Field research experience in Perupok

By Muhammad Mustaqim Ghazali

GOMBAK, 9 April 2015: Students from Public Opinion and Persuasion and Communication Theory classes under the  Department of Communication were assigned to do field research at Kampung Perupok, located in Bachok, Kelantan. The field research was held for three days, starting from 3 until 5 April.

The study was conducted to examine the social mobility in the village. This research is a continuation of a past study that took place at the same village in 1975. We were asked to see and report what changes have taken place from 1975 to present day in terms of family institutions and development of the media and the place, Perupok.

This trip started with gathering of all participants at the main stairs of IIUM at 8.30 a.m on 3 April. The team consist of 90 students where 40 of them were from Public Opinion and Persuasion class and another 50 students were from Communication Theory class.

There were six lecturers who joined the research trip: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Che Mahzan Ahmad, Dr. Zeti Azreen Ahmad, Madam Mazni Buyong, Dr. Tengku Siti Aisha Tengku Azzman, Dr. Aini Maznina A.Manaf and Prof. Dato’ Sri Dr. Syed Arabi Idid. This trip took three IIUM buses to accommodate all the participants.

What I want to share was during the period of waiting for the buses to arrive at the IIUM main stairs, there were some students who were on their business of reporting the first day of the trip. There was a big camera, usually a cameraman used to bring along to the field. Few students were busy adjusting the position of the camera so it can have suitable and best shooting angle and the reporter was pressured to remember and think the best script that he could deliver to the audience.

Without having any paper, he was just told whatever he thought people could easily digest and understand the report. Luckily his friend was there to assist him what should a reporter tell. So he learned fast. The reporter that I was telling you here was me. So, in other words, I could tell it was like a real scene of a reporter and his group doing their job. It was fun to see the memorable view. As a communication student, that was the first experience for me to have what I called a practical learning experience of reporting what I have learned in my communication classes.

The journey took around nine hours and stopped two times. Firstly, at R & R Termeloh, Pahang which was intentionally to have breakfast. I was the one most suited this purpose because I was not eating at all before the journey. I thought the meal was readily served during the waiting time at main stairs. Unfortunately it was not. Also, this stop was to have what I called a light meal for those who have had breakfast before the journey.

Basically this stop took around one hour. So, I had enough time to eat ‘nasi lemak’, local food and drink mineral water. Some of my friends were having the same meals and some of my lecturers only had a drink. Perhaps they already had their breakfast earlier. After the period of stopping ends, the journey continued.

Our second stop was at Jeli, one of the R & R centres in Teregganu’s region to perform Zuhr prayer replacing the Jumaat prayer. It was only for half an hour. Surprisingly there was no shop available when we arrived. There was only a lorry with its shop serving us. I was not very sure what was happening whether all the shops were really closed on that day or the shops were not rented yet. Then we continued the journey again.

What else we can do while having another nine hours of journey in bus? My answer is, along the trip, most of us slept, playing with handphone and chatting among us. Then, when the time of journey was about to come to the end, many of us were awakened by the delight of the sea. It turned us on. One thing I wanted to ask, is it a human nature to have this feeling when seeing the sea?

Back to the story, this place also has very beautiful scenery of sunset and pleasant view of the sea. This was happening while our bus was passing on the bridge and this bridge was situated near to our destination, Perupok, Bachok in Kelantan. I forgot to ask the name of the bridge and its location because of the stunning and best scenic view of the sea and sunset at that time.

We safely arrived at Sri Nipah Resort, Perupok, Bachok, around 7 p.m. This chalet situated near the sea. Students were accommodated in dome chalet while lecturers were in regular chalet. We rented six blocks of dome chalet which were two blocks for male students and the rest for female students, and two regular chalets for lecturers, of which one for male and the other for female lecturers.

This time I called as leisure time for all the participants to check in with comfort. I did not take too much time resting in this period, instead, I hurried up to take a bath as the Maghrib was around the corner. In fact, I promised with Wan Eizzul Islam Wan Zulkifli, one of the students, to perform ‘solat hajat’ at his uncle’s house situated in the same region right after Maghrib prayer.

At night, we were served with dinner, the last time we ate was at the first stop along the journey. So our stomach was filled with blast of air. My friend reported to me that everyone took two packets of meal, perhaps they were so hungry because the last meal they took was before the  start of journey. I was in another group having dinner together. Two of my friends were taking two packets of food as well but we shared among the food among us. Alhamdullilah, there was still a presence of food for us.

The activities during the night were very calm and easy as there was no assigned task given by our supervisors. Everyone was on his or her own business so was I.

Right after having the dinner, I was taking a walk to the nearest kiosk with friends to find some light food for supper. In one way, this activity helped me to acquaint myself with the place and the people around there. Then, we walked beside the beach to look for peaceful air and stopping by for awhile at this so called ‘waqaf’, a place for people to rest or ‘gazebo’ before going to bed.

The field research began on the second day. It started with briefing session by Madam Mazni by Buyong who explained the strategy in carrying out the survey.

She told the students about the landmark for students to wait before and after the survey had been done which was at mosque nearby. With this explanation, it helped me to understand and prepare myself with the communication barriers that I would face during the survey.

The survey was done at ease and accordingly. My group was divided into two, one was doing qualitative and another, quantitative survey. I chose to conduct qualitative survey as there was no restriction from the advisors. Together with me, Insyirah bt Anuar, we visited five houses. There was one auntie when being asked,

“Mokcik kije mane dulu?”

She replied,

“Kije bear”.

We asked back,

“Kije bear? Gapo die tu kije bear?”

She just said,

“Kije bear”.

At last we proceeded with the next question. I asked my other group mate about the work she said and was told it’s about planting ‘tembakau’ tree. Then we understood.

Another moment we were served with ‘keropok lekor’ and drink by the last respondent. The uniqueness of the shape of ‘keropok lekor ‘made me questioned the auntie what would the meal be? Because its shape was round unlike what I used in Kuala Lumpur.

Alhamdulillah, the focus point of the day ended well at Zuhr time. For my group, we were finishing the survey up right after Zuhr prayer while there were other groups still conducting the survey.

After taking lunch during Zuhr time, I went back earlier to chalet using the bus due to health condition. The sore throat and headache made me uncomfortable to wait longer with the remaining students who were left behind at the mosque. I bought a Strepsil when the bus dropped by at nearby kiosk during the journey back to chalet. Then, I just took a rest in the dorm chalet. In fact, the weather was not suitable for me to go outing because it was very hot day. During the evening, I joined the other male students playing traditional game called ‘baling selipar’ at foreshore.

It was fun and enjoyable moments even though I was not feeling well. That moment, we were laughing at each other while throwing the ‘selipar’ at our opponents. After five rounds of game, then we capturing pictures and playing by the sea. The period of happiness remained in our heart.

On the night which I thought was appreciation night, there were some lecturers and student representatives such as international and prominent students were invited to give the speech about their experience. Then we were served with ‘nasi lauk’ and I was sitting with Bazi, the friend I used to play futsal together. While we were chatting about our experience, I was shocked when Dian, my classmate played violin. Nevertheless, we continued chatting.

Fortunately, there was presence of a big moon after we done our dinner. The weather was also very well. It can be seen the clouds and stars were ‘playing’ among them. Many of us were capturing this priceless and memorable ‘game of sky’ especially me.The happiness increased when Hazwan Hashim, the photographer was taking my pictures using DSLR camera. So the quality of pictures was better than mine taken by phone.

After that, I was experiencing this so called as ‘night walking to KFC’. It took an hour to reach the place. I and the male students were going through seaside, small jungle and village to touch down the KFC. At first, I saw around 10 male students agreed to join to KFC. Then, it was only half as the rest dropped by at stall in the village to watch football game. While at KFC, as usual, we were having some chatting during our meal. Then during the journey back, I was amused by my friend when he said,

“minta tolong abang tu anta kita nak?”

Along the journey back, the weather was very windy. It was scared actually to walk in the middle of night. In fact, there were only four of us left behind. The rest were walking very fast. So we just moved forward without hesitation and kept chatting in order to avoid feeling frightened.

Alhamdulillah, we arrived our chalet safely and I was just going to my dorm to take a rest.

On the last day, the moment that I wanted to share was, when we stopped at Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah to shop for some stuff. There were many local souvenirs such as handmade items, key chain, and ‘kuih dodoi’. I was attracted to buy ‘seluar batik’ and tourist top. This design and colour of clothes perhaps could tell everyone where I bought it without having to mention.

Last but not least, we safely arrived back at IIUM campus at around 9 p.m. Then, all the students were on their own going back to their respective hostels.

What I want to share are, the weather was healthy eventhough some students claimed it was very hot. For me, it was a healthy hot because it was not mixed with air pollution unlike what is happening in Kuala Lumpur. So, it was not a big deal to me. It was also fun for me because I was getting to know the people of Kelantan and learning how to communicate using their dialect.

The place also reminded me of my village because the road and the situation from one house to one house was exactly like my village.

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