Monday, 10 December 2018

"Now You Are One Of Us"

Hi

One morning a week back we set out early for kampung to attend an important family event. An adat perpatih ceremony known as berkedim. I actually had no clear idea about it and could not anticipate what was going to transpire there.

My better half was quiet and seemed serious and jittery throughout the journey. Looked like I was talking to myself all the time. Well, it didn't matter, the repeated but beautiful scene of the landscape was there to lift my spirit high. From inside the moving car, I took some photos, something which can take off the boredom from just sitting.


The morning was cool n fresh.


There was still mist floating in the background, though the sky started to brighten as we traveled on, eastwards.

after more than one hour we then reached the junction with the characteristic arch


And then another junction . . .


No, not to this place, the palace . . .


. . . but to just a humble kampung house where the berkedim would take place, a ceremony, a rite, in Adat Perpatih whereby a person is officially declared to be adopted and accepted into a clan or suku. It is an important procedure because it has got to do with the passing on of property to the next generation.

In this particular case, a woman has the customary ancestral land and properties passed down to her by her mother but she herself has no daughter so the matrilineal descent stops there. (Adat Perpatih is matrilineal culture).

She also has no sisters but only brothers. In the event of her demise, she has no one, according to the culture, to take over the ancestral property. So she decided to adopt a daughter but this adopted daughter must first be accepted into the clan then only she can inherit the ancestral land and properties.

Also important is that there would be someone to carry the responsibility for her welfare in old age.

The adoption is also known as masuk suku. The process is called berkedim.




The adoption process was done in front of the chief of the clan, the Datuk Paduka Seri Maharajalela, the head of the perut ( smaller group in the clan) known as buapak , Ibu Soko and then the eldest son (most important to be present) in the family and other close relatives and clan members. 

The process started with a prologue, a reading of pantun and seloka deep in the local slang. I found it quite interesting though I could not understand some of the words.

The rites include the menepung tawar i.e the blessing by the buapak, the mencecah darah where the buapak, the woman and the adopted person dip their ring fingers into a blood-like solution and lastly the signing of the document .

Then the declaration of adoption was read aloud by the chief of the clan, the Datuk Paduka Seri Maharajalela, ( read, now you are one of us)


The blessing by the elders

The dipping, symbol for accepting 

The signing of the document 
Reading out the declaration for all to hear.

With the completion of the rites, the girl was declared masuk suku. And she would be the one who would inherit the adoptive mother's ancestral properties. No one else can dispute this in the future. So there would be no claims and counterclaims which could make life messy.

After everything was okay i.e no one dispute about the adoption and declaration, there was an interesting talk on Adat Perpatih by the buapak .

A pouch of significance in the culture

Oh, I forgot to tell. For this ceremony, there needs to be slaughtered a cow or a bull or a goat. I was told that in the old days the blood from the slaughtered animal was used in the rite mencecah darah.

A kenduri was held in conjunction with the occasion. The meat from the slaughtered animal cooked into curry and served as the main dish. And there was a special tray of goat head curry for the chief of the clan 😊

So there a little bit about the Adat Perpatih in action and how do I see it?

I might be wrong in interpreting what I saw but I would conclude that people here though modern in their ways still take to the custom and their culture seriously.

The women in a society practising this custom are well protected and taken care of in terms of their welfare in their future lives but then I notice that it is the men who are calling the shots.

All the clan chiefs are men except the Ibu Soko who has little say in the matter.

And the most important is without the agreement from the eldest male sibling this process of berkedim can't take place.


Till next post, bye.


Wednesday, 21 November 2018

A Walk In The Park

Hi

Besides tennis and swimming, I also walk for exercise every other day but my weight seems not to budge. And walking along the same route most of the time is no more motivational.

There is not much choice for me. Either it is by the seaside, the concrete beach trails or worse just on the treadmill. The trail along the wooded area is not so safe. The monkeys found there are becoming bold. Try to shoo them to clear the way to walk past they seem to charge at you. That makes you 😱.

This week since I am taking a few days off from my home I have the opportunity to go for walks on different routes,  by the lake and the forest parks or the hills.

Last Saturday I decided to follow the younger people to hike up the hills at the Taman Saujana Hijau Precinct 11, Putrajaya. It was quite an easy climb for me. There is a long and winding path uphill. If you want it to be more challenging you can hike up by the steeper wooden steps made on the slope or trek up between the trees which  I saw only one person doing that haha.

There is a sitemap to guide but I just walked and took the turns and follow my curiosity.

The landscape is scenic, very inspiring and so green with the conical shaped trees with needle-like leaves. Pine trees and some others which I  don't know the name. There are some beautiful palm trees and bamboos but not much flowering plants. The place is well kept and clean. 

Birds? I could hear but I could see none.

Anyway, I walked up the three hills without problem even when taking the steeper hiking trails to reach the top of the hills. Though the hills are not that high here at the top is where you get better viewpoints if you are taking photos. From the top of the hills, you can view the surrounding areas but that day during the earlier part of the walk the air was a little hazy.


Starting - easy walk on the hiking trail

Wildflowers on the hillslope 

Go higher
Take photo



















By ten something it was already hot

Take a last look at the forest

I took nearly two hours going up and coming down. A good sweat though at some points it was very leisurely I must stress. Well, I dare not make my heart pump too fast :)


Walk to good health and happiness.

Cheers.



Thursday, 15 November 2018

Life Is Like That


A tree in Mexico - picture by M


Trees grow from seeds 
spread by the birds and bees
on good earth
 a promise of growth

A tree in its prime is green with leaves
rich with showy flowers
on spreading branches

A tree in all its glory
shoots tall to the sky
 a place lofty  
for those who fly high

A tree is a beauty in nature 
giving a place character
To passers-by shelter

Alas 
it is never to last

Just as the narrative of mankind
of sagging skin and losing shine
shriveled and wrinkled
in the face of time
 the shedding away of prettiness
the eventual parting with happiness

How do trees fare 
 against the forces of nature
through time  
the leaves drop
the roots rot 
indefensible!

What now is left
 a naked tree with bare branches
functions just as a place of rest
as long as it lasts
before it slumps to the ground
to complete a lifespan.

  




Wednesday, 7 November 2018

My Faithful Anthurium

Hi

If for some reasons you are locked out of your house do not panic. Take a screwdriver or a wire,  jiggle it in the keyhole and you might get to enter the house. If not successful don't get annoyed. Console yourself by browsing your garden plants while you wait for someone to come to the rescue.

I was in that situation the other day. I occupied the time and comfort myself by tending to my anthurium plants.


Yes . . . these plants have been with me for many years already. They are just ordinary old fashion anthurium plants with pink flowers. Though the picture above looks more red than pink in reality it is actually pink. As it ages it faded and striated. I know there are other types which have more exotic flowers. I have none of those.

I grow the anthuriums in medium and small clay or terracotta flower pots. Some of the plants have overgrown the pots. Their roots have found ways to the outside soil because all the pots are placed directly on the ground. Looks like my plants have too many leaves ya. Green and waxy.



A group of anthurium here

Another group of anthurium here and  more plants in the background 
Mine grow quite well even without me fussing over it. On some days I forgot to water it, sometimes I have other priorities when coming back late from tennis, after sunset sometimes. So sorry,  my plants. No time.

You see the plants are quite neglected. But they continue to grow and faithfully bloom throughout the years. They never fail to give me a few cut flowers whenever I need it for my vase. And they have long lasting vase life. Though the flowers do not bloom to the max in terms of size its okay for me.



The flower has aged, the spike has become green

The flowers are actually not that many but they are always there and remain in bloom for weeks on the plants. Spots of open heart-shaped bright pink here and there give a little color to my humble garden. The natural position of the flower on the plant is like a welcoming pose. It is as if greeting you on your arrival.

And rightly so the anthurium flower is regarded as the symbol of hospitality

The anthurium is a simple flower nevertheless it brings joy and happiness to the grower. Grow some in your garden.


Cheers.