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Old 07-28-2009, 06:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Ritual Muslim circumcision is now a fading art form here in Malaysia. You might still get to see it in the rural villages but in the towns and cities, it is mostly at the mosque with doctors in attendance or at the local clinics or hospitals.

As to the question of actually attending one such event. Yes, it was way back during my school days. It was when one of my Muslim friends whose younger brother was going through the ritual that I was asked if I'd like to witness the ceremony. Boy was I in for a surprise and that started me off learning more about circumcision. Very much later, I even asked my friend if they can do it for me but he said no - I am Chinese and not a Muslim.

Anyway, here is how it went. On the day of the ceremony, my friend's bother was asked to have a cold bath and then he was dressed in the finest Muslim attire. He was then paraded to the little mosque - which we call surau here, there there were several other boys of about the same age - about 10 -12 yrs old (they just completed learning to read the Koran). There was a banana stem placed in the middle of one of the corners of the surau and was surrounded with a piece of white cloth to segregate it from the rest of the room. Did not know at that time when I got there what that banana stem was for but soon found out when the first boy which happened to be my friend's brother was taken to that area of the room with several men accompanying him. He then sat astride of the stem. In front of him sat a man who is known as Tok Mudin - the circumciser. The Tok Mudin then took out from his bag a forceps looking thing and planted it into the stem in front of the boy. The boy was then helped to lift up his sarong - a piece of cloth sewed at one end and used to wrap round the body, to expose his penis. Several men then gathered behind the boy and held each part of his appendages - one on each arm/hand and one each on each leg spread-eagling him. The Tok Mudin then toyed with the boy's penis until it was semi-erect, pulled his foreskin forward and slipped it onto the forceps, recited some Koranic verses and then with a swift movement cut the end of the foreskin that was sticking out the other side of the forceps with a scalpel/sharp knife. The boy yelled out with a scream and it was all over. The men released the boy and he was lead to another part of the surau to rest holding onto his sarong so as not to have it touching the sensitive cut area. The next boy was lead to the enclosed area and the same process is repeated.

After all the boys were done, the Tok Mudin then went round to each boy and applied some ointment and herbal medicine onto the wound. The boys were then lead back to their houses to recuperate. The rest of us people were then treated to a feast of food, etc... celebrating the coming of age for those boys. It took about two weeks before them boys were up and about again now part of the "adult" Muslim society.

That experience really started me off wanting to know more about circumcision and I finally got enough courage to get myself circumcised at a local clinic when I was about 27 yrs. old. due to recurrent foreskin infections. Never regretted it. Now quite a number of my younger Chinese colleagues have had themselves circumcised with a little help from me - arranging the clinic for them that is.

There is a short cartoon by a local cartoonist of ours named Lat who summed up this ceremony in one of his cartoon books depicting Malaysian life published by Berita Publishing Sdn. Bhd. - Maybe you all can get a copy of it on The title is Kampung Boy - sorry my early edition does not have ISBN no.

B. Too (Malaysia)
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wow, quite a procedure. As a Jew we have it performed on the male infants on 8th day after his birth. Glad I don't have those memories. But its fascinating that a p-stem is used, instead of a table, etc. i wonder if there is something in the p-stem that retards bleeding? Thanks Kom.
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for sharing! That sounds like an interesting process. Yeah, here it is done at birth, so we never remember the experience, pain, etc.
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