Friday, July 10, 2009

Reading Jawi

Every Sunday evening, reading an article from Utusan Zaman was a ritual I dreaded as a child. It wasn't so bad deciphering those arabic letters that formed Malay words (Jawi), but the exercise was so dreaded because Abah would drill me by making me read it repetitiously, until my reading was fluent.

Sometimes, I'd accidentally release a soft grunt or snort when prompted and asked to repeat. This would only make Abah mad and annoyed, occasionally leading him to ask me to choose a SECOND article to read!

At other times, Abah would even ask me to take my Jawi school textbook which was usually still crisp and almost brand-new, due to the teacher's lack of enthusiasm in conducting the weekly lessons because it was not an exam subject. Jawi lessons were usually free-periods for us to play games together or finish off copying notes from the board.

Today, I feel that the younger generations in Malaysia are lucky. In general, there has been a greater awareness in religious education and the curriculum has also been greatly improved. I remember being amazed at the rate my sons were reading Jawi at the age of 7 and 8. Definitely better than the mom at that age!

However, since coming abroad, their Jawi (and Bahasa Malaysia) readings have been neglected. It's quite hilarious to hear them articulate the words as if the words were all Arabic (like reciting the Quran). Oh boy, I've got to encourage them to read from time to time, before the forget the whole thing entirely!


Kak Elle said...

D my jawi is just as bad when I read I really have to concentrate.

Kak Teh said...

D , when I did my MA a few years ago, I really had to brush up my Jawi for I had to transliterate a very old syaer, which was yet unstudied. It took me a long time, but I came to enjoy it.

tee said...

salam ,

same here too.. really had to concentrate when reading Jawi textbook to my son (9 yrs old). Merangkak-rangkak... hehe...

(i've been ur silent reader actually... since early last year)

D said...

kak Elle,
if you don't need to, then no sweat kan?

Kak Teh,
yes, it is a skill that quite thrilling, eh?

welcome! Alhamdulillah my jawi now is okay but have to ensure I don't lose it.. ;)

mekyam said...

salam d (hi kt!

i totally agree that polishing existing skills or picking up new ones is exciting. it's good that you're making sure your children don't lose their jawi.

i too have had fun polishing mine. most challenging thus far have been deciphering old marriage and birth certificates from our eastcoast states and southern thailand.

mama23beas said...

Yes, I agree with you about kids nowadays are lucky. My Jawi was also deterioting when I realised that I need to sit and pratise with my kid too. Now my 7-year is progressing fast and I also got to practise with her. It not for her, tak tau apa nak jadi ...ayah sure sedih kalau dia tau;)