11 August 2011
Ogulian- what goes around...
I finally realized the term for the Dusun's poetic justice concept. It's ogulian, in Sabah Malay kebalikan. I have my friend Trixie to thank for reminding me of this when we had one of our long chats last Friday.
This concept is basically synonym with what goes around comes around, or karma, or whatever one calls it. Except that in ogulian , you are only reminded not to do something bad upon others, while in what goes around it works both way- do something bad, you get something bad in return; do something good then good things happen to you.
My late grandfather used to say if you steal somebody's crops, you might get away with it. But the next generations might suffer because of that, because their blood would be tainted with the bad deed. (either from you eating the stolen food, or selling it and buying food with the money you get for that) That's ogulian.
In a way it is a never-ending punishment for something bad you or your family members do/did. I didn't think of asking my grandfather if there are any ways to stop the punishment :) But logically, I think the only antidote to that is doing something good. That way, it keeps the community in a good order.