Once upon a time, a long, long time ago…there was a brave warrior who was so ‘terar‘ (or invincible). He was travelling through the forest with his men and decided to stop his gang of travellers for a rest. Before he could go to sleep, a green bottlefly or what the Malays then called the ‘langau‘– landed on his nose. Annoyed, he tried to slap the fly off, failing in which he barely touched the fly and landed himself with a very sore nose instead. The fly had gracefully flown off before the warrior’s hand even got to it. This made the warrior contemplate and reflect upon the incident that happened and thought to himself, ‘ No one has ever defeated me as a warrior… but here I am defeated by a small fly’ ( in my humble opinion, the fly must have said ‘hang kata hang terar.. hang pirraaaah!’ before flying off. But again, that is just my thought )
So he stopped the whole group from travelling any further and made the decision to recce the place and decided it was a good place to start a settlement. So he named the new settlement Se-langau or A Fly, which later linguistically evolved into the state of Selangor.
The settlement had since grown and its history had been been so bloodied full of wars. Post greenbottlefly/langau era, the settlement grew into a thriving fishing village which was ruled by a Bugis dame. She was so kind hearted and such a good person that the orang laut people swore that Selangor should never be ruled other than by a Bugis ruler.
It then kept on thriving until it became a rich state, too rich that it often become the centre of many disputes with regards to ownership. The last being in 21st century election 2008, post election and now still… with the Mentri Besar K/ha/lid under the spotlight for some unglamorous play.
But through it all, I do believe that from the day the warrior named it after a fly, the state and its people had lived happily ever after.
We just came back from an awesome weekend trip to Kuala Selangor, the perpetual ‘kaki jalan’ that we are for a getaway. Kuala Selangor is famed for its stretch of fireflies/kunang-kunang/api-api/kelip-kelip or whatever else they are called. The night trip to the river deserves an entry on its own but suffice to say, it was a trip I would remember as after 2 years of being an adopted ‘Selangorian’, only now that I know that it was most probably named after a fly…
The above story was taken from the museum of Kuala Selangor with the additional slang/present day addition and the extra fly dialogue being mine of course.