Princess, Blowfly and Dialect


More than five hundred years ago, a Malay prince named Paduka Sri China ruled the districts of Jeram and Langat in Selangor. His royal father was Sultan Mansur Shah. His name indicated his Chinese blood and yes, his mother was princess Hang Li Po.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover a link to Hang Li Po in the history of Selangor. Even though it is a morsel of her life after marrying the Sultan, it's still more fascinating to me compared to the blowfly story.

I mean the blowfly that people say was related to the name of Selangor but never explain how.

This particular blowfly was irresistibly attracted by a clump of hair, sweaty and unwashed for days. ZZZZZ it buzzed around the target ready to attack.

The hair owner was an exhausted refugee, tying to take a nap after a long walk in the jungle. He had just lost his lucrative job as a warrior when his boss the Sultan of Malacca was defeated by the Portuguese.

"SMACK!" He missed the fly.

"SMACK! SMACK!!" Still missed.

Soon the whole thing escalated into a serious "silat" fight between man and fly. As the fly landed on the warrior's nose, he reserved the severest blow for the vermin.


( Hmmmm how come like Mr Bean show one? )

The fly zapped away unscathed, leaving behind "Ruldolf the red bleeding nose reindeer".

As the warrior nursed his nose by the stream, the bruised reflection made him think this way:

"Parameswara founded Malacca in a place where a mouse deer defeated dogs. Here, a blowfly defeated a valiant warrior of Malacca, could it be an auspicious sign...?"

He stopped his journey there and then and founded a kingdom. Of course, he named the new kingdom after the blowfly. "Se" is one in Malay and "langau" is blowfly. Combine these two words "Se-langau" you get " A Blowfly".

How come "Selangau" can become "Selangor"?

In time, the people of this land develop their own dialect. One of the rules in their dialect is " any syllable ending with -au, we shall pronounce it as -e." So, "Selangau" became "Selange".

As to how "Selange" evolved to "Selangor", I am not able to express the pun in English. You have to read the Malay version. LOL

If you think I bluff, read these references for yourself lah!!!

1. Kesan Sejarah dan Tempat-tempat Menarik Negeri Selangor Darul Ehsan by Mohamed Roselan Abdul Malek.

2. Ensiklopedia Sejarah dan Kebudayaan Melayu, DBP

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