First of all, I bet most of you don't know what betel is. I didn't know as well - thanks to Zara who taught me on how to use Google Translator, I managed to find the translation for the Malay word, "sirih".
Blame Pocket for this posting. After he mentioned the word miang kam in his last comment (the spelling is MIANG, abang!), I started to google and flickred miang kam's picture. He told me that mieng kam made of daun kaduk - a leaf which looks almost like betel. I was thinking about how this miang kam taste until I suddenly diverted my attention to betel instead.
Someone told me, by eating betel from the wedding tepak sirih, you'll get married faster. Have I tried? Of course. My ancestors loved to eat betel. My Wan Ateh and Wan Usu never left their "koghopai" (a Negeri Sembilan term for betel pouch). I used to give some of my pouches to them and they used my Teddy Tales pouches to put their betels (I used pouch before I used handbag).
Wan Ateh used to teach me how to prepare a betel. Gambir...pinang, kapur...ohhh...what a mess! I was lousy at it. She grumbled on how artless I was when it came to betel. I just laughed at the red lips old lady. The betel she ate created the natural colour lipstick; I often wondered whether that was the attraction in the olden days:P
I asked her, if I eat the betels, will there be any man for me? She just said, the elderly believed so.
After all the betels I ate - either it was from my grannies' koghopai or from the wedding tepak sirih - I haven't found any suitable man for me. Hahahaha...nice superstitious. They just created reasons to eat betel, I guess:P
Since Wan Ateh got sick, I never ate any betel. I tried to plant betel, but the plant died after a while. I didn't plan to use it for any occasion, I just wanted to use it to wash my father's eyes. My late grandfather told me that betel is good for people who are having sight problems.
For me, betel is very alluring. Even if I'm not married after eating it, the creation of sirih junjung will always fascinates me. Each time I go to a wedding, I'll look at the sirih junjung and smell the sweet scented betel and adore the flovers.
Flowers + Betels = Nice!
So, since the betels are not bringing the right man for me, do I have to eat to eat more betels? Hehehe.
It might be, the betels I ate fell under the type that Hang Tuah was giving to Tun Teja on the boat. This was when Tun Teja was falling in love with Hang Tuah but he needed to sacrifice her for the Sultan. Since Tun Teja was reluctant to marry the Sultan, Hang Tuah gave a betel to Tun Teja to forget him overnight. I guess, that must be the one I ate:P
I know...I know...your typical comment will be, "Jodoh pertemua di tangan Tuhan." Don't bluff, most of us are thinking the same thing. (me too!)
Any tips on betel, anyone? Any stories?:P