Leisure Recreation and the Arts

In Orang Suku Laut life, work and leisure time are not strictly separated or terminologically distinguished. However, because men and women normally work together and carry out more or less the same activities, they also have the same amount of free time, and this increases during stormy seasons. Leisure time is always spent together, and there is absolutely no segregation of the sexes.

During leisure time, males and females meet relatives and friends, sit together, report news and gossip, tell stories, or play cards. A special enjoyment is the competitive performance of impromptu rhymes, called pantun, created alternately by males and females. In recent times, groups of people like to assemble in front of a black-and-white television set run from an automobile battery. Since on the Riau Islands one receives Singaporean or Malaysian broadcasting services, the spectators often understand neither the films' languages (e.g., English and various Chinese and Indian languages) nor the subtitles, since they are illiterate. Therefore somebody in the audience acts as a storyteller and shares his or her perception and interpretation of the pictures and actions with the others.

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Pregnancy And Childbirth

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