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The Midnight Satay- Vendor

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Text of The Midnight Satay- Vendor

the midnight satay- vendorby Ghulam-Sarwar Yousof

KATIE WONG AI CHIN CHIONG HAU ANN JENNY KONG YUG YING

GHULAM-SARWAR YOUSOF

(b. 1939) graduated in English from the University of Malaya (1964) did a Doctorate in Asian Theatre at the University of Hawaii (1976). one of Malaysia s most distinguished scholars one of the world s leading specialists of traditional Southeast Asian theatre.

Currently he is Adjunct Professor at the Centre Director of The Asian Cultural Heritage Centre Berhad, a private research initiative set up by him to promote research in traditional Asian cultures.

the midnight satay- vendorhe cuts a sorry figure, the solitary vendor among the sleeping bungalows pedalling up the stubborn aristocratic slopes of jesselton heights Satay Satay satay

i can see him wiping his sweaty brow can smell piquant in the air the aroma of chicken and cincang as he fans the fire beneath the sizzling rows of skewers

at home in the kampung a wife and children await the meagre days collection: some ringgits and a few sen that go nowhere in these days of inflasi; and the election too, with its promise, come and gone

but life must not stop for the likes of him, so at pasar malam and along the night s inclines wiping his migraines off his forehead he returns to the embers, his children amidst their kurang ajar yawns prepare tomorrow s ketupat and cucumbers

Satay Satay satay i wish at times i could trade places with him the midnight vendor, if only as a game surrender for once a so-called elegance

but education tells me i am halus, he kasar for don t you see i m a shakespeare-wallah with his degree that clings to me like a vice and a middle-class airconditioned nose?

Glossary:Satay Cincang Kampung ringgit and sen Inflasi pasar malam kurang ajar Ketupat Halus Kasar Shakespeare-wallah : skewered meat eaten as snack : meat cut up into little pieces : village : Malaysian currency : inflation : night market : ill-bred : packet of sticky rice : refined : coarse : an expert on Shakespeare; an educated person

Synopsis highlights about the differences

between the upper and lower class society. The persona in this poem explainsabout the hardness of a satay vendor s life who works to support his family, selling satay around the high-class residential and at the pasar malam.

nativizes certain Malaysian cultural aspect in this poem through the use of the most

popular food among Malaysian; satay. uses well known local setting which is pasar malam as a nativization of cultural setting

Theme: Difference in lifestylebetween 2 Malaysians a privileged, universityeducated man. a hard-working, uneducated satay vendor.

Although the poet describes the satay vendor s life as being tough and exhausting, he also seems to envy it.

Setting Aristocratic slopes of jesselton heights. Pasar malam(night market) Kampung(home

POETIC DEVICES

1.Contrast 1 the sorry figure of the satay vendor the stubborn/ aristocratic slopes of Jesselton Heights.

The word stubborn suggests the difficulty that the vendor has in cycling up the hills; it is as if the slopes do not want him to get to the top.

2.Contrast 2but my education tells me I am halus, he kasar

Halus= Halus=knowlegable man, no physical work.

Kasar=Not educated but tough because full of physical works.

3.Usage of local language(Malaysia)Satay Cincang Kampung ringgit and sen Inflasi pasar malam kurang ajar Ketupat Halus Kasar Shakespeare-wallah : skewered meat eaten as snack : meat cut up into little pieces : village : Malaysian currency : inflation : night market : ill-bred : packet of sticky rice : refined : coarse : an expert on Shakespeare; an educated person

4.Onomatopoeia This is the technique of using a word whose sound suggest its meaning.

beneath the

sizzling rows of skewers

Barbecue-satay-hot/cook-sound like sizzling

5.Alliteration/Repetition Repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words. Produces a rhythmic and musical effect that is quite pleasing to hear.

Satay/ satay/ Satay/ satay/ satay The arrangement is interesting; visually, it gives us an impression of the vendor moving along the hill, his voice receding further into the distance as he pedals on.

6.Assonance Use of identical vowel sounds surrounded by different kind of consonant sounds in world in close proximity to each other. Stanza 3:row 2 and row 5 Collection election Stanza 4 row 4 and row 6 Embers cucumbers

7.Imagery: Images, pictures or sensory content, which we find in a poem. Are fanciful or imaginative descriptions of people or objects stated in terms of our senses. Example pasar malam/satay/ketupat culture.

=local/malaysia s

Point of View Third person/he

Shakespeare-wallah with a degree See things in his way, standing aside watching a life of a satay-vendor.

Moral Value Satay vendor-work hard to earn money by selling satay-show his love, care and responsibility towards family. Ex.? Sympathy towards the poors/lower status community members. Ex.?

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