Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Book: Malay customs and etiquette

Malay customs and etiquette
By Datin NOor Aini Syed Amir  (DNASA )

Mrs DNASA  for short as referred in the book is the daughter of a diplomat and wife of a prince . and as referred in the book she has a log history of writing  from her youth and lives in Perlis
This is one of the books ordered in April this year via Amazon . I had the chance the previous days to have a semi fast  reading of this book that consists of ca90 pages that have been rad in ca 2 hours ! The text is quite simply written with very few unknown words to me , that I skipped , and made for the sake for writing this article.

The book is written in early 90s in S’pore  by time books with a foreword by Saizuddin Chik  minister of Culture  in Msia  ,though all photos  are of the 60s era  (for Greece)

This book goes with basic insights on Malaysian customs. IN contrast to the other books referred before , it digs deeper  into the etiquette  on  what is necessary  for the foreigner  to know (dressing , gifting etc) . For example  the first don’ts  are not to wear the shoes inside the house , as it is a Muslim country . Salam  as noticed in oter books  is shown here  with a picture . Also on how women have to sit as the yoga position  is deemed rude . How you pick some one by using the thumb pointing . The halal food and how pork is deemed for Malays as well the cow for Indians .

Her eis a  brief passage of the chapters followed

Table manners : eating  with fingers ad the process  of washing with kendi . Process for eating nasi daun pisang  with the banana leaf . eating with chopstick  or fork and spoon . The special spoon

Festivals :  after showing the basic listing of festivals , there is a reference for Open Houses (described as  the date the master of the house open the house for special occasion  to his relatives frinds etc ) with the description of appropriate gifts to ethnicity and dressing per occasion

Life happenings (birth marriage  etc )
- ON birth of confinement , suggestion of gifts (though  flowers are one of the best for every occasion throughout the book ) and includes  3 special ceremonies naik buaian /poton jambul/ jejak tanah
-  birthdays : shows  landmark births  and special on 60s
- marriage : with some analysis  to 4 ceremonies : hantar tanda , bertanang , akad nikah , bersanding
- funeral : about the dressing I was  quite impressed that though the main dressing   for Malays is  white , dark dressing  is the most suitable for foreigners

I jump the chapters  for Indian and Chinese  customs and go to the most complex part: addressing people

IN the page 74 the writer suggests , that if you meet a high class person VIP and hyou are confused how to address him , Is better to address him   by a higher level (something that happened in Greece  many years ago )

IN same chapter it continues with several tables for styling rulers  governonrs  royals appointed offices.
 Also included  are several royal words  as patik as equivalent  to say (I), the sudden word auntie as informal word to call an elder woman (this is refered in the book as anecdote )

This is a short overview of the book with a minimal commentary
IN short this book describes the what I have to learn to attend a Malaysian hapoening together with some etiquette

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