29 July 2009

Extreme hedonism?

The opposite of the 'work till you drop dead' camp is the 'hedonist' camp. It's amazing that in every Dusun village, there is always one or two people who belong to this camp. I mean Dusuns are naturally hedonists (I wonder if someone is going to kill me for saying this)- we love singing, dancing and merry-making. But my use of 'hedonist' camp here refers to the extremists. They spend their days drinking, getting intoxicated more likely, and doing activities related to drinking like singing and fooling around.

I'm not saying that they are bad people. Generally they have quite a good control of their behaviours- they won't commit vices such as rape or murder, because the community is governed by their own native rules. Such extreme vices would lead to serious 'sogit', i.e a kind of punishment in the form of offerings, usually animals to be slaughtered to appease the spirits, or the community, as it is understood nowadays. But sadly, these people often become irresponsible. They tend to ignore their family, not caring whether or not there are food on the table, and some might have no qualms of abusing their children physically in moments of serious intoxication.

Most of these people are men, and thankfully their wives are mostly strong enough to single-handedly play the role of the family's bread-winner and carer of the children.

When I think of this, I'd rather all Dusuns be extreme workers actually. It is sad to see neglected children wandering about the village like lost animals.

4 comments:

azamain said...

Living in a society where men are on top of the ladder and women plays second fiddle will produce this opinion when kowledge creeps in myriad of ways i.e educations,social interactions,IT's etc. The cases being mentioned here are not that severe. As I see it it came from the sensitivity of being a female and it happens in a society where the advent of everything knowledge is so rampant but yet not fully utilised by everybody.

But you are NOT wrong,it is a sort of societal hiccups [from others point of view] and not every dusun will be like that and as you say there are native rules that governs a Dusun society. By all means use it as tools for the deliverance of justice. And it's not hedonisme on a large scale and to be frank,the Dusuns has this very streamline ways of governing themselves and the god given brains they have are capable of handling most matters that comes their way.

vpa73 said...

Maybe it's not severe, but still disturbing, don't you think so? Esp when they hit children under the alcohol influence. Often those hittings go unnotice, either because the kids are too scared to fight back, or the family members think there's nothing wrong with that etc...If only everyone use their god given brain for the better...

azamain said...

Kids fight back ? Haro toi tiod-di.Normally,the dusun kids will keep it in their minds and evaluate,this is where you see the reactions later in life [my observations]some being a sort of disturbance as you mentioned. The many ways family lives became distorted is because of this and when religion comes in,minds changes [whatever religion] normally to positive note. Just an observations I did while teaching in Sabah and I came to this point of thought.[open for discussion]

vpa73 said...

yups, too bad Dusun kids never fight back, at least until they are old enough to leave homes. I do agree that alcohol affects the lives of families negatively. If the parent is an alcoholic (or both parents for that matter)the kids often grow up to be insecure and inferior. People might become good because of religion(s) but religion is no guarantee that an individual will be good...(haha...a bit negative here. Have seen cases where religion makes ppl worse. I have nothing against any religion though).