Cool Things You Need To Know About Negeri Sembilan
Malaysia, a unique melting pot of ethnicities, cultures and religions, represented by 14 states each rich with history, sights not forgetting food; enough to make a blockbuster hit on the silver screen (which we have several times thanks to Michelle Yeoh, James Wan and Henry Golding). Looking at the present day with the whole Covid 19 pandemic and the world just waiting to fall apart, we have to admit that we got some time on our hands being stuck at home, so stop binge watching Friends on Netflix for a second and think about something utterly random such as “Why a state in Malaysia has the word “Negeri” in its name which is translated to The Nine States?”. So let’s catch up on some History shall we.
To be simply put, the name is believed to be taken from the nine districts or in the local dialect “Nogori” settled by the Minangkabau aka Minang ethnicity, originally from West Sumatra, Indonesia. Now that the question has been answered, this article is done! No not really. There’s more to the story than you think. But don’t worry it’s a short story. According to history, the Minang people arrived and resided in Rembau and Naning in the 1600s after the fall of the Malacca Saltunate to the Portuguese Empire in 1511.
The customs of the Minang people are distinctive on its own that it even has a name “Adat Perpatih”. This system believes in democracy where both men and women are able to lead. Who knew equality existed so long ago right? Unfortunately equality doesn’t go all the way though. Due to the practice of matrilineal and patriarchal culture, properties and lands will be passed down from mother to daughter, whereas political and religious affairs are for men to deal with. It’s safe to say if you’re a Minang woman, you’re set for life. The Minang influence is also seen in the buffalo-horned shaped roofs of many buildings and households throughout Negeri Sembilan. There is also a museum dedicated to the Minang culture called The Adat Museum.
Most of the states in Malaysia has their own ruler aka Sultan. Except for Negeri Sembilan, their ruler is known as Yang di Pertuan Besar or Yamtuan Besar which is elected by a council of ruling chiefs or as they call it “Undang”. The Queen of the said state also has a unique name which is Tunku Ampuan Besar. FUN FACT. Guess which ruler it is on our bank notes? Yup you guessed it, He was the 1st Supreme Head of State aka Agong of Malaysia and the 8th ruler of Negeri Sembilan Yamtuan. Let’s end this with food shall we. Did you know that Negeri Sembilan specifically in Rembau houses the spiciest dishes in Malaysia? And they’re mostly yellow in color! The key ingredient in the Minang cuisine is bird’s eye chilli. Another fun fact, the Minang people are against wastage in many aspects. For example, almost all the parts of a cow can be used in their dishes, yes including organs like the brain and testacles; the hooves used in woodwork; the skin made into crackers; the horns of a bull as décor.
So there’s a lot of cool facts about Negeri Sembilan, bet you didn’t know!