Malaysia has certainly acquired a level of assimilation amongst its races that adds more to the charm of living in a multiracial society.
Taking to Twitter, netizen @idespisecats tweeted about local guardian spirits worshipped in Malaysia, Singapore and parts of Indonesia named as Na Tuk Gong or Datuk Kong.
Bosanlah cerita Dewi Remaja so hari ni kita nak cerita tentang Dewa Melayu.
Ya, Dewa Melayu yang dipuja/disembah oleh sesetengah masyarakat Cina di negara kita, Singapura, dan mungkin ada di Brunei dan Selatan Thai.
Juga dikenali sebagai Datuk Gong, Datuk Keramat + Na Tuk Kong. pic.twitter.com/fmoP5Jv9wn
— AWANG (@idespisecats) January 18, 2019
According to @idespisecats Na Tuk Gong is typically seen brandishing a Baju Melayu, keris and a tengkolok, believed to be worshipped since the 19th century.
Na Tuk Gong is believed to be a local guardian spirit that looks after peace, prosperity, health, well-being. He mentions how the terms Datuk and Gong are combinations of Malay and Chinese honorifics.
“Malays back then worshipped guardian spirits or penunggu before the arrival of Islam. The way they worshipped the spirits were the same as when the Chinese arrived at the time, hence the assimilation of culture between the Malays and the Chinese.”
“This is how the concept of a Malay guardian spirit began.”
“It was also believed that Datuk Kong wasn’t a statue at first. It was envisioned in the form of tablets, trees, rocks, anthills that were shaped into Datuk Kong.”
What’s unique about the method of worship is the culture of bringing Halal food as offerings.
“When worshipping Datuk Gong, white candles and incense are used. Food offered such as yellow sticky rice, chicken rending, and mutton curry are believed to be slaughtered the Islamic way.”
Celebration dates for Datuk Gong worshippers also coincide with celebration dates of the Muslim community such as events held every Friday night, Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Hari Raya Haji.
Interestingly, there’s also a Datuk Karpal Singh.
Netizens responding to the tweet were at awe with the new knowledge of Malaysian culture.
One responded, “Very informative bro. I didn’t know all this even though I’m Chinese.”
Another shared his experience worshipping Datuk Gong, “My office has a permanent Datuk Kong shrine, and all our project sites also have simple Datuk Kong shrines.”
“We offer prayers on Fridays and those who pray must abstain from eating pork.”
Another writes, “My Chinese friend said that they sometimes offer baju kurung and sampin to the Malay guardian spirit.”
We believe that there is always room to learn more about one another. Do you have any other micro-culture that needs to be highlighted? Please share it with us in the comments section.
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