суббота, 24 августа 2019 г.

The Batek of Malaysia Research Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2000 words - 1

The Batek of Malaysia - Research Paper Example They live a nomadic lifestyle and therefore the exact location of their settlements change within the general confines of the area that they inhabit (Bonta, 1993). The Batek language belongs to the so-called Aslian sub-branch of the Mon-Khmer branch of the Austro-Asiatic language family (Lewis, 2009). Until about 1970, the Batek were widespread throughout the region of peninsular Malaysia. However, since then, heavy encroachment for the purposes of logging and farming has resulted in this community being confined to the Taman Negara National Park and the surrounding region (Lye, 2004). In spite of the encroachment and resulting interactions with the surrounding Malays, the Batek have managed to build and maintain a significantly different culture that strays away from the socio-structural norms of their neighbors. The Batek Lifestyle Traditionally, the Batek have lived by hunting and gathered from the forest. Their diet included fruits, leaves, shoots, fish and small game animals lik e monkeys. However, as a result of encroachment and increased interactions with surrounding Malays, they have started depending on commercial foods items like rice, sugar, tinned sardines, biscuits and tea. One of the social norms of the Batek society is to share the food which they have collected by hunting and gathering. ... When this happens, the Batek follow a more formal and ritualistic way of dividing the food. For example, if they have caught a monkey, first the members of the hunting party would eat the offal and the tail, because they cook the fastest. Then the cooked meat is divided into parts so that each family in the camp gets some. The portions are adjusted based on the size of the family (Endicott, 1988). The Batek do not believe in hoarding food but freely share it with camp members including those who have not been able to collect any food. However, there are some things that are considered personal property like a man’s blowgun, radios, tobaccos or a woman’s hair comb (Endicott, 1988). Still it is common for them to be lent or even borrowed without the owner’s knowledge. Since the 1960s, the Malaysian Government has encouraged the Batek to live in Pos Lebir and become non-nomadic farmers. However, most Batek are unwilling to settle in Pos Labir because it would mean l eaving their nomadic lifestyle and their culture. The Batek do not prefer farming since it involves a heavy investment of time and energy before the results may be enjoyed. However, they prefer to work as daily laborers revealing that they accept changes such that they can maintain the important elements of their culture. Reflecting on this situation, one Batek said, â€Å"We Batek are rich if we have a cooking pot, digging stick, bush-knife, lighter, tobacco, salt and fishing pole. Also a man is sad if he doesn’t have a blowpipe. We only want four or five sarongs, we don’t need trousers. If we live here (in Pos Lebir), we need money, if we have money we buy a lot. But if we have no money, no problem, we reject possessions. When we live in the forest, we don't need

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