insular and have never travelled to Africa to see wad a lion is... How cum there is da word lion or Singa in their vocab??

Any idea? Wad does da sacred kin jio leaf say?? :P

khirsah said...

Oh...how those folks know wat a lion is...erm...well...ah...THE ELEPHANTS! Ya, the elephants who came from Africa, through India, Burma, Siam, Malaya then Singapore. They told the natives a great many things...including the lions :p

Gecko said...

Oooo, so twas da elephants who told tall tales ah?? kekeke... *kok da orang utan's hairy head* Siao lah, da elephants who told da tales are da asian elephants wid small ears and tasks ones lah. Dis type never travel to africa before to see lions. Da ferocious ones wid big dumbo ears are in africa. but dey never come to asia to tell their asian cousins about da big cats found on their dark continent ;p Little gecko should know, his eyes are glued to da weeky animal documentaries on tv. kekeke....

Ahem, ahem, let little gecko tell khirsah his version which is most accurate as it was passed down from gecko to gecko thru da generations.... It was da arab traders who in their voyages to da far east to trade and promote islam who shared wid da riau lizards about da exotic animals found in da middle east and africa. Little gecko should know : all his lizard ancestors witness all da history in da making from da palace walls in palembang where sang nila utama was a prince to da walls in temasek where he concocted his tale on having witnessed a lion crossing his path.. kekeke....

ras said...

The orang utan and the lizard tell their tales. What is the froggy got to say?

khirsah said...

Well...well...da lizards might be right also...like I said before in CNA, some leaflets from the sacred text went missing so... :p