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Controversial issues of traditional arts

Categories: ArtCultureMalaysia

“Ulek Mayang” could be haunted.

– it is a Malay traditional dance from the state of Terengganu in Malaysia accompanied by a unique song called Ulek Mayang – the lyrics were changed (no one knows the real lyrics) – the song remains popular and there are several contemporary interpretations of the song – the original dance is to honor the spirit of the sea. The modern dance has no elements of worship, it’s more to music and dance. – After the arrival of Islam, such practice has been stopped and the Ulek Mayang dance is only preserved to be part of the Malay culture.

– Even now, Ulek Mayang is nicknamed the ‘Most Haunted Culture in Malaysia’.- However, some fishermen still practice this ritual.

Agree: – Some people claim that the song is haunted because it gives goosebumps and creepy feelings especially when it is performed at sunset by the beach – People tend to avoid practising it nearby any beaches around the world, as according to the ancients’ beliefs; those 7 Sea-Princesses shall always guard the 7 Seas.

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Whoever that breaks certain rules, no matter where they are, will pay the price. There has been cases of tourists jumping into the sea for no reason after they performed Ulek Mayang along the north-eastern beaches of Peninsular Malaysia. Some cases happen on land too. Going missing and receiving ‘visits’ were the greatest fear whenever one performs Ulek Mayang.

Disagree: – According to ustaz, Ulek Mayang is not a ghost or jin. It’s a popular song in Terengganu and is a type of “lagu rakyat”.

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– The Ulek Mayang song used nowadays has been shortened as Malays count the full song as ‘worshipping spirits’ which is syirik in Islam. – The Malaysian rock diva, Ella once sung the song in a rock version

Poco poco – dance choreographed with sequence of steps. – it is a type of aerobic dance – believed to originated in Indonesia more than 20 years ago – Mesyuarat Jawatankuasa Fatwa Negeri Perak banned poco- poco because they believe it is derived from Christianity.

Agree: – The dance originated from Jamaica and is actually a cult dance – There are many Christian rituals to it as the moves reflect the making of a cross and so is unacceptable in Islam

Disagree: – The Malaysian Muslims are confused. – There is no any literature or practical evidence showing that poco-poco is derived from Christianity either in Indonesia, Philippine or Jamaica. – Poco poco movements with cross design can not be a sufficient justification because movement of left and right sides is a natural human movement. Even when human stretch his hands, it can be considered illegal if the method resembles the cross. Mahsuri’s curse: Myth or Legend?

Summary: One day while Mahsuri’s husband was away fighting a war, Mahsuri offered shelter to a wandering minstrel. For that, Mahsuri was accused of committing adultery by the village chieftain’s wife. The village chieftain who was still smarting over Mahsuri’s rejection of his earlier marriage proposal, ordered Mahsuri to be condemned to death. It was said that at her execution Mahsuri bled white blood signifying her innocence. At her last breath, Mahsuri was said to utter a curse on Langkawi for which the island will remain barren for seven generations.

Agree: – Many locals of Langkawi believe the legend to be true due to failed crops after Mahsuri’s death. – According to recorded history, the Siamese invaded Langkawi not long after Mahsuri’s death and razed the island to the ground with a scorched earth policy. And coincidentally, Langkawi did not become a major tourist hotspot until the birth of Wan Aishah bt Wan Nawawi, the seventh generation descendant of Mahsuri.

Disagree: – Some people think Mahsuri’s story most likely is real and the killing of Mahsuri most likely took place, but the curse of Langkawi and her white blood must be a part of myth because there is no prove or evidence. – in this modern and science world, people think it’s logically untrue for a normal human being to have white blood

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Controversial issues of traditional arts. (2016, Nov 24). Retrieved from

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