Kampung Saya (Malaysia Day Special) | Kedah Darul Aman, Abode of Peace
Known as the Rice Bowl of Malaysia, Kedah produces more than half of the country’s rice supply and even its landscape is dominated by rice paddy fields with occasional limestone hills towering over its land.
The state of Kedah is actually the oldest known civilisation in Southeast Asia. Yep, even older than Melaka by a few centuries! Archaeological evidence proves that a Hindu kingdom ruled Kedah as early as 110 A.D. However, back then, it was called Langkasuka and it was founded by a Hindu king named Merong Mahawangsa. It was only in the year of 1136 in the 12th century that his descendant, King Phra Ong Mahawangsa, converted into Islam and changed the Kingdom of Langkasuka into the Sultanate of Kedah - the state that we know today.
Off the coast of Kedah is a cluster of 99 islands offering the best of many worlds - Langkawi. While many see Langkawi as a sun-kissed paradise with beautiful beaches & intact mangrove forests, some may not know the island is rich in legends.
The most popular legend revolves around a lady named Mahsuri, she was residing in Langkawi while her husband was at war. Many were jealous of her beauty, especially the island’s chief’s wife. She then spread a rumour that Mahsuri was cheating on her husband and as adultery was a crime back then, she was sentenced to death. Although Mahsuri pleaded her innocence, no one believed her and with her dying breath, she cursed the island with 7 generations of bad luck. The curse is believed to be true as when she died, the island went through starvation, the invasion of the Siamese, crop failures and many more. Only after the 7 generations passed after the 20th century, Langkawi prospered with growing crops and as a tourist destination.
Other popular legends includes the Tasik Dayang Bunting (Pregnant Maiden Lake) where it claims to have divine powers to impregnate women by swimming or drinking its waters & the Pantai Pasir Hitam (Black Sand Beach) where a mermaid was killed by a fisherman. To know of more legends in Kedah, click here.
Notable Kedahans includes the Founding Father of Malaysia (YTM Tunku Abdul Rahman), the 4th Malaysian Prime Minister (Tun Mahathir) & singer-songwriter, Yuna.