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By James C. Scott

This publication examines some of the "everyday" methods peasants could withstand their oppressors. in particular, the writer studied a small Malaysian peasant village within the overdue Nineteen Seventies. This electronic version was once derived from ACLS Humanities E-Book's ( on-line model of an analogous identify.

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18 Not more than fifteen men came, and Haji Kadir led the brief Islamic prayers and chants. The  expenses, for coffee, flat bread with sugar, and the makings of 17. These prayers after burial are called Doa Talkin, and the gift to those who pray varies, depending on the status of the deceased. This traditional practice is under attack by  Islamic fundamentalists, who wish to purify Malay religious practice by banning pre­Islamic practices. In the adjacent state of Perlis, Doa Talkin are officially forbidden. 18. Kenduri arwah are normally celebrated on the first, second, third, seventh, fourteenth, fortieth, and hundredth days after a death in the family. Kenduri arwah may be celebrated at  other times as well (often after harvest) and are sometimes combined with feasts of thanksgiving as well. The kenduri, much like the selametan in Indonesia, is clearly a pre­Islamic  custom that has been thoroughly integrated with Islam. Page 8 peasant cigarettes came to less than M$12 and were partly defrayed by minute donations of coins. Razak, as usual, was ignored, invisible. Later, as Yaakub and I  walked back home along the village path, he asked if I had noticed how the tobacco had run short because Razak had pocketed some for later use. "Shabby," was his  precis. Early in the morning, three or four days later, Razak appeared at the foot of my steps waiting to be asked up. Whenever he came to see me it was always early  enough so that no one else was about; if someone else did happen by, he would fall silent and take the first opportunity to leave. Despite the fact that the gossip about  him had long aroused my curiosity, I had already found myself avoiding much talk with him in public, having sensed that it could only set village tongues wagging. was once  he taking advantage of me? What tales and slanders would he put in my ear? Did I actually approve of this good­for­nothing? Razak had come to thank me for my large contribution to the funeral expenses. I had made a discreet donation directly into Razak's hands the day his daughter died,  knowing that if I had put M$20 directly on the plate near the body, I would have received no end of scolding. 19 Before long we passed on to the topic I had been raising recently in conversations with villagers: the enormous changes that have come to Sedaka since the beginning  of double­cropping eight years ago. It was clear to Razak that things were generally worse now than before irrigation. "Before it was easy to get work, now there's no  work in the village and the estates (rubber and oil palm) don't want anyone. " "The poor are poorer and the rich are richer. "20 The trouble, he added, is mostly because  of the combine­harvesters that now cut and thresh paddy in a single operation. Before, his wife could earn over M$200 a season cutting paddy and he could earn  M$150 threshing, but this last season they only managed M$150 between them. 21 "People weren't happy when the ma­ 19. I should add that much of this was conscience money in the sense that I felt guilty for having been out of the village the day before, when I might have driven the child to the  medical institution.

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