Rawa or Rao is a term given to a Malay community living in the Malay Peninsula, now the West Malaysia. It is common for the Rawa to identify themselves as Oghang Rawo or Oghang Rao or even Rao.
The Rawa or Rao people came to Malaysia from Kecamatan (Sub-District) Rao Mapat Tunggul, in Kabupaten (District) Pasaman, Propinsi (State) Sumatera Barat, Indonesia in 1773 to 1848 to Negeri Sembilan, in 1857 to 1863 to Pahang, in 1867 to 1873 to Selangor, in 1875 to 1876 to Perak and some in Kelantan.
The population spread around Perak, several parts in Penang, Selangor and Pahang. Gopeng, a small town in Perak is a well known town for its Rawa community who is still preserving most of its tradition and dialect for centuries, way before the formation of Malaysia. Rawa Dialect
Among the most notable suffixes used by the Rawa is kuak, sang, tang. For instance:
- Bak mano tang means "how could that be"
- Ompek ringgit sang means "four ringgit only"
- Nyonyo nak bergolek kuak means "maybe he wants to sleep"
Other significant phrases such as:
- Bak siko cipier to means "give me the plate"
- Ondeik! Gudang utak bak nyonyo means "owh! stubborn just like him"
- Beserendeng tukong means "carrying things excessively/overloaded"
- Banyak uta kareknyo means "he's mischievous/cunning"
- Lotowk dongen kayu to means "Hit it with the stick"
- Ako ngincah/kincah kain isowk means "i'll rinse the clothes tomorrow"
- Bak kato jako...means "like i just said"
- Aghri Senoyen means "Monday"
- Pukol ompek karang nyo means "its at 4 o'clock"
- Kao idak poie menjongouwk means "will you be going for the funeral?"
- Abeih berkerotang sado alahnyo means "everything is a complete mess" (when the mouth gets messy with foods while eating)
- Hopak! bergayo tang kawo genaghain/genarin means "Wow! you looks stylish nowadays"
- Sempureh kawo! means "to hell with you!" (offensive)
- Ku sipak kang means "i'll kick you" (offensive)
- Abeih tekelayak means "it tears apart" (specifically for open wound)
The Rawa is well known for its distinctive deep vocabulary and exquisite grammar, very different from the ordinary Bahasa Melayu or Standard Malay speakers.