24 July 2009

of Dusun humility

A mother went to town with her adolesent girl. They bumped into the mother's long-time-no-see friend. The friend exclaimed "my, she's such a big girl now!". The mother nonchalantly said, "yes, she might be big but she HAS NO KNOWLEDGE WHATSOEVER".

Typical scenario- a Dusun parent is supposed to be modest and humble, even to the extent of belittling and stripping their children of self-esteem. Come to think of it, self-esteem has no value within the Dusun community. A priced virtue is humility- reads "it doesn't matter that your words hurt your family members as long as you don't say good words about them in their presence". Strange? Definitely. I have yet to come to terms with this concept. Conversely, one should shower praises on others- the non-family. Make them feel good, even if they don't quite deserve it...

So, what would have happened to the girl in the scenario? If she had existed in the time of monosociety, she might have had just accepted everything as normal, brushed aside any negative effects and went on to become a mother who hanged on to the same concept herself. She would have been a keeper of tradition, who passed on the same virtue to her children and grandchildren. The same girl in a plural society, who might have been dominated by the mainstream way of thinking, might have ended up scarred. It could be a girl who lost her self- esteem because she would have kept hearing versions of such dissentions as "she doesn't know anything", "she is ugly", "she is fat", "she is not clever" etc.

Whatever it is, I hope such dissentings are not practised as much as when I was growing up anymore.

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