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Malacca is a lucky state as it is rich in a variety of ethnics that are the Chetty, the Baba Nyonya and the Portuguese who all live in peace and harmony. Every ethnic is free to practice its own culture so long it does not breach the ethics and cross the limits of community living in the state. All these ethnics still practice their inherited culture and custom.

The Sadanggu or Sadenggu custom of the Chetty community is especially for their daughters who have reached puberty. This custom has both the ritual and religious elements and is still practiced. Among the necessities for this ceremony are a decorated dais, a tray containing the materials for the swirling of the tray ceremony, a white Malay attire of the teluk belanga type, a long kebaya, a sari, and traditional foods.


According to the Chetty community beliefs, when a girl has her first menstrual the girl is forbidden to leave her house to avoid her body being drawn closer to evil spirits. The girls family cannot visit the temple and the public too cannot visit the girls house due to the supposedly dirt on the girl.

The tiers involved are as follows:

1.The Blessing of the Bath Ceremony

This custom begins with bathing the girl when the sun is about to rise with the purpose of discarding mishaps, perennials or evil spirit. The bathing water contains saffron and seven types of flowers. During the ceremony the girl wears a white Malay attire of the teluk belanga type. The girl is then cleansed with clean water at the end of the ceremony. The girls bathing attire is thrown away so as to discard all misfortunes that have be fallen on the girl. Then the girl adorns a long kebaya.

2. The Serving of Traditional Cakes

The girl is served with the traditional cake of the Chetty that is the putu piring.

3. The Sadanggu or Sadenggu Ceremony

The girl is made up akin to a bride complete with hair bun with flowers, necklaces and bracelets and to sit on a decorated dias covered with white cloth and paddy. The girls relatives prepare a tray containing rice, water, dried cow dung, a lamp, paddy, putu piring cake, bread and a small stone roller for the swirling ceremony. Her married aunties on her fathers side and her married uncles on her mothers side need to prepare gifts for the girl like sari, make up accessories, bracelet, flower garland, comb, mirror, saffron and fruits.

This ceremony begins with mantras by a monk to the girl. Then the tray containing food is swirled in front of the girl by the girls uncles and aunties. Only relatives as stated are allowed to perform this ceremony. The uncles and aunties then hand over their gifts to the girl. Every sari presented must be worn by the girl. If there are five saris then the girl has to change saris for five times. Lastly, the uncles and aunties adorn the girl with flower garlands placed criss-crossed meaning the girl is unmarried.

The guests are then ushered to a reception consisting traditional cakes such as pulut tekan, seri kaya, tepung koma and putu, or traditional cuisines like pindang style fish, cucumber sambal and egg sambal.

Jabatan Kebudayaan dan Kesenian Negara, Melaka

Kompleks JKKN Melaka, Lebuh Ayer Keroh,
Hang Tuah Jaya, 75450 Melaka
Tel : 06-2331787
Faks : 06-2331784


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