Thursday, 27 January 2005


The word gerbe in Kelantanese-speak means to make the sacrifice of the animals during Hari Raya Aidil Adha. Though the word is derived from Malay word korban (English: sacrifice), it is never used in other context than mentioned above. Thus it is right to ask, “Tahun ni ado buak gerbe ko?” (“Are you making any korban this year?”) but wrong to say “Inilah gerbe saya untuk abang” (as in “Inilah pengorbanan saya untuk abang”).

Where I come from, it is customary to slaughter cows for gerbe. Goats and buffalos are less common. Camels are almost never heard of, though I notice that in Selangor, some masjid (mosques) brought in imported camels especially for the korban. A cow can be split up into 7 ggiye (bahagian or portions) and you can choose to make your gerbe in 1 bahagian, 2 bahagian or more, depending on your financials. The price of 1 bahagian depends on the size of the cow and these days this is normally in the range of RM200 to RM300. This year, I paid RM220 for 1 bahagian.

Distribution of the cow’s meat to those making the gerbe is moderated by the gerbe broker. The gerbe broker is the person who arranges the gerbe for you, such as finding and buying the right cow, arranging for the slaughtering and distributing the meat to the gerbe makers. He will distribute the meat in the most equitable way possible. You can also make special request, if for example you prefer to get the leg, the head, etc. Of course, whether your request is entertained is subject to availability.

In the past couple of years, my family has been using the service of Pok Su Loh as our gerbe broker after the demise of his elder brother, Pok Me. Pok Me was a gerbe broker for as long as I could remember and Pok Su Loh used to assist him. They sourced for cows either from the locals or as far as alek Siye (Thailand side of the border). People prefer local cows though, as anything from alek Siye is assumed to be of lower quality.

Right after Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, which is about 2 months and 10 days before Hari Raya Aidil Adha, Pok Su Loh asked my Mother whether our family is interested to make gerbe for this year. After consultation with my siblings, my Mother made a booking for 6 bahagian. Another one bahagian was booked by a neighbour. The booking is based on trust and does not require any deposit.

On the day of Hari Raya Aidil Adha itself, right after sembahyang sunat hari raya (the Eid prayers), we made our way to the site of the slaughtering located next to Pok Su Loh’s house. We brought with us a few basins and guni bags to fill in the meat later. We saw our cow, a healthy, lean animal, tied to some trees. While waiting for Pok Su Loh to come back from the mosque, my Mother had a chat with his wife, Mok Su Dah and told her to prepare the meat as usual. What that means is that the oghe khijo (orang kerja or helpers) will do all the works like melapah (skinning?) and cutting the meat into smaller portions. In return, they will get some of the meat. We do not have many males in the family to handle such work so we always rely on the helpers to get things done. Otherwise, the males in the family would usually help the gerbe broker with the works. It is a gotong royong spirit filled with camaraderie.

Once Pok Su Loh had arrived, the akad jual beli (sale & purchase vows?)took place. We queued up and one by one faced Pok Su Loh. Both Pok Su Loh and the buyer held the rope that was tied to the cow while doing the akad. Pok Su Loh would say something like “Terimalah jualan korban bagi tahun ini sebanyak satu bahagian”, and the buyer would reply “Inilah belian korban saya pada tahun ini sebanyak satu bahagian”. Then the money would change hands and the akad is over.

After the akad, Pok Su Loh and his team of about 4 men prepared the cow for slaughtering. The cow was tied to a couple of trees and the men held the cow securely to make sure it does not bolt when slaughtered.

Soon the knife goes over the cow’s throat. At the first sight of blood, those making the gerbe would make a niat in their hearts, something like, “Ya Allah, terimalah korbanku pada tahun ini sebanyak satu bahagian”.

We went back home after the cow was slaughtered. About 2 hours later, my sister went to Pok Su Loh’s house to collect the meat. At home, the meat was packed into small plastic bags of about 1 kg each and later on distributed to the neighbours. My young nieces and nephews took charge of distribution.

For the next two days, we had meals of sup tulang, goreng hati, goreng daging and sup perut. At my DH’s aunt’s house in Pasir Mas, my in-laws made a barbeque. The ribs were especially delicious, combined with my BIL’s homemade sauce, potato salad and corns.

Alhamdulillah, it was a great gerbe this year. InsyaAllah, we will do it again next year.


aida said...

Hahah.. ni nak gelak ni.

The day you went back to KL (Sunday), we had sardine for dinner. Muak dah dok telan daging :)

mardhiah12 said...

it's a different story altogether at my husband's hometown

rasa mcm tak best jer, sob sob

Yasmin's Mummy said...

Aida: Sardine's good
Mardhiah: That's why you should celebrate raya haji in kelantan