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Pemetaan Budaya

EN BM

THE CULTURE AND CUSTOM OF THE CHINESE COMMUNITIES: AFTER BIRTH - FEAST, HAIR SHAVING & GIVING A NAME

INTRODUCTION

Like the Malay communities, the Chinese too hold a feast when a baby is a month old. A special round red and yellow cake with peanut and red bean fillings, as well as red-coloured egg are given to closed relatives. The recipients then reciprocate by bringing gifts like baby clothings and chicken essence for the mother.

The shaving of the hair ceremony is held as the Chinese believe that the newborn baby hair is temporary. The hair that grew while in the womb needs to be shaved to allow for the growth of new hair. This custom is recognition for the arrival of a new person in the community.

Name selection for a newborn is a priority to the community. The name consists of three words beginning with the family name. The second word represents a name of the same generation within the siblings and relatives. The third word is the name of the person he or she to be called. A good name system needs to consider the meaning, the Yin and Yang elements, and done according to Chinese mathematical calculations.

There are five important aspects to be paid attention to in giving a name to a newborn baby, as follows:-

1. The given name needs to contain a good meaning, like a symbol for wealth, luxury and prosperity.
2. The sound of the name must be nice to be heard.
3. The name must be based on mathematical calculation, that is the resulting figures do not contra, and better if corresponding.
4. The given name should have balanced elements of the Yin and Yang.
5. The name must have five elements that are gold, water, fire, earth and wood and they should complement each other.

Hence, a baby name must be arranged in a balanced way to contain the Yin and Yang elements. Failure in giving a good name will also influence a person life, whether be fallen with ill fate or good fate. The difficulty of the Chinese in choosing a suitable name to a baby sometimes take a long time to do so, especially those who are still tied to custom and have to refer to certain books.

Jabatan Kebudayaan dan Kesenian Negara, Selangor

Lot 22.2 Tingkat 22, Wisma MBSA,
Persiaran Perbandaran,
40000 Shah Alam Selangor Darul Ehsan.
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Fax : 03-5510 2839

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