Night of the Harimau

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Communities have different ways of responding to pressures on their traditionally-held beliefs. When a conservative faction in Johor state revived a religious fatwah against the art of Kuda Kepang, the…

Connecting & Reconnecting

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This story comes from a cluster of Hindu temples under the high tension wires in Kampung Eng Ann, Klang. Here communities gather to reclaim their attachment to sacred space, generations…

The Lure of the Bright Lights

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This is a short story about a dreamer, or rather it's the beginning of a story about a dreamer. It comes from backstage at the Chinese Opera, a place where...

Ablaze

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The fire element plays a very important role in the Nine Emperor Gods Festival as devotional acts bring the world into balance. The presence of Yang can be very dramatically…

Small Sacred Spaces along the Street

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When the Nine Emperors Gods are invited to the temple, it is customary for devotees to offer tea and joss sticks in sets of nine out of respect and a…

Haze Move Over! Dates for the 2019 Festival (Ampang Style)

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Ready, Set, Go! The Nine Emperor Gods Festival begins on Saturday

OF THIS PLACE

An Exhibition about the “Datuk”

George Town Festival 2017

Big, bold and beautiful – the six images along Lebuh Chulia, in front of the Cantonese Association, introduce a Malaysian story that is close to my heart. I’m an historical geographer and the worship of the “Datuk” deity is about as historically geographical as a story can get. It’s about place and spaces and rocks and trees and rivers. It’s about the movement of people and their adaptation to a new environment. It’s about learning about others and respecting place and the values and beliefs that exist there. It’s about co-existing and being neighbours and being grateful for what home has given you.

The images in OF THIS PLACE have been positioned on Lebuh Chulia to draw attention to the current “Chinese” nature of Datuk worship. They are also adjacent to two Muslim mausoleums, that reflect the association of the Datuk with older, established practices of worshipping the holy man.

More information about the images in the links below.

The Datuk – Adaptation to Place

July 25, 2017

The Jugra Connection

July 25, 2017

The Spirit in the Trees

July 25, 2017

Provider and Protector of Prosperity

July 25, 2017

The Datuk – “Orang Bunian”

July 25, 2017

The Datuk – What’s in a Name?

July 25, 2017

How “The Datuk” Found A Home In Malaysia

July 25, 2017

What Goes In To A Datuk House?

July 25, 2017

How To Worship The Datuk

July 25, 2017