For many of us, our schooling days were the time of our lives. Besides making friends for life and waking up at 6am, our days were packed with the challenge of written essays in our national language.
Here are some of the most nostalgic types of 'karangan' we did back in school...
1. The "Surat Rasmi/Tidak Rasmi" essay
What it is: An essay that is either done in a formal letter or informal letter format.
Why it was fun to write: The format is easy to remember and be honest, it takes up a lot of page space, thus making your essay look longer. Topics include: job interviews, pen pals, and enquiring about a product. It's a risky essay to choose if you don't know your format right. One mistake and you lose valuable marks! It can also be a little dry as well...
2. The "Dialog and Temu Ramah" essay
What it is: An essay that is basically an interview with a personality or a conversation with a friend.
Why it was fun to write: Just like in the 'Surat rasmi' essays, writing a dialogue can be fun and relatively easy. You get to skip a page line at every break, making your essay seem longer. You can sometimes slip in casual slang and get away with it. Topics include interview with a 'tokoh' and conversations about a holiday.
3. The "Peribahasa" essay
What it is: The essay starts of with an idiom or a Malay proverb. You then need to write an essay or a story based on it.
Why it was fun to write: Basically, if you know your peribahasa, you're in for a home run. Even if you don't, some of the proverbs are so literal. For example, "Bagai kacang melupakan kulit" or "As the peanut forgets its shell" describes someone who is ungrateful.
Difficulty 5/10 (Depending on peribahasa)
4. The "Berita" essay
What it is: An essay in a form of a news report.
Why it was fun to write: The fun part with this essay is that you can create something funny, just in a serious tone. A car crash caused by two costume characters riding a unicorn? Sure! Quirky statements by an old lady who loves cats? Go ahead! The possibilities are endless...
5. The "Aku Sebatang/Sehelai/Sebuah Pensel/Baju/Bola" essay
What it is: An autobiography of a life as an inanimate object. We Malaysians sure have a creative mind.
Why it was fun to write: This is by far one of the most fun yet generic essays to do. It all starts off with you as an object being 'born' in a factory. You're then shipped to a store where you're displayed proudly. Many of your fellow 'friends' left with owners before an owner found you and bought you. You were so proud when your owner used you everyday and took care of you properly. Then the dramatic plot twist: you either get dropped, lost, thrown or worn out. The story could turn out sad, with you reminiscing your past life as you lay defeated on the ground, in the rain. It could also turn out happy, with you being found or picked up by another owner. The end.
6. The "Keluarga Saya" essay
What it is: An essay of your family.
Why it was fun to write: The topic can be about anything about your family! Want your dad to be James Bond? Check. Your brothers to be super cool in school? No problem. Fictional families are fun! Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
**Difficulty: 7/10 (if your life is pretty boring).
7. The "Tiba-tiba saya terjaga dan berasa lega apabila sedar semua adalah mimpi" essay
What it is: An essay that gives you a starting premise, which is then meant to be continued based on your creativity.
Why it was fun to write: Although all our "cikgu" say never to end with the 'I-woke-up-and-it's-all-just-a-dream' ending, we still love to do it. Why? Because it's the easiest way to end! Monsters, vampires, adventure, near death experiences can all be solved with you waking up.
Difficulty: 0/10. Because anything can be solved when you awake from your dream...
8. The "Sampah Masyarakat Dan Gejala Sosial" essay
What it is: An opinion piece on the problems with society and issues surrounding it.
Why it was fun to write: This is one of the essays that allows you to be slightly harsh in your language, allowing you to release your pent up anger towards society. Sometimes, it can even be about education, giving you the opportunity to express how it can be done better. The essay usually ends with a solution at the end and how we should work collectively as a society to solve these ills.
Difficulty: 8/10 (Writer needs to be well versed in current affairs. If not, they will fail miserably).