Friday, 30 September 2011

Malayan Emergency

British and Commonwealth Units that participated in the Malayan Emergency

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Anthem of Malayan Union

God Save The King

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

History of KE VII

KE VII in history:

KE VII: Milestones in Medicine

Milestones of KE VII:

Friday, 2 September 2011

The practice of the Malay bomoh

 Bomoh means doctor and is also a verb, meaning to treat.

This post is about the scene of a Malay doctor (bomoh) driving out evil spirits from an adult male. The venue is either the patient's or the bomoh's home and the living-room is preferred. The adult male is dressed in Malay dress called baju Melayu which comprises a white top (baju Melayu) and a cotton cloth (kain sarung or kain pelikat). The patient lies down on the carpet or vinyl covered floor. A pillow is used for the head. No particular direction is fixed. A fan provides good ventilation as most Malay homes are hot especially if the procedure is done in the afternoon. Many such procedures are done at night when it is much cooler inside the house, usually after the last prayer for the night (solat isya').

The bomoh beckons the evil spirits (jin), curse them/it and asked them/it to leave the patient's body through the legs. The spirits dwell in the abdomen (perut) and the shoulder (bahu). The bomoh says these words "Hei makhluk yang Allah laknat, keluar kamu dari tubuh pesakit" which translates to "Hey you whom Allah cursed, get lost from this body". He repeats these lines several times and also tells which legs (kaki) to exit from, whether the right (sebelah kanan) or left leg (sebelah kiri). The movements of the evil spirits can be observed in the abdomen, shoulder, thigh and legs. He firmly shouts "Keluar ikut perut" (come out from the abdomen) and "keluar ikut bahu" (come out from the shoulder). The call subtly shifts to "Hei makhluk dilaknat Allah" (whom Allah has cursed).

The Malays have a lot of faith in their bomohs. Bomoh is a thriving business among Malay communities in West Malaysia. Almost every Malay community has a few bomohs is its vicinity. The video below may have been filmed half way through as usually the start is quite elaborate with supplications (baca doa). The closing itself is considered successful after the evil spirits are caught or trapped in bottles which are then disposed off in a body of water, either in a river or at the sea. In this respect, casting off evil spirits at sea/river shares many similarities with other belief systems and Asian religions. Though varied communities, the Malays are largely of Muslim faith today but a large part of the traditional and cultural beliefs are derived from the vestiges of Hinduism which once dominated this region for centuries.

For many who have not witnessed such a scene first hand, it maybe hard to believe or accept that eveil spirits do indeed leave the ill/sick body. I have not seen the actual procedure myself as females are not allowed to watch males being treated. But I guess this video will suffice to convey the information about how a bomoh conducts his session. Most bomohs will not allow any filming when they conduct sessions. Whether the bomoh or pesakit (patient) fakes it is left to you to decide. You be the judge.

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