Monday, June 09, 2014

THESE DUDES rock AND rule!

RIDDLE: What do Native Americans, ancient European Pagans, and the Southeast Asian Minangkabau have in common?

ANSWER: YAJ* tried his darndest to stomp all of them into the ground. 

Today, the Minang own and run banks, bookstores, schools and satellite dishes.  As anthropologist P.R. Sanday puts it,  Minang is “a modern society all the more interesting for its matriarchal values in a world torn by conflict, strife, and male dominance.” 

The Minang aren’t ruled by men or women, but by adat matriarchaat, a set of rules based on nature and motherhood. 

When Allah tried to rip the adat away from the Minang back in the late 18th century, they fought like bloody heck – and won!  This was “the Pradi War.”  

Plant growth along with other features of nature gave the Minang their rules for living.  For ex., if tiny, vulnerable rice seeds aren’t protected, there’s no rice, and people bite the dust – starve to death.

Likewise, tiny and vulnerable people must be protected (women, children, elderly, etc.).
The Minang go with the good in nature and pitch the bad.  So the violence of nature (bad) is pitched.  “Any one who stands in the way of truth by acting discourteously or resorting to the use of force is exiled from the community or shunned.” 
PROPOSITION:  the entire world should switch to the Minang Way.  I mean it!  All of you: save your pennies, catch a plane to Sumatra, make some Minang friends, come back, teach your country how to be Minang!

And if you are Minang and read this post, please leave us poor suffering Americans a comment or two!  Teach us how you stay peaceful, equal and happy!     


* Yahweh-Allah-Jehovah, or “YAJ” for short -- the God of Abraham. 


cabochon said...

Look at the open happiness on their faces! Can we even imagine the mindset of a society whose core values revolve around the protection of the most vulnerable?

Athana said...

Thanks for visiting cabochon and sharing your thoughts!

Yes, the peaceful, vibrant happiness on the face of the older woman especially is amazing. I can't remember seeing that kind of expression on the face of any elderly person here in the US. I've seen happy elders, but they don't have quite the same peaceful-yet-vibrant look this woman does.

And you're right: we in patriarchal societies will probably never be able to totally grasp what life must be like for the Minang.

Our core value is at the opposite end of the scale from theirs: to us, only the strong are worth anything, and the weak are to be shunted off into a corner somewhere and forgotten.