Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Do's and DON'Ts in a Forest

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I'm sure most of us have gone camping at one point or another (especially those who are into adventures).
Yours truly is never a big fan of staying out there in the wild; not because of the spooks but more of hygiene and lots of other reasons which I can't point here (just call me a brat).

Most of those who have been a boy scout/girl guide, camping is a norm and practically part of their routine.

How many of us have not been to a forest before anyway? Perhaps the younger generation who are too engrossed with the technology playing in their eyes are the only exception?
How many, even frequent campers truly know the rules of the forest grounds?

True, the forest is the land of the beautiful flora and fauna and the natural habitats for the creatures of the wild; born free and living free.

However, have you heard of the divine living among the creatures and the lush greeneries of the forest?

For centuries, there are stories passed down from generation to generation; especially by our forefathers who have seen it all during their days of exploring the forests.
There are countless experiences and encounters in the forest which they have shared; are they true or not?
I leave it to you to judge, however, I have done my little research and found that most of the stories have been shared by our Malay counterparts, who are mostly forest rangers and hikers back then.

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Besides, I have also compiled the beliefs and superstitions from other races; and in general to share with you on a simple guide on the Do's and Don'ts in the Forest:

1. Do NOT Whistle in the forest
It is believed that your whistling could attract the ghosts or even wild beasts (man-eating ones) and either way, it is not a favorable return to you.

2. Do NOT Shout/Yell/Scream/Wail or talk in LOUD voices
You will be attracting various forms of creatures; genies, jembalang (devil), and again wild beasts
Furthermore, if your cries are heard by the devil, you are more prone to get lost in the forest.

3. Do NOT Sleep on the Trees
You will be setting a trap for yourself; it will be hard to escape the clutches of the devil if you were found on the trees. There are various forms of the beings; and some are the flying ones. If you sleep on the trees, you could be offending the genies or incur the wrath of the host.

4. If you are going hunting, do not get astray from your friends/group
You can risk getting lost, and also at the same time, you may be misled by the illusions and could end up killing your own friends through the divine transformations of the beings.

5. Do NOT sleep by the river if you have lost your way
This is a Malay belief that you can be eaten by the ghost that dwells in that area or the one responsible to elude you to that path.

6. If you hear your name being called, do not Answer or Turn Back
This is a popular belief among everyone. It is best not to answer as it could be the call of the other being to lure you into their trap.
Chinese believe that you should not even turn your head to look behind you; as a human being has the guidance of the three lights on their head and shoulders which the ghosts are afraid of.
Therefore, they will resort to tricks to put out the light.
No matter what happens, don't turn your head around. If you have to, make sure your whole body turns around with you.

7. Do NOT call people by their Real Names
Make an agreement with your friends to give each other nicknames in the forest at the beginning of the trip. This is related to Rule 6; avoid being called by your real name ensures that your soul is not fully taken by the devil when you are called.
If your friend calls you by your name, do not answer.
This is to ensure your safety not just in the forest. When your real name is known, the ghost may hunt you all the way even back at home.

8. Do NOT pick up things in the forest for keeps
The phrase "Finders' Keepers" definitely do not apply here! No matter how tempting it is, do not simply pick up things unless it's your own and keep it for yourself. Those things could belong to someone else; or something else.

9. Do NOT make any comments/remarks if you were to see anything queer in the forest
If you smell something funny or heard any noise, just keep quiet about it and don't make passing remarks such as "What's that smell?", Why is it so noisy here?
These could incur the wrath of the other beings living there.

10. Do NOT be arrogant
Do NOT make statements such as "I will never get lost", "I know the forest much better than anyone else"
Such statements could lead to unexplainable events which pursue; and you could find yourself getting lost (no matter how expert you were)
These could be the work of the genies or the spirits in the forest.

11. Do NOT pee/do your business everywhere
If you have an urge to take that nature's call, try looking for a loo. If you have no choice, do ask for permission and say "Excuse me"
It's best if you were to go to a loo, for it is dirty to pollute the environment (for nature's sake) and you could offend some of the spirits who live there if you were to accidentally/fatefully dirty their living place.

12. Do NOT make too much noise in the forest
Too merry of an environment not just disturb the animals; but also the spirits who may not welcome such impolite behavior in their residence.

13. I don't think this needs to be told; for it is common sense NOT to sleep on a walkway or a path
The paths we use to walk are also the same paths used by the spirits. I don't need to tell you what happens when we walk another's path?

14. Do NOT bring meat/pork into the forest
I've heard of this from a friend. It is dangerous to cook meat in the forest; you could be luring a beast to your campsite, or those hungry pontianaks.

15. Do NOT sing in the forest
Same as do not make noise

Anything else from campers out there?

Whether to believe it or not, it's entirely up to you.
However, it is no harm to keep these guidelines in mind when you are at the forest anyway, right?
You don't have to pay a cent to be extra careful...

Enjoy your camping!


ShuriKen said...

been camping a few times during high school. I have one to share: do not say animals name in jungle esp. elephant or tiger. Malay says pantang mulut and what u say might come true!

Btw, regarding the 'dont sleep next to river' it is because of the danger of flash flood and the river may swell up quickly. This may due to heavy rain on the upstream.

:) :) nice post!

Christy said...

Hahaha....thanks for your input too!
I do know about the river thing...the scientific explanation is always a fact, but I think some beliefs are to make sure that people don't break them:)