An interesting piece about Malaysia’s attempt to be the champion of the Malay world, even though Malay is an ethnic grouping and not a race, except in Bolehland where its Constitution specifies what a Malay should be, including being a Muslim.
What if you are an Orang Melayu from Indonesia who’s a Christian?
The above is and excerpt from
Unspun – Deciphering Indonesia, Malaysia and other stuff
Steve Emanuel @ Yusuf Iman Abdullah Indonesia artist converted to Islam in 2008
For me Malayness is not about people but more so a culture. True, the definition of ‘Malay’ is fluid and vague. Though, there are some who seemed to be/look like any typical Malay but would prefer to announce their ethnic /rootgroup, i.e. Banjarese, Javanese, Siamese, Malay Cambodian, Kedayan, Deli etc.. But these are the origins of the scattered various civilisation that have existed in the Malay archipelago. And Malay is actually a language. A lingua franca that connect all these diverse groups before and presence.
The language of Malay later evolved into culture, norms and customs.. and some of the ethnic people have opted to be more ‘global’ in the context of the Malay world…and choose to be called simply..Malay. But what is the real Malay culture? What is all about ‘being Malay’? When Islam was introduced here few hundred years ago by the Arab merchants, they just ‘clicked’ to each other, even though during the European conquest (Portuguese, Dutch, Britain, and as for the first, it was a matter of ‘force’), Malay archipelago sustained to be Islamic states.
On the surface Malay language is easy to learn. But it is the depth of mastering/practising/embracing the derivative of the language, held the core of ‘Being Malay’. I’m talking about…Bidalan, Pepatah, Gurindam, Peribahasa, Perumpamaan…the gists are always on being harmonious, positive thinking, well mannered, cultured, hardworking, pure, ’santun’ etc. So when the core of Islam reflect the similarity between the religion and the culture, being Malay is further enhanced.
But as it is now due to change in our lifestyle, western (only -ve) culture (via media propaganda) and topped with economic pressure…Malay as the traditional culture slowly dissapeared…
Few months ago, the only significant about my Malayness is the word ‘MALAY’ in my IC/MyKad. Thus, it prompted me to learn / research more about Malay culture that I have always taken it for granted…and what a wonderful things I have found of the old rich Malay heritage… mind you a neighbour of mine that not just embraced Islam by marriage but more so ‘being Malay’… on her daily activities. She is a Chinese by birth but I regard her a Malay anyway..My ‘laser mouth’ aunt was adopted Chinese baby and she is a Malay to me (She ‘mengumpat’, ‘mengata’, and ‘maki hamun’) …a Malay totally!!. I am 1/4 (Japanese/Patani) and I am a Malay.
My cousins don’t speak Malay, don’t like Malay food, neither they are practising Islam, wear tight hot pants most of time, should I regard them as Malay? That’s my dilemma not theirs.
The culture of ‘Rempit’, ‘Bohsia’, and ‘Penkid’ are the culture of people comes from the lower level of socio economic background and those who lack of the Islamic principles. Yes, there are the new Malay…this is a culture of doom. For the Malays who denounced Islam, I just pray for them to come back…I was a Muslim a Malay but so so…not after I discovered both in the net, that I just fell totally in love again with both of them! And I am both!!!
Dusshh!! Did I answer you correctly? I think I am out of context. Anyway about the Government…they just like husbands…always spare a little doubt in them.
Peacebuy @ GEMPAMELAYU.com
A glimpse of Peacebuy: This is my 'abah'
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