Thursday, June 22, 2006

Keretek -Tak Nak Ke ?

Some 50 years ago at a diplomatic reception in London,one man stood out.He was short by European standard and thin and he wore a black fez ie. songkok over his white hair.And from his mouth he breathed a stream of aromatic smoke that permeated the reception hall.

This man Hj.Agus Salim,the Republic of Indonesia first ambassador to Great Britian,refers to in his country as the 'Grand Old Man'.
Pak Agus, was among the 1st.generation of Indonesian to have recieved a western education.In this regards he was a 'rare spicies' for at the end of the Dutch hegemony over Indonesia in 1942,less than 4% of the country population could read or write.

Not surprising,Pak Agus appears and demour not to mention the strange smell of his cigarettes - quickly turned him into the centre of attention.One gentleman put into words the question that was on everyone lips,"What is that thing you are smoking ,sir?"

Replied candidly and sharp by Pak Agus,"That,your Excellency?"
Pak Agus is reported to have said,it is the reasons for which the West conqured the world".

In fact,he was smoking a Kretek,an Indonesian cigarettes spiced with cloves which for centuries was one of the worlds most sought after spice.

Hmmm....I remember watching 'The Tengku' a chain-smoker, on the 31st August 'Merdeka Day' state of address to the nation before live TV telecast,Sipping Kopi 'O' and a few puff of John Players unfiltered.

I am sure the Film Negara or Akib Negara film archives has the reels to prove my point.
Again not only Proton or Petronas could be a National pride,cigarettes too could be our main exported to sell the countrys name and image.

So...what so special about the Tak Nak programme?
Nak Tak Nak aje?
Me a 'Sempoerna Mild' guy.

No comments: