Saturday, November 10, 2007

Genealogy, anyone?

Family Tree

The advent of the month of Zulkaedah tomorrow, sees the “official ending” of this year’s Raya festivities period.It has been a hectic one month.

It started with our trip back to kampong in Ipoh in the wee small hours of the morning, complete with on-the-road sahur. It ended with a flurry of activities – visits mainly – to close, as well as, long-lost relatives.

During my childhood days, I would glee in anticipation of Hari Raya for the new baju, mercun, bunga api and duit raya. It is now my children’s turn to enjoy such things. For I have now “advanced” to a different level, so to speak.

What I look forward to now is just being back with the big family – my brothers and sister and my parents. And instead of waiting to receive goodies, the joy for me now is also in the giving. Helping my parents to do the chores around the house – cutting the lawn grass, buying stuffs for preparing the Raya spread, or sometimes even helping to bakar lemang.

But there is another satisfaction which I get these past few years. It is something which I could never even start to comprehend during my mercun-playing days.

This is the joy of meeting relatives – especially the elders – trying to get to know them better and, in the process, strengthening our silaturrahim.

Is it a sign that I am getting old? May be. But so what? I have no qualms with that notion.

What’s for certain is that it has moved me to start collecting family stories and listing down the names of relations, their spouses and their descendents.

To be sure, I have been quite interested in our family’s history, origins and family tree since the day I got married. The idea that two souls from different families could meet and unite, thus unifying the two families, really intrigued me.

So a few years ago, I started carrying my Buku Salasilah Keluarga with me whenever I balik kampung for Hari Raya and do the rounds. As I would discover, Hari Raya is the best time to catch up with relatives and update the Buku Salasilah.

Would I call myself a genealogist? Far from it. But I sure am fascinated with it. I am sure there are many out there who share this same fascination, right?

I would love to learn from those with experience working on their own family genealogy.

In the west tracing family history and genealogy is a big thing. They even have genealogy software programs to facilitate in building and managing genealogical database.

I wonder if any of such programs are suitable for working on Malaysian-Malay families.


KotaStar said...

Dear Azizi,
Congratulation for moving into that new dimension. Surely much earlier than other people of yr age group. Indeed we need to keep the records of the family. Computers and photography are assets that will help. May I refer to a webpage Association of Personal Historians i.e which will give guidelines. I was a member a few yrs back and receive good guidelines and even thought of attending the agm one yr.

I am sending a family tree cd for yr attention.

The association encourages us to even start a business of writing family history and there are already many personal historians in US and other parts of the world who are happy at it. I feel many of the retired teachers can take up this suggestion. Even us.
Have a good day and happy searching for the family story.

Azizi Ahmad Termizi: said...

Pak Non

Sometimes we are too busy with work and other commitments we just forget to reflect on who we really are and where our ancestors originated from. Talking to the elder relatives reveals our roots and give us a sense of identity.

Thank you for the alerting me to the personal historians website. And I really look forward to receiving the family tree CD from you.



Dear Azizi ,
Its worth conquering the yesteryears and the family tree. I did that with friends last year and made the first gathering successfully.We originated from Pattani , now scattered in the east of Kedah and upper Perak.

My quest....your family originated from either Sumatera or Java .Wherever from we are the anak-cucu Tok Adam....all over the world.....ada hitam ada putih,ada sepet ada bulat,ada baik ada jahat ada berbagai-bagaian dan hilang segala punca....ternoda dan dinoda .........itu mission para iblis/syaitan....uprooted our growth.


Azizi Ahmad Termizi: said...

Pak Non & Pak Cha

First, a thank you is in order for Pak Non for the Family Tree maker CD. I will enjoy exploring and experimenting with it.

And Pak Cha, yes, we are from Sumatera - Palembang most probably. But I have no clue how to confirm on this. How did you manage with your friends?