Malay Culture

Topics: Malaysia, Malaysian Malay, Brunei Pages: 27 (9828 words) Published: September 6, 2013
Adat refers to local regional customs and tradition not derived from Islam in the North Caucasus, Central Asia and Southeast Asia. This meaning of adat is used In Chechnya, Dagestan, Tajikistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and among Muslims in the southern Philippines. For instance pakaian adat, or adat clothes, refers to the traditional clothing of a specific people. In older Malay language, adat refers to the customary laws, the unwritten traditional code regulating social, political, and economical as well as maritime laws. Two kinds of Malay adat laws were developed before the 15th century: * Adat Perpateh was developed as a matrilineal kinship structure from early time by the Minangkabau people in Sumatra and Negeri Sembilan. * The office of the sea admiral or under Adat Temenggong originated bilaterally based on territorial social units. Both adat forms were significantly transformed by Islamic and later European legal systems during the later colonial times. During the inter-maritime contact prior to the 15th century, Chinese vessels (wooden junks) came and had established the basic draft form for the original development in the adat Temenggong maritime laws. The Malacca sultanate had the office of the sea admiral or the Office of the Temenggung. Nowadays adat rules are still of legal relevance in some areas of Indonesia, especially in most Hindu villages in Bali, the Tenger area and in the region of Yogyakarta.

The first thing happens to all of us is that we are born. Everyone is pleased, particularly at the birth of the first baby, and the first child born in a Malay family is given special treatment. After the midwife has washed him he is laid on a specially made bed. This is covered with seven sarongs, usually the best that the parents have. Every day, one of them is taken away until only a plain sheet is left.     The first real ceremony of his life is performed soon after the child's birth. A few relatives and close friends are invited to a small party to ask Allah, the Malays' God, to bless the child and give him a good life. A religious man is invited to pray for this blessing and the parents take care when choosing him as Malays believe that baby will take some of this man's character; therefore he must have a good one. While he is praying, another man holds a lighted candle near the baby's face which shows that everyone hopes he will have a bright future.     A Malay woman does not leave the house for forty days after the birth of her child. At the end of this period another ceremony for the child follows. It is called bercukur and means the shaving of his head. Relatives and friends of the family are invited, and a religious man who is often an official from the mosque. In towns it is usually the Iman. He first of all recited a special prayer called berzanji which praises god and the prophet Mohammed. The baby is then brought up to him to be blessed. He smears some paste made of rice and scented water, called tepung tawar, on the baby's forehead and also rubs some gold on it. Then with a pair of scissors he cuts a piece of hair from the child's head. Each of the guests does the same thing. After another prayer, cakes and sweets are served.     When the child is about five years old he starts his first lessons. All Malays must learn to read the Quran, the Muslims sacred book. His parents choose a teacher, either a man or woman who has devoted his or her life to this work, and the boy stars off by learning the alphabet. The Quran is written in Arabic characters, called in Malay, Jawi. Gradually he begins, first to read words, then sentences and finally a whole chapter. When he was finished the first one his parents send a candel, some cooked yellow rice and perhaps some money to his teacher. When he reaches chapter fifteen, more rice, called nasi kuning, is sent. At the last chapter, number thirty, the teacher gets...
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