Giving urbanites a taste of the kampung lifestyle

Giving urbanites a taste of the kampung lifestyle
Traditional treats: Khadijah (in blue) teaching her guests how to make onde-onde at her home in Kampung Sungai Senduk in Muar.
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

MUAR - Two friends have come up with the idea of organising a bicycle tour for city folk and tourists to enjoy Mother Nature and learn traditional Malay kuih-making.

Lily Tien, 32, who operates a hostel in Parit Bunga with her partner Teo Chin Jow, 37, said the programme was initially planned for foreign visitors new to the kampung lifestyle or who rarely have the chance to be close to nature.

"We were surprised that most of those who signed up were local city folk and some had never done these activities despite growing up here," she said.

She said that besides trundling down lesser-travelled paths to see a jetty near Sungai Mati, in Kampung Pulau Penarik, and bird watching, the five-hour bicycle tour includes a visit to Khadijah Hussin's house in Kampung Sungai Senduk to learn kuih-making.

Teo and Tien taking a break during one of their bicycle tours.​Photo: The Star/Asia News Network

"When Teo and I were out riding one day, we stopped at Khadijah's stall for a drink and our chit-chat led to her agreeing to turn her home into one of our tour stops.

"She was also kind enough to teach our guests to make onde-onde (a ball-shaped glutinous rice kuih with palm sugar filling and rolled in desiccated coconut) and other delicacies, and to let them experience the kampung way of life," she added.

Tien said the response from her guests have been positive, especially for the kuih-making and having a meal on floor mats.

The 60-year-old Khadijah was a bit nervous at first because she had never hosted large groups at her home but the bubbly makcik and her daughter soon overcame that and were very hospitable hosts.

"A lot of us in the Chinese community seldom have the chance to step into a traditional Malay home and that should change because there are so many things to learn and understand," she said.

Tien and Teo are planning to expand the bike tour to include learning more elaborate dishes, such as nasi lemak, as well as visiting a fishing village in Kesang Laut.

More information on the bicycle tour is available at www.facebook.com/wakalily

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