December 7, 2013

Warrior Blood in my Veins

The 7-day tahlil ceremony for my late grandma (may her soul rest in peace) has came to end last wednesday. It all went well, alhamdulillah. I was glad that Ifo and The Baks came on one of the nights because honestly, I was me again when they're around. It's not that I ain't happy with my family..I don't know how to describe this, but when you and your family are gathering and you know there's a void, deep in your heart wishing someone were there too, then forcing smile or laugh to cover the emptiness, you know. 

Anyway, during the ceremony, there was grandma's uncle that we called him Nek Tamin, 95 years old. He came bringing something valuable for our family; full hierarchy and written story about our ancestors. Surprisingly, after 23 years of living, only now that I've found out who's my great great great grandparents. Nek Tamin's father, which is also grandma's mother's father, was named Awang Besar, who used to be one of the workers that built the train railroads Papar to Tenom. Awang Besar was raised by his adopted family as her mother died when he's a baby and her father went to war, but the real purpose was to hide him from British people. So who were the father and mother of Awang Besar? Believe it or not, they're Datu Paduka Mat Salleh and Dang Bandang. 

Yes, this is not a joke, I'm seriously talking about Mat Salleh, the Sabahan warrior who gained his fame due to his resistance to the British colonials in Sabah. Mat Salleh's my great great great grandfather. I didn't know it until 5 days ago. I'm not sure if late grandma knew it too because she never told us any of it. I think this is another miracle that she left. It's not something to be bragged about, but I was really really surprised. I hated History subject in school, I might even had fallen asleep when the teacher taught us about Mat Salleh, who apparently happens to be one of my ancestors. 

Truth be told, Mat Salleh didn't killed in the battle in 1900. He found shelter somewhere at Indonesia and lived there for 38 years before coming back to Sabah with a new identity, Hj Abdul Salam. That's also when his son, Awang Besar, drew his last breath. This story's told by Nek Tamin who has witnessed everything. I know that according to our History textbook, the story goes different way. Now it's up to you whether to believe the textbook version or the 95-year-old Nek Tamin version. Allah knows best. But it doesn't matter now to me because bygone is bygone. What matters is I know my roots, my ancestors, my family. In a way, knowing that warrior blood runs through my veins is cool. :p


  1. Can't believe Mat Salleh is your great great great grandfather. You should proud of that as he's hero of Sabah. Talking about history, sometimes what we learned in school, due to some reason, I'm also not 100% believe. Some tends to be biased. =(

    1. Haha..yeah, I'm kinda proud of that, it's shocking and I didn't know about this all along. Couldn't agree more, most of them are biased..

  2. please accept my deepest condolences to you and your family..sometimes its good to hear story about our ancestors..



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