Saturday, April 18, 2009

More about Pocong & Pontianak

A Pochong ia a Malay ghost that is seen wrapped up in its burial robes. When a Malay Muslim dies he is wrapped up in 3 layers of white sheet (5 sheets for female), the end corner being tied in a knot just on top of the head, and the white sheets removed just before burial. It is believed that by placing an object i.e., an egg in the armpit, the corpse will not rise as it will not want to drop that egg. Pochongs move about by jumping. Pochongs are not known to attack people. Pochongs are ghosts believed by the Malays, and other cultures do not believe in them.

A Pontianak is a Malay woman ghost who was pregnant at time of death and not given the proper burial rites. In fact, any malay woman who at the point of death was not happy, or had 'unfinished' business, may become a Pontianak. The general description of the Pontianak is a lady with long hair and white clothes. There are differing views from some that they are also bloodsuckers, though many others also refute that fact. But being a spirit non-flesh creature, of what good is blood?

The term Pontianak has cross cultural boundaries and now not only the malays, the indians as well as the Chinese now also called any sightings of long-haired-white-clothes-woman-wandering-in-the-night as Pontianaks. This is true for the Chinese living in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. But not China, Hong Kong or Taiwan. This is because of the minority Malay/Muslim population residing in these countries.

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