Photoessay: Berbuka in Rembau

All shots taken with an iPhone 4s processed with Hipstamatic (John S Lens, BlacKey B&W, Cherry Shine Flash). Inspired by Ben Lowy.

It’s not unique to Malaysia. Anywhere else in the world where modernity has encroached has had to give up it’s traditional values at some point. The first signs of decay is the migration of the young to the cities, the second sign is the contempt that begins to creep into the perceptions we have for the kampung (village). The final nail in the coffin is when those that hold the kampung dear disappear, through death and old age, and the young, comfortable in their lives and newfound powers, do not see the purpose to return. It’s a life cycle of values — they only last as long as those who remember them do. Or those who want to remember.

But, they aren’t quite gone yet, not here in Malaysia where a majority of the Malay population live and make their living in the rural landscape. The spirit is still alive. The values of a welcoming home, of generosity, of lovingly prepared food where everyone chips in to prepare the feast, of communal prayer and of respect, love and honor for the elderly. 

A marker of the Malay tradition. Long may it continue.

View the full photoset on Flickr (15 shots).IMG_1266

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