Sunday, October 12, 2014

Tradition?

Recently I met an elderly gentleman at a social function (at a church, wakakaka) who during the course of our friendly tête-à-tête over a range of issues, complained to me about the loss of tradition. I wonder whether he was in fact lecturing me, wakakaka.



He was formerly in the Royal Air Force (British RAF, not Australian RAAF). Sighing with nostalgia and a wee sadness, he informed me that the RAF, once so full of proud traditions ("Never in the field of human conflict ..." etc etc as eulogized by Winston Churchill), has lost much of those.

On a trivia note, he said that even the nicknames for doctors and dentists were no longer in use. In the RAF, which adopted many traditions including medical nicks from the far older Royal Navy, doctors were once referred to as 'Bones' (that's where the Star Trek doctor's nick came from) while dentists were 'Fangs', but alas, according to my matey, no more.


Nina Dobrev as Elena in The Vampire Diaries
my preferred 'Fangs' wakakaka

He then looked at me and asked whether I share any such experience of known traditions being lost.

I thought for a while and then recall the traditional hospitality of the Arabs who emulated the Prophet Ibrahim or Abraham (pbuh) and his nephew Lut or Lot (pbuh).

According to the Bible (wakakaka, bearing in mind the 'good book' was written by Judeans and not Hebrews) the latter (Lut or Lot) was particularly hospitable to their strangers-guests.

Remember how the lascivious people in Sodom wanted Lut (pbuh) to hand over those jambu-looking male strangers (supposedly angels) for a wee bit of gang banging sodomy?



Lut (pbuh) stood steadfast against their lustful demands and warned them of the wrath of Allah swt

"O' my people! Here are my daughters! They are purer for you! Beware of Allah and degrade me not in (the presence of) my guests. Is there not among you any upright man ?" (11: 78)


But those wannabe sodomizers said:

"Well, you know that we have no right to your daughters and well, you know what we want." (11:79)


A very much distraught, dismayed and disgusted Lut (pbuh) said:

"Would that I had strength to resist you or had some strong support." (11: 80)


Anyway from that Quranic teaching, the Arabs consider or had once considered that in-hospitality to or worse, mistreatment of a stranger was likely to invite the anger of Allah swt.

By now, the former RAF gentleman asked me in a rather frustrated manner, what was my point about loss of  tradition?



I replied that the Arabs no longer traditionally treat strangers as Lut (pbuh) did, but instead would chop off their heads, wakakaka, thus in their modern practice, we see both a loss of tradition as well as of the strangers' heads.

The Malays, renowned for their traditional courtesy and hospitality, also have a saying on this issue, which goes "Biar mati anak jangan mati adat".

Meanwhile, wakakaka, the Chinese have a saying "All Men Are Brothers", which was a quote taken from one of the four great classical novels of Chinese literature, namely, Water Margin (Shui Hu Zhuan), believed to be written by Shi Nai'an and much revered traditionally by Chinese.

Have these Malay and Chinese traditions been lost?



23 comments:

  1. the water margin is abt resist tyrannical govt, but oso amnesty n become part of govt, so which part is the chinese tradition?

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    1. well done, you've summed up what Chinese traditional thinking (thus also a Chinese tradition) would be, namely flow with the Tao

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    2. luxun said tcm is nothing but a liar, intentionally or unintentionally. sometimes i think the saying of "flow with the tao" bear a strong resemblance to tcm. wakaka.

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    3. I'm speechless!!!

      R u sure, u guys know what's Chinese tradition as depicted in the Water Margin?

      Resisting & joining the govt of the day", after revolting as a group.....tsk ...tsk....sigh

      U r REALLY one of a kind - those that read & don't understand!

      Just for a simple enlightenment - look at the ways of the CONDUCT, BEHAVIOUR & RESPONSE of the characters in the story as the 1st stop to the tradition of the Chinese!

      Definitely NOT the govt institutltion as been told in the story.

      Just remember, it's the type of govt that causes these group of people to revolt. & revolution against unjust govt has a long history in Chinese tradition.

      So, the firm of the govt WAS never the tradition of the Chinese!

      Suruh baca, lari jadi kaki sungguh. & now u suddenly become an expert in Chinese tradition?

      Tau malu tak????

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    4. 'flow with the Tao' does not mean 'comply' or 'surrender' - it means (like river water) taking a mean course (minimum aggravation) but wearing down resistance and obstructions (rocks, terrain) gradually, in other words, manmanlai wakakaka (not teh bullshit manmanlai of someone, wakakaka)

      the current political polemics and aggravation on both sides are not healthy, in many cases deceitful to the public, and only invite one-upsmanship, thus do not benefit the rakyat - tis all only for the interests of the pollies themselves

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  2. Confucius taught that subjects owed the same loyalty and obedience to rulers (the government) as they owed loyalty to the heads of their family.

    That is one strong Chinese tradition which seems to have disappeared , at least among Chinese Malaysians.
    I believe 90% of Malaysian Chinese are now Opposition sympathisers (at a minimum) , bent on removing the current government.

    I think the Chinese need to revitalize some of their old traditions, which had much wisdom behind it.

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    1. If elections are to operate on basis of "loyalty and obedience to rulers", then the selection process for election candidates will have to be amended to follow the China / Hong Kong style, i.e. all candidates must be approved by the central govt. - "you can vote for anyone you like, as long as he/she is our guy...."

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    2. i am proud that 90% chinese finally step forward n tell enough is enough. most tradition r shit btw. the 10% r mostly opportunist, like hindraf.

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    3. 1) Malaysia is founded not on the teachings of Confucius.

      2) The ruling party and opposition party are transient and are not absolute positions. In Penang. Selangor, Kelantan, BN is the opposition party.

      3) In countries like India, Japan, UK, Taiwan, the political parties take turns to be ruling and opposition party.

      4) Societies where a supposedly venerated group rules with such basis like 'heaven's mandate', eternal/great/dear leader and even masquerading as peoples democracy would be like North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea), former East Germany (German Democratic Republic), Cuba, China, Laos – Lao People's Democratic Republic

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  3. Chinese traditions and traditional thinking are heavily rooted in feudalism.
    It served to preserve stability in China (most of the time) for centuries, and helped slow , gradual progress.

    However, in the last 3 centuries, as the world exploded in ever accelerating change, it became the root of China's rigidity , backwardness and inability to adapt to the modern world.

    China became the Sick Man of Asia, scorned , despised and exploited, a status which only turned around just a very few decades ago.

    So, while I have read the great Chinese classics as a matter of literary and academic interest, I've never been particularly impressed with their philosophy.

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  4. Traditions are not an unmitigated good, they can be a force for good, or a force for much evil.

    The Malays are still very traditional people, especially in the rural heartland.
    The problem is specific aspects of their traditional conservatism are being exploited to generate irrational fear for political purposes.

    Their deep respect for the Raja-Raja is constantly being subject to abuse by claims that certain political parties disrespectful of the rulers.
    Likewise, Islam is deeply rooted in the identity of the Malays, However, there is no tradition of religious extremism, violence or bigotry among the Malays. The form of Islam which came to South-East Asia was generally a gentle one.
    Now the Malays are daily being bombarded with messages that certain groups and other religions are a threat to Islam.

    Like most agrarian cultures, the traditional Malays have a strong sense of community.
    That sense of fraternity is being exploited by constant claims that certain other ethnic groups are a threat to the Malays, and they have robbed the Malays of their rightful share.

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  5. Yea flow with tao
    Supportbyour najib ele u dont ask for anything
    If anwar had made such statement unwould hv roastedbhim kau kau

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    1. Yup, Ktemoc would be the Roast-master...kakakaka

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  6. The tale of Lot offering his guests his pure and fair daughters, yet being rejected because they preferred "back door activities", reminds me of a funny experience I had on holiday at one unnamed Asian capital.

    The spiv very openly came up to me and offered "Want beautiful girls ?" .
    I said No.
    Not to be defeated he changed tack "Want men ?" .
    I said No !.
    Again he continue "Want boys ?"
    I said No !.

    He just couldn't believe a man would fly in alone on a leisure trip to their city and not be looking to satisfy the flesh.

    By the way, Lot's son Moab, was the product of intercourse with one of his daughters.
    So -Daddy was also GrandDaddy....my, my, I suppose Anything is OK was the rule in Sodom,

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    1. Firstly on Moabites, supposedly the descendants of Lot and his daughter in an incestuous relationship (the other daughter, also allegedly in an incestuous relationship with Lot, was ancestor to the Ammonites) was a sheer fabrication or bad mouthing by their cousins the Judeans, descendants of Jacob's 4th son, Judah. Lot was Jacob's uncle.

      Do you know that one fo Israel's greatest heroine, Ruth, was a Moabite. Ruth was the ancestress of King David and therefore Yehosua ben Yosef (or Jesus). Therefore if anyone believe that bullshit story by the Judeans, then they must accept that Israel's King David and Jesus were descendants of an incestuous relationship. Rule in Sodom and Gommrah? wakakaka

      It's quite funny how a couple of Christian website went about their sily arguments to show Ruth was not a Moabite when the Bible has laready asserted she was one, wakakaka. Christians in stupid silly self-deception mode, wakakaka again.

      Lastly, when I was in the Philippines, I was asked by a young pimp (about 6 to 7 years old) whether I wanted to f**k her mother. I was really sad to experience a young lad pimping his own mum. When I refused but gave him US$1 as a tip for his "efforts", he tried again to sell his mum's "virtues", saying: "But sir, my mum's a virgin!" Believe me, I didn't laugh but became even sadder at the terrible misfortune of that family

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    2. The tale of Moab's incestuous ancestry may or may not be factual, but the Moabites were certainly an actual historical people.

      Physical archaeological artefacts as well as written script have been found, so they were not just a Biblical story.

      http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/386718/Moabite

      Like so many accounts in the Bible (and Koran... is it seditious to imply this ?) there is an amalgam of actual historical facts and persons, embellished stories, tall tales, propaganda, errors and outright lies.....the problem is where is the line between truth and fiction ?

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  7. Sodomy is not a tradition. It is a horrendous habit. That’s why God sent Prophet Lut (pbuh) to correct his people. In the end God sent down hell, fire and brimstone, which killed all the people of Sodom, except Lut and his two daughters. God did not spare even Lut’s wife. Likewise the chopping of heads is not a norm. There is no validity for the Muslims/Malays to defend sodomy or decapitation or any distorted practices.

    Tradition is not static and it should not be captive either. It should be living and changing to build good meaningful lives under the old familial foundations. Thus, “biar mati mak jangan mati adat” is indeed an old axiom of continuous meaning; its principles and values can be put into practice that can change with time and circumstances.

    “ADAT ialah merupakan warisan leluhur dan juga karya bangsa untuk mengutuhkan perpaduan, jadi anak-anak yang bertali mesti diikat kemas supaya berhasil menumbuhkan generasi yang lebih matang, kukuh dan mantap.”

    - hasan

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    1. hasan, I think you must have misread my post - I did not extol sodomy as a tradition but rather the hospitality of Lot towards his strangers-guests (even unto his willingness to sacrifice his daughters for their safety), where I then extrapolated that to traditional Arab hospitality which of course, as I wrote, has gone out of the window today.

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    2. oops... it is my bad KT. What to do I got distracted by your Nina Dobrev!

      BTW, you are right KT, that Prophet Lut did not commit any incest. Lut (together with his daughters) went back to see his uncle Prophet Abraham.

      - hasan

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  8. My friend the ethnographer tells me that Homosexuality (and Sodomy) is quite rampant in Arab society in spite of a prohibition and severe penalties in Islamic law.
    One important factor is the heavy segregation of boys and men from the females.

    As a result, most men reach adulthood with very little social interaction with girls outside their family, and almost all peer group activity are boys-only. That is a fertile breeding ground for homosexuality.

    There is little academic study of the subject in Malaysia, being a strong taboo, but the increasing Arabisation of Malay society may lead to similar social mores here......

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  9. Nina Dobrev ! I had a "thing" about her ....hahahahaha...
    The other hot one I was drooling over was Milla Jovovich....

    Hahahahahhaha...

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    1. Nina has a Malaysian (Malay) look, so she's better than Milla, wakakaka

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    2. Cote de Pablo from NCIS kicks ass too!

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