In Search of My Puteri Champa

I’m posting while waiting for my amok, the Khmer version of botokBotok or otakOtak at the FCC Hotel PhnomPenh.

Look at the first pic, of me and Aiman Esham dressed to travel. She left for London for her third year at UCL this morning. Accompanying her to the airport was just me and Adam Izzuddin.

Since the nest is empty the eagle decided to fly to phnomPenh in search of his #puteriKemboja.

The story of puteriKemboja is an epic, seldom heard by many. To many Javanese she is so revered as one of those credited for the spread of Islam in Nusantara, the mother of one of the Wali Songo, or at least a key disciple. She was a Cham princess who married one of the last majapahit Kings. Read the Book I reviewed in my earlier posting, the reincarnation of the Cham civilisation in nooks and corners of the nusantara presented to me by brother Nadzru Azhari. ( more on the subject in my blog post)

My fascination for markets knows no bounds. In almost every city I visited the wet market is in my mandatory visit list. I love the smell, sound, the sight, the colours and the beauties.

The Phnom Penh wet market counted among the most fascinating. I made the most astonishing discovery related to my search for my #puteriChampa. I discovered that Phnom Penh is seated in a province called Kandal. This old market is the Phasar Kandal in Cham. The people I saw was a reflection of my Nusantara being and I am Lord of Kendal.

Do you see the link? Kandal in old Champa and Kendal in the Sultanate of Demak. Enough for a teaser.

Look at this beauty. Is she Chinese ? Is she Khmer? No she is a Cham. Is she #puterichampa ?

I met Hj Ismail at the community Park. Hj Ismail is a Cham. He told me the story of his childhood in Phnom Penh. Being the only Muslim with a funny name, he was always singled with out by his teachers.

The teacher would always tell his students “You have to work hard, if you don’t you will become like Ismail. You will have no country. The Viets and the Thais will take over your country”.

Ismail went back crying insisting a name change. No said the father, you work hard to regain a country.

The poignant message is still relevant today and the days to come. #puteriCham

As an ASEANpeople or orangNusatara It is a deep concern to me that young Malaysians r not travelling. A majority of graduates I interviewed has not stepped out of the borders. The seafaring Malays are now reduced to being docile land lubbers.

Asean is the best thing that happened to us. ASEAN, the nusantara is ours. From the business perspective ASEAN is our market. Without understanding the context by being where it matters no amount of e commerce brilliance can conquer the market.

You will not understand the suffering of the Cambodians or the kiasuness of Singaporeans or the opportunities of Thailand frontier town, or the gridlock outside makati, if u stay put in the comfort of your home and your touch screen.

I love the sight sounds,vibes and smell of markets.


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