Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cikgu Jazwan Kahar

Cikgu Jazwan Kahar in August of 2005 was appointed the instructor in Malaysia for all international students by the late Cikgu Siti Kalsom. I was there, I witnessed it and have it on film. Why did she give Cikgu Jazwan this task? In my opinion Cikgu Jazwan was the right candidate. He traveled to the United Kingdom to teach Gayong Students there brought by Cikgu Ariffin, he taught U.K. students in Malaysia, and he taught Gayong Students from the USA in 2005, 2007, and 2009. He personally taught me on several occasions. Cikgu Jazwan has a broad view of Gayong and understands the differences in teaching Malay students and international students. He will adjust he instruction for student keeping true to Gayong but helping the students understand the techniques. I am not Malaysian, I am American. There are things in Gayong that as an American, I don't culturally understand. Cikgu Jazwan will explain not just how to do the technique, but the "why" of the technique. For an international student whose inane culture is not Malaysia, his ability to be patient with our training and our questions is essential to our understanding of Gayong as a whole. Cikgu Jazwan's broad world view and experience with foreign students makes him the ideal candidate for Cikgu for international students coming to Malaysia to train in Gayong. He is faithful to Silat Seni Gayong and it's traditions and incorporates those into his training of foreign students.

COD Club

We have filled out the necessary paperwork to form a Club at COD. This will allow us to have extra events/training ourside of regular class time. We will find out if we are approved in the next two weeks!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What do we bring to Gayong?

What do we, the international community, bring to Gayong? What do we, the international community, receive from Gayong?

These are questions I struggle to find answers to as I continue to train in Gayong. I try to know what I bring to Gayong, strengths, weaknesses, perspective, etc. The struggle with being an non-Malay training in Gayong is our identity. We are Gayong. But we also have other labels that go along with "Gayong."

There are a handful of teachers who have taught Gayong in another country other than Malaysia. They are the Cikgu with unique perspectives. They are Malaysian, they live in a different culture and then have to translate "Gayong" to these foreign students. The way they would do things in Malaysia may not apply to the new country and culture. I don't begin to understand that struggle.

Those of us who are Gayong instructors who are not Malaysian face an even bigger issue. How do we learn to adapt "Gayong" as we have been taught by our Malaysian Cikgu, to ourselves and find our Haqq? How do we find balance in teaching? I am bound by my experiences, my culture, I have to understand Gayong and Malay Culture, and try and translate that to my American students who are starting in Gayong and don't know Malay Culture. Those of us taught by Cikgu Sam and Cikgu Shamsul talk among ourselves on how do we successfully accomplish the task of teaching a Malaysian Art to American students.

Malaysians inherently know Malay culture. Your culture is engrained in you as a child and you just "know" things. When I have traveled to Malaysia, I have to ask questions about why this and why that. Sometimes I get a puzzled look, but the questions of culture, Adat, and Adab are answered and I try and adhere as best I can. When I go home, I have to remember these little things to make sure the students here understand the intricacies of Gayong as they arise.

Taman Nirwana Wedding Demo

Taman Nirwana Wedding Demo in Malaysia!