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August 1, 2007 9:33 PM   Subscribe

Malaysia takes vampires seriously.
posted by Burhanistan (25 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
The pontianak is usually a woman who died during childbirth and becomes undead, seeking revenge and terrorizing villages.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:41 PM on August 1, 2007


From the pontianak link: Kuntilanak or Matianak (as known in Indonesia, sometimes shortened to just kunti)

Is that where we get the word cunt from??
posted by zarah at 10:05 PM on August 1, 2007


Probably not.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:07 PM on August 1, 2007


Pontianak can be seen! That is Pontianak the capitol of West Kalimantan in Borneo. Vampire city is within driving distance of my location, Cat city, but I have yet to go...

Also, that Al-Jazeera link: I sure don't get that fatwa. Muslims are categorically commanded to believe in Jinn, just not to worship them. How does a museum exhibit contribute to idolatry?! Regardless, ghost stories are very popular over here. There was (dunno if it is still on the air) a great prime time TV show called Mysteries of the Nusantara where investigators would travel around the country reporting on alleged supernatural phenomenon.
posted by BinGregory at 10:08 PM on August 1, 2007


BinGregory: I know of a few strait laced square jawed Americans who have gone to Kalimantan and had all sorts of strange and unpleasant "visions". The whole Malay archipelago is rife with something...
posted by Burhanistan at 10:12 PM on August 1, 2007


Also, I agree with your questioning the fatwa. It no doubt comes from Wahabbized clerics there who would just as soon ban anything that isn't a Quran.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:13 PM on August 1, 2007


Probably not.

Too bad. It would be a much more fun & interesting epithet if it's origins were Indonesian, heh.
posted by zarah at 10:20 PM on August 1, 2007


I don't want to hear anything about "I don't believe in vampires" because I don't believe in vampires. But I believe in my own two eyes, and what I saw is fucking vampires.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 10:25 PM on August 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


strange and unpleasant "visions"

So far, the only ones I've experienced have been after eating fried noodles of questionable freshness... Nonetheless I maintain a healthy respect for that voodoo stuff by staying completely apart from it. Being aware of and believing in the ways of those arts makes you more susceptible to their effects. Which might mean that it is self-delusion. Or it might not.
posted by BinGregory at 10:37 PM on August 1, 2007


Huh, I'd never expect to see pontianaks here in Metafilter. Archetypal ghost story, that one.

Though I've always learnt that you feed a toyol (the unborn baby demon thing) with blood from your toe... ?

In the news last year was this report of someone who had caught a bottle from the sea with what looks like a toyol inside. No one ever worked out what it actually was, but that damn picture creeped me out SO MUCH that I tore it out of any newspaper I found.

The picture, if anyone's game.

Urgh, now this thread is creeping ME out...
posted by divabat at 10:59 PM on August 1, 2007


I always enjoy your posts, Burhanistan. Thanks for sharing this.
posted by lekvar at 12:20 AM on August 2, 2007


When I lived in Malaysia, the magazine racks always had a row of these Readers Digest-sized trashy magazines about the occult. Usually with the photo of some hag with bloodied vampire teeth. Now that I think of it, it was hilarious that I knew so many people who really believed in the stuff - but while living there, I nevertheless ran home at top speed at night, lest some lembaga snatched me and drag me into its grave.
posted by Xere at 12:34 AM on August 2, 2007


Ah, memories - getting my Indonesian students to tell me the story of kuntil anak in English was always a good time. The Indonesian movie-going public LOVES horror films. One of last year's biggest movies was Pocong 2, which I never saw, but which filled movie theaters across the country with animatronic motion-activated mannequins of the ghost, causing much fright and hilarity.
posted by mdonley at 1:25 AM on August 2, 2007


Too bad. It would be a much more fun & interesting epithet if it's origins were Indonesian, heh.

Not possible. You can't improve on perfection.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:14 AM on August 2, 2007


"We don't want to expose Muslims to supernatural and superstitious beliefs," the Berita Harian newspaper quoted him as saying.

That cracked me up. God and angels aren't supernatural beliefs?
posted by spacediver at 4:25 AM on August 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


I grew up in Malaysia and heard stories of the pontianak, hantu and bomohs everywhere from the neighbour behind our house to the babysitter trying to keep us quiet. Afternoon television had great old time serials with cut out palm trees, the obvious round moon and the typical kampung house as a backdrop to these lurid tales of the supernatural;p

thanks for the post, brings back memories. pity they're changing the age old culture
posted by infini at 5:07 AM on August 2, 2007


Interesting thing about vampires that I can't cite.

When the Bubonic Plague was the disease du jour, vampires were considered loathsome, despicable, undead creatures who inspired disgust and nausea. When syphilis because popular, vampires became romantic, sexy, seductive.
posted by Brainy at 9:06 AM on August 2, 2007


"I know of a few strait laced square jawed Americans who have gone to Kalimantan and had all sorts of strange and unpleasant 'visions'. The whole Malay archipelago is rife with something..."

Cerebral malaria.

Oddly enough it seems that around Louisville the anopheles mosquitos that carry malaria and heartworm are being out-competed by the Asian tiger kind that carry West Nile virus, which though scary enough is not quite as deadly and debilitating. The problem I have with this Asian kind is they're smaller, sneakier and quicker so they're hard to slap or avoid, they seem to swarm or at least they're more densely populous, and I swear I've seen and felt the same one bite me twice in a row.

But if you want any kind of vampire in my neighborhood you'll have to try the Mag Bar.
posted by davy at 10:55 AM on August 2, 2007


Cerebral malaria.

Convenient dismissal. But these people were otherwise healthy. I invite anyone to take a walk at night in central Bali if they don't believe in so-called spirit apparitions. Enjoy!
posted by Burhanistan at 12:06 PM on August 2, 2007


[Cut it out with the weird personal stuff, please.]
posted by cortex at 2:18 PM on August 2, 2007


Wow, you dont have to be Freud to see the misogyny in this.
posted by damn dirty ape at 5:37 PM on August 2, 2007


Weird personal stuff, or weird inter-personal stuff? 'cause I'm kinda interested in the former; not so much the latter.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:04 PM on August 2, 2007


I invite anyone to take a walk at night in central Bali if they don't believe in so-called spirit apparitions.

Enjoyed it fine. Not a spirit in sight though.
posted by Wolof at 11:48 PM on August 2, 2007


People need to chill...Wonder if Star TV airs ghostbusters in Kuala Lampur?
posted by chanakya at 3:11 PM on August 3, 2007


[If he was offended I apologize, whatever it as I said.]
posted by davy at 4:21 PM on August 3, 2007


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