by Maganjeet Kaur
Last Saturday (6 July 2013) the Museum Volunteers were invited by Jabatan Muzium Malaysia to participate in their ‘Museums and Community’ roadshow at the Perak museum. So five of us packed our bags and made our way to Taiping for a day of culture, history and the opportunity to blow the MV horn.
As the MV logo is the tepak sirih, we had decided to showcase this at our booth and give the museum goers of Taiping a chance to try out the ancient fare of the Nusantara. With it being the dry season, sireh leaves were scarce and Sudha frantically scoured the markets of Ipoh and Taiping for the elusive leaves. Thanks to her and Harith, we managed to procure all the ingredients needed to wrap up a sireh quid – sireh leaves, areca nuts, lime paste, gambier, tobacco and cloves which we proudly displayed on a mat placed at the side of our table.
A pantun (poem) on sireh composed by Riduwan made our display complete and all we needed now was for someone to try our offering.
Our first ‘victim’ was none other than Dato’ Seri Nazri, Minister of Tourism and Culture who gamely sat down on the mat and followed Harith’s instructions on rolling up a sireh quid which he then proceeded to chew.
Sireh tasting was only the start of the fun. The enthusiastic crowd took up our challenge on answering a 15 question quiz and we very quickly reached the conclusion that Taiping folks know their museum and history well. The kids were especially engaged and wanted to try out all the games we had in store. This is where the sling bags we use at Muzium Negara came in handy and the jigsaw puzzles on Hang Tuah and Han Li Po were a crowd puller. The enthusiasm of the crowd and especially the kids made it a memorable day for us.
On the left: Our first quiz participant belting out the answers.
Below: the jigsaw puzzles were a crowd puller.
We gave away Mariana’s postcards as prizes. She has done an artistic rendition of four local buildings and has created postcards of her paintings. The kids were enthused to collect all four postcards and eagerly participated in the various activities in an attempt to get all four cards.