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Customs And Practices In Kadazan Society Of Malaysia

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Question:

What are the Kadazan death Customs and other Practices that may involve in the Ceremonial?
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

The report is an article review of the cultural heritage tourism of the Malaysia and Sabah. The report has been described the importance of the customs, practices and ritual in the tourism of the country.  It is important to protect the cultural and heritage of Kadazan traditional practices and rituals in funerals. For the discussion, the cultural heritage tourism of Malaysia and Sabah has been taken in this report. In starting, the problem statement, research issue and research objectives has been highlighted and the significance of the study has been described. From the review of the first part, the definition of the cultural heritage tourism has been given in the report. The cultural heritage tourism can be described as the travel to gain experience of people, place, activities and things which represents the past and present of the cultural, natural and historic resources (Mohamed Rani, Othman & Ahmad, 2014). Based on a study, it has been observed that in USA, there were around 78% travelers who were involved in the activities of cultural and heritage tourism. Along with this, it also has been observed that they spend more time in such areas as compared to other travelers. Heritage can be categorized into two resources i.e. tangible immovable resources and tangible movable resources. Tangible immovable resources include natural areas, rivers and buildings and tangible movable resources include documents in achieves and objects in museum. This report has been basically discussed about the importance of cultural heritage in the Malaysian tourism industry (Norhasimah, Tarmiji & Azizul , 2014).

 

Methodology and Discussion of Findings

Malaysia is the multi-racial country having the rich cultural heritage. In the history of Malaysia, the culture is meeting and mixing since starting of tourism sector. There are various formats in which the cultural heritage of the country has been recorded. Those formats are sculptures, artifacts, traditional motifs, design on the jewelers and textiles and manuscripts which depict the cultural heritage. These formats are kept safe in museums, art galleries, libraries and cultural centers (Tourism Malaysia. 2015). There are 13 states in the country and Sabah is one of them. Sabah provides diverse experience of traveling to the travelers as the state has numerous ethnic culture. There are various form of culture having distinctive ways of village, dance, festivals, music, living as well as unique handicrafts. There is the largest ethnic group in Sabah named KadazanDusan Ethnic in which 30% population of Sabah belongs. Due to unique and variety of culture, Kadazan is very famous ethnic culture in Sabah. Kadazan has its own cultures and regulations from the point of birth to death which need to be documented. Behind this, Kadazan has its own identity and objective (Bahauddin, 2014).

Research Issues and Objective

It is necessary to preserve the cultural heritage in the tourism industry for every country. There are many studies conducted related to sustainable tourism which involve the cultural heritage elements. In the study, they touch cultural importance and heritage preservation in the tourism. Cultural heritage is the main point of attraction in the tourism of every country. There are many studies that are founded related to traditional customs and practices in the death incidence. In case of Sabah, it is difficult to find out proper sources for this study. The research objectives of the study are to identify the death practices and customs in Kadazan and to identify the customs involved in the death practices of the Kadazan (Bahar, et al, 2012).

 

1.Kadazan Death Practices and Customs          

According to the research, the rituals bridge the gaps between past, present and future. Death and dead are the necessary aspect of the society and the study of death can provide the knowledge about the structure of historical societies. In the Kadazan society, the community practiced seven days rituals on a death event. The death event is announced by hitting a metal instrument named gong or Dunsai. The green vegetables should not be served during all the seven days. Based on the Kadazan rituals, funeral will be on third day. The main aim of the research is to identify the importance of Kadazan practices and customs as well as to recognize the rituals involved in the death ceremony (Vyshka, 2010).

Methodology

For the study of Kadazan customs and practices, the quantitative methods have been used. The researchers have taken the interviews of those people who belong to that area. For this research, the sample of the interview of respondents has been collected which include six members of Kadazan society. The respondents were divided in to two catagories, two are the Bobohizan or the member of the Kadazan society and four are thee relatives of Bobohizans. They are the witness of the Kadazan customs and practices. The interview was held based on their knowledge and their preffered location. The respondednts were told that their interview will be recorded.

                                                          Table 1: Data of Respondents

Findings

Based on their answers and information, researchers was able to find out many interesting information related to the Kadazan customs and practices. There are various Kadazan customs and practices from the moment of death. Based on the findings, it has been observed that there would be grieving for seven days. Within those seven days, there are three days which are important according to the respondent. Those are Momohobong (day 3), Momisok (day 6) and Mogukas (Day 7) which are stressed out by the respondents. By some inputs of the respondents, the details of these important days are got by the researchers. There were some respondents who gave detailed knowledge and information about the customs and rituals (Subramaniam, 2010).

Based on the findings and response given by the respondents, Momohobong is the other name of funeral. At this point, the rituals and traditions are performed by the widow. In this act, the widow slightly kicks the coffin which was brought out from the house of burial. After this, another widowed does the tradition of cleansing by splashing the water from a bamboo on the floor where the coffin was placed. After this, another widowed comes to clean the floor by Ixora plant. It is the assumption that may every bad thing in the house will be obscured.

 


The custom of Momisok is take place on the sixth day of grief. In this, the act of switching lights for 20 to 30 minutes takes place after the sunset. The aim of this ritual is to invite that spiritual to come in the house for the last time. The entire family prepares food with the assumption that it is the last food of that spirit in the home. This data was also collected the book of Lasimbang (2014) named ‘Kadazan culture’ (Lasimbang, 2014).

Mogukas is the last day of grief. In this act, it is shown that the family is moving on from that lost and trying to let him or her go. It is a tough act of throwing the burning of that person. With this, the family believes that the lost loved ones will always be in their memories. On the basis of given information by the respondent, there is the main role of widowed in all these rituals. The social life of widowed are very restricted and limited as they cannot communicate with outsiders. The society believes that if widowed break the rules; they can be harmed by the bad spirits (Mohad & Gill, 2016)

Figure 1: Kadazan customs

(Source: Lasimbang, 2014)

Conclusion

The objective of this study is to identify the death practices and customs in Kadazan and to identify the customs involved in the death practices of the Kadazan. Based on the findings, it is clear that the research is successful in identifying the rituals in the Kadazan society at the incident of death. Along with this, it has also been observed that cultural heritage tourismis important to gain experience of people, place, activities and things by representing the past and present with the cultural, natural and historic resources. In the history of Malaysia, there are various formats in which the cultural heritage of the country has been recorded. There are various form of culture having distinctive way of village, dance, festivals, music, living as well as unique handicrafts. Cultural heritage is the main point of attraction in the tourism of every country. There are many studies that are founded related to traditional customs and practices in the death incidence. In Sabah, Kadazan has its own cultures and regulations from birth to death which need to be documented. Behind this, Kadazan has its own identity and objective.

 


Further, Death and dead are the necessary aspect of the society and the study of death can provide the knowledge about the structure of historical societies. In the Kadazan society, the community practiced seven days rituals on a death event. To identify the rituals in the Kadazan society, researchers have conducted the interviews of those people who are connected with this society. On the basis of information provided by respondents, there are three days which are important according to the respondent. Those are Momohobong (day 3), Momisok (day 6) and Mogukas (Day 7). There were some respondents who gave detailed knowledge and information about the customs and rituals.

By the findings, it is clear that the Kadazan community has the clear understanding and knowledge about its customs, practices and rituals. This study is helpful to contribute for the further research related to this topic.

 

References

Bahar, Z., Be?er, A., Ersin, F., K?ssal, A., & Aydo?du, N. (2012). Traditional and

Bahauddin, A., (2014). The Architectural and Cultural Heritage of Sabah - The Rungus Longhouse: SHS Web of Conferences. Retrieved on 17th February 2017 from https://www.shs-conferences.org/articles/shsconf/pdf/2014/09/shsconf_4ictr2014_01030.pdf

Lasimbang, R., (2014). To Promote the Kadazandusun Languages of Sabah. 34(2).

Mohad, H. K., & Gill, S. S. (2016). The Murut Tahol Culture in Sabah: The Historical Journey and Challenges: Asian Culture and History. 8(2)

Mohamed Rani, Z., Othman, N., & Ahmad, K. N. (2014). Perceived Authenticity as a Determinant to Revisit Heritage. Retrieved on 17th February 2017 https://versys.uitm.edu.my/prisma/view/viewPdf.php?pid=54704

Norhasimah, I., Tarmiji, M., & Azizul , A. (2014). Cultural Heritage Tourism in Malaysia: Issues and Challenges: SHS Web of Conference. p. 01059). EDP Sciences

Religious Death Practices in Western Turkey. Asian Nursing Research. 107-114.

Subramaniam, V. (2010). The assimilation of Malay culture in the Baba and Nyonya culture in Malacca: The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences. 5(1). 431-436

Tourism Malaysia. (2015). People. Retrieved on 17th February 2017 from https://www.tourism.gov.my/en/es/about-malaysia/culture-n-heritage

Vyshka, G., (2010). Death Rituals in Albania An anthropological review: Antrocom Online Journal of Anthropology. 6(2)

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