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Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer

THE PARTING OF FORESKINS

Friday, October 08, 2004
Younger Cousins Menghadap Semangat (60s)

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(WARNING: SOME MIGHT FIND THE FOLLOWING OFFENSIVE)

Adam, my eldest grandson have been warned by his mom about his impending circumcision. His mom called it foreskin parting, Terengganu people call it sunnat and in some places jjawi or berkhatan. Sunnat is probably from sunat (non-obligatory) because contrary to popular belief, it is not compulsory for Muslim men. If you can keep yourself clean, you can keep your foreskin. But in order to keep yourself smegma-free, it is better to be cut, and most Muslim men do. Recent studies proved that circumcision helped prevents the spread of STD, including AIDS. I would not touch on other advantages of being circumcised. I will let you comment on that.

In Terengganu, as in other parts of the Malay archipelago, boys are circumcised as early as 8 years old and the latest by 12. Infant circumcisions (for boys) are unheard of in Malay society. Terengganu ceremonies usually start with khatam Quran - a ceremony to celebrate the end of your Quran reading lessons. Some household have the hadap semangat where the boys to be circumcised and the girls to be bertindik (ear pierced) are dressed like they are going to be married and sat on a dais like in a bersanding (wedding) ceremony. Look at the accompanying picture. Note the bunga telor and the pulut kuning on both sides of the dais.

The actual circumcision might take place the next day, next month or next year. Since Tok Mudin, the circumciser, prefers multiple cuts and loathes to waste his time on just one boy, boys are usually circumcised in a group. The boys would be bathed and somewhere in the process would have their respective smegma removed. Tok Mudins are sarcastic lot. On finding too much smegma, they would obliquely ask dads "Did you forget to brush their teeth?" Woe is to boys who are unable to leceh (withdraw) their foreskin. We call this the burung buta syndrome. Boys were told to rectify this by tying rubber-bands at strategic places before peeing. Ouch! Some boys were known to show a clean pair of heels instead and fathers or some male family members had to retrieve them from various trees, bushes, gok ayang (chicken coop) or wherever their temporary refuges were.

The boys then will be seated (willingly or held down by an adult) one by one on a banana trunk, facing the knife-wielding, sirih-chewing Tok Mudin. The Tok Mudin then will use a rattan stick, split at one end to trap the boy's burung. One end of the pulled foreskin is on the other side of the forked rattan. The Tok Mudin will recite something, probably a prayer so that he won't cut the wrong side, and the boy is distracted for a second. The next thing he knows, Tok Mudin is wrapping his burung in some kind of bandage and it is someone else's turn already. The boy would have felt just a prick, like an ant's bite. What follows will be worse.

(To Be Continued)


| 1:09 AM :: ::
15 CommentsOldStyle:
  • I went under the knife with more than a dozen other boys at my grandfather's house. After the ceremony, we were made to lie down in rows, each under a sarong tied to a string so that it wouldn't touch the sore part. The adults took turns to look after us like nurses in a hospital. I remembered one very short guy tied his own sarong to the ceiling and went to sleep after his midnight shift. The man on the next shift had a shock when he shone his torchlight under the sarong...

    By Blogger Kri, at 4:22 AM  
  • Ahhh Pok Ku... You are now Tris' hero. He's been stressed about losing err... bits of himself, and I've been wondering about the whole circumcision thing myself because I'd heard before it isn't compulsory. So now, where can I go and get (official) information about this or failing that, would YOU mind talking to my hysterical mother about it? :) Thanks....

    By Blogger DaisyBoo Blacksheep, at 6:19 AM  
  • Kris: That scene will be dealt with in Part 2, heheh.
    Daisyboo: Try JAKIM but assure Tris that it is far more convenient to ve circumcised and the hospitals are far safer and more streile than the Tok Mudin. Tell Tris, it is WORTH it. Believe me.

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 9:04 AM  
  • hello there. it's not that it actually prevents the HIV virus from being transmitted but REDUCES the probability. and that is a Good Thing (TM). :) i'm all for circumcision. cheers!

    By Blogger sixthseal, at 9:22 AM  
  • I still remembered my turn even though it was more than four decades ago.What came after was worse and hilarious..

    Over to you Pak Ku;-)

    By Blogger Berisman, at 9:53 AM  
  • Naim had his when he was 1 day old. I got to witness the whole thing. Unfortunately, we didnt manage to capture the moment in video. Naim's father was still sleeping at home. I still remember the burning smell tho. hehehe.
    We decided to do it early simply because to save us the hassle of convincing him that it would not hurt. Plus, eliminate the complains/grumbling, pantang and all.
    However, this also means that he doesnt have any memory of his sunnat to share with. - DiL

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:27 AM  
  • How come my ritual was pretty painful? well..at the end I mean..I guess the anesthesia worn out already...

    But I do remember the Tom Mudim/Doctor asking me "Rasa camna? (referring to my err..)macam batang kelapa tak?" after administering the anesthetic shot..I mean..dangit..you just turned the whole are numb..how would I know? But then..I just want to get it over with..so I didn't say anything

    The healing process was tedious though...although a friend of mine was climbing trees 5 days after that already...dang.

    -OnEdge-

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:38 AM  
  • OneEdge: You had the Hospital Assistant from the Kuantan Hospital doing it. He used anaesthetic. I remembered that. I was there.

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 10:53 AM  
  • eh..talking about Naim, I was playing with him this morning when I sang "Surinam" song..which reminded me that I got that song from a collection of Scouts song at home.

    Which leads me to remember that you did joined a Jamboree sometime in Kuantan before..

    how about some Scout stories next when you're finished with the chopping-bits-off story eh? :)
    -OnEdge-

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:12 AM  
  • "..Suriram ram suriraam ram ram..Suriram yang manis..lalala Suriram sayang, makin dipandang semalin manis.." Err..did I get the song right?

    Both my brothers had their sunat in a clinic. Abang, a few seconds after it was done, asked for nasi ayam pulau kambing *sheesh*.

    By Blogger lion3ss, at 2:57 PM  
  • The ritual is somehow fading away nowadays, more people are opting to have their foreskin removed in the hospitals than by the Tok Mudins. I haven't undergone such a procedure before as I'm non-Muslim but it must be a wonderful and maybe even apprehensive ordeal for some young boys. We even hear nowadays that the boys dipping themselves in water for a ritual cleansing is now done by having the local BOMBA use their fire hoses to drench them instead. Even modern medicine has come up with the 'Taraclamp' for easier circumcission without undergoing the knife. Oh well practices evolve but the notion of the bersunat ceremony still must bring back nostalgia for some of us:)I would love to witness the ceremony forsthand but alas, it is not to be.

    By Blogger Kervin, at 11:00 PM  
  • ON EDGE: THE NAME OF THE HOSPITAL ASSISTANT WAS CIK RIPIN- EVERYBOY IN KUANTAN TREMBLE WHEN WE HEAR HIS NAME. BESIDES SCARING THE SMALL BOYS WITH HANTU , POLICE , THE THIRD ONE IS CIK RIPIN .
    The hospital assistnt is my father's friend. When we were in SMC1 in Abdullah school, the teacher asked us to tell what is our fathers occupation and what we want to be , when we grow up . His son said my father cut cock but when I grow big I dont wan tto cut cock anymore. I want to be a doctor.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:01 PM  
  • Easy easy come to my house, my mother cut cock
    ( Senang senang datanglah kerumah saya , emak saya akan potong ayam)

    I put is to you that the witness is bluffing
    ( sdaya taruk sama awak bahawa saksi tersebut berbohong)

    By Blogger Derumo, at 6:16 PM  
  • I am for circumcision too...since it is expose it is less ticklish and last longer as compare to when it is protected by the skin it is more sensitive and ticklish and it doesnot last long. Long live the KING COBRA.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:20 PM  
  • if wow gold and maple story mesos wow gold

    By Blogger rduht, at 9:51 AM  
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