Not So Ideal Pantang..Posted: May 18, 2011
I’m currently on day 34 of my confinement, or pantang in our Malay tradition, which leaves me ten days before I can rejoice my freedom. But somehow, deep down, I don’t feel that I deserve to celebrate. Why? Well to be honest, I have NOT been observing my pantang as strictly as I should, as I did the first time. I feel kinda bad about that. As much as I keep telling myself that they were all with reasons, I still don’t feel any better! But what can make me feel slightly better is to write about it -to share with my miniscule number of readers what and why was I not confining myself enough.
So, what exactly have I not been observing? I think it would be easier to explain that if one compares it with what I did observe the last time, and that can be read here. But knowing how most people can’t be bothered to read links within links, I’ll just highlight the important bits and do the comparison below for convenience.
The following in italics are excerpts of my past pantang regime and I have made notes of what I did (or did not d0) this time around:
“I was fortunate to have stayed with my MIL, who is a full-time homemaker, during my confinement. Every morning before breakfast and evening before Maghrib, she would come to my room and lumur me with oil and give me a nice all-over-body rub…” ~~ OK, I’m still lucky to have my MIL around this time but she only stayed with me for 20 days before going back to kampung, and since she’s not in the pinkest of health herself, I can’t bear to let her massage me as often as before, so I was pretty happy that she was willing to do the occasional rubs when she can!
“My own mom, a true Javanese lady, made me follow her simpler version of confinement during the entire 45 days. Here’s a list:
- eat 3-4 types of jamu daily ~~ Nope, did not consume any sort of jamu whatsoever till now as I easily suffer from constipation. Mom makes me eat them later though, maybe after pantang.
- wear the pilis on my forehead ~~ I only wore it on three days during this confinement. Why aah I’m so lazy??
- rub the param on my abdomen just before wrapping myself with the bengkung (or corset). According to my mom, it is best to wear the bengkung for a good 100 days but I stopped at day 60 -can’t stand the hotness and sometimes itchiness. But this time around, I hope to have more willpower and complete that challenge of 100 days of bengkung-wearing! ~~ I do wear a special type of bengkung now since I went through C-sect but I can’t apply the param thing as it would sting around my incision area. Still planning to wear it for 100 days though, fingers crossed!
- bertungku every morning and evening ~~ Can’t do this, C-sect!
- no eating oily food as it’s fatty and stall the healing process of my stitches ~~ Ish susah lah ni. Since I’m cooking myself now, sometimes it’s easier to just goreng something!
- wear socks ALL the time ~~ I couldn’t wear any socks for the first 2 weeks as my feet were swollen beyond recognition! Now that they’ve shrunk to their normal size, I still can’t wear socks all the time since it’s too troublesome for me to do house chores, like going in and out of the bathroom.
- sleep in a semi-sitting position i.e. stack the pillows behind my back so my body isn’t horizontal ~~ OK, this I could do, even till now.
- always keep the legs close together. NO mengangkang, bersila or fold the legs at anytime during the confinement! ~~ Hah, this doesn’t apply to me now, but the downside of C-sect is that your WHOLE body hurts when you move, not just down there!
- eat loads of food with black pepper, ginger and garlic in them. No eating food that are berangin or ‘sejuk’ ~~ Kinda hard for me to distinguish which food should or should not be consumed other than the usuals, so kekadang tu I tibai je. I’m guilty of having eaten bananas (gasp), macaroons (ayoo, so rich in egg-whites!) and even eggs (pengsan)
- drink plenty of warm water, so obviously, cold and bicarbonate drinks are out of the question ~~Oops, there have been occasions where I can’t tahan myself (tulah pantang sorang2) and I did drink some cold or bicarbonated drinks (not at the same time, though)
“I also showered with some herbs and wash my precious with air rebusan akar kayu for a few days to top it all off” ~~ Nope, not this time.
“And at the end of my confinement, I went to a proper tukang urut where the old lady did the sengkak thing” ~~ Nope, no can do. As long as I feel my abdomen’s still wobbly inside, there will be no touchy!
So there you have it. My less than ideal pantang regime. I know that some women can’t be bothered with all this and may have that “minah2 salih tu tak pantang, OK je” attitude. But I’m pretty old-fashioned. I’ve always been a fan of traditions and as long as those practices aren’t against Islam, there’s no harm in following eh?