By: penangphotolog

Sep 04 2012

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Art, Black & White, Cityscape, Faith, Heritage, Images, Penang, People, Photography, Places

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Focal Length:8.7mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Many local Chinese revere to “Datuk Kongs”~ spiritual deities of ‘Malay’ descent whom are believed to be overlords of the terrain in which one resides. Because of their roaming presence, most locals finding themselves in unfamiliar territory are taught not to answer nature’s call, spit or utter anything rude or offensive so as not to “offend” or incur the wrath of these spirits which are known to be fierce~ their punishment for offences, reputedly death! The words “Datuk” and “Kong” means the same. It stood for ‘Grandpa’~ the first, as spoken in colloquial Malay and the second, in Hokkien. These spirits have names and are identified by mediums after having undergone a trance and are to be called as such but how these Malay spirits came to be revered and honored by the Chinese instead of the Malay’s themselves is entirely another story altogether. Here, a young man is seen going about his daily praying ritual of appeasing three ‘Datuks’ which lives in the vicinity of each other~ at the forefront is what he simply called “Datuk Kong” and the one behind, is known by Datuk Nenek (a female spirit). The one in the next picture is known as “Datuk Awang”. Picture taken at Jln Nanning, Penang.

Although the shrine and mode of praying is entirely Chinese, “Datuk Kong” is a Malay spirit. One can see the two ‘songkoks’ (a Malay headgear) being stacked and placed alongside the offerings.


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