Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ulek Mayang Terengganu

I've always had a fascination towards the Ulek Mayang song. Being born and raised in the East Coast, I grew up with the story of the dying young man who was visited by the 7 fairy princesses who nurses him back to. The story itself however, is not as beautiful as the dance itself.

Unfortunately due to the raising religious awareness in the country, and also the increasing fear of the "spirit world", the Ulek Mayang song and dance has been considered taboo in some parts. Ulek Mayang in its traditional form was a dance of worship. The dance was once performed to worship the spirit of the sea. The song itself is haunting enough to transport people into a dream-like state even more so the leading role in the dance is a shaman. The dancers use 'mayang pinang' (strings of arecanut's flowers). While dancing, the 'mayang pinang' will be shaken until the person holding it feels that the 'mayang pinang' is alive or moves by itself then it is given to another dancer. There were known cases that dancers playing the part got so into the character that they were possessed by spirits and could not step out of the trance once the performance was over. Exorcism had to be done to free the poor soul from the spirits.

Other traditional Malay dances has this kind of reputation as well, for example, the Kuda Kepang dance. Men who played the part of the riders were said to sometimes go into a trance-like state as the dance was once a form of totemic worship. Mak Yong too has strong links with spirit possession however, none can beat the eerie fame of Ulek Mayang.

There's no new known cases of spiritual possession during an Ulek Mayang dance but the legend lives on. The legend is not meant to scare but perhaps as a precaution for those who are foolish enough to dabble with the unknown.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

25th Birthday Gath. (The Sequel)

Due to my procrastinations and dire laziness, I had to head back to Ipoh and seriously settle my thesis. So a small and intimate birthday gathering was planned where good company was aplenty and shisha smoke can mingle with the breeze. Leaving KL is a bitch but a girl gotta do what a girl gotta do. So this is a tribute to all who came to celebrate my getting older (yeuch!!) and my leaving KL for seclusion (*sob). U all shall always be in my heart...
Al-Amir, the scene where I celebrated my 25th birthday (the sequel :P). Don't these two hotties (Adry and Nurul) look good. Can't believe these two are already engaged!! The men must be crying for their loss. Hehehe...

Jacque, my newly acquired sarcasm sparring partner and my beloved blue-eyed Zetty. Miss them loads!! (Jacque, not so much :P Kidding only laa)

All d gals together. As is the fact of life I seldom see them anymore due to each individual's schedule. But they'll be friends for life. Love you all...


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