Masa dan Masyarakat Melayu: Peradaban berterusan

Nor Hashimah Jalaluddin

Abstrak

Dari dahulu hingga kini, konsep ‘janji Melayu’ masih lekat dalam masyarakat Melayu. Jika dahulu dikatakan masyarakat Melayu tidak mempunyai pengukur masa yang tepat namun setelah munculnya peradaban masa yang tepat, jam umpamanya, penilaian orang Melayu terhadap masa boleh dikatakan masih kekal. Ukuran-ukuran masa seperti selama enggang mengeram, selangkas betik berbuah dan semasak buah rambai adalah manifestasi betapa lamanya masa yang diambil untuk melakukan sesuatu perkara. Peredaran masa dan kesan modenisasi masih menyaksikan ukuran masa seumpama ini dipraktikkan lagi. Ungkapan-ungkapan seperti lepas asar,lepas maghrib, senja telah dipakai bagi merujuk pada masa. Persoalannya sekarang adakah masyarakat Melayu begitu sempit pemikiran mereka sehingga arus modenisasi dan globalisasi gagal mengikis pandangan mereka terhadap masa. Atau adakah ini nilai peradaban Melayu yang mesti dipertahankan agar Melayu akan tetap dihormati sebagai bangsa yang boleh bertolak ansur dan berhati budi. Data teks klasik dan moden akan dijadikan perbandingan ukuran masa bersandarkan perspektif ilmu pragmatik. Hasilnya kelak akan menjadi hakim kepada pengukuhan atau perubahan nilai peradaban itu sendiri.

Abstract

The notion of ‘Malay promise’ (meaning ‘not punctual’) persists till today. In the past when absence of instruments for observing time was usually held responsible for unpunctuality, the availability of clocks and watches in present day society does not seem to solve the so-called problem of lack of promptness. Concomitant with this, the existence of Malay phrases such as, ‘the duration of a hornbill’s incubation’, ‘the duration of the ripening of a papaya’, and ‘the duration of the rip­ening of the rambai fruit’ seems to belie this assumption of unpunctuality. This is because they do indicate a conception of time, which includes consideration of duration and period. The cur­rency of such sayings would suggest that Malay concept of time, as understood in olden times persists despite rapid changes in modern society. In fact the former phrases of time has changed to ‘after asar (early evening) prayer’, ‘after maghrib (evening) prayer’, and dusk in today‘s life. This observation lends itself to a relevant question. Are Malays so inflexible that changes wrought by modernization and globalisation failing to affect any significant shift in their per­ception of time? Or, could this so-called rigidity be explained in terms of the built-in leeway, which inevitably accompanies any con­ception of time, a way of thinking which in turn explains Malay tolerance and politeness. To this end, data form both modern and traditional texts are analyzed from the perspective of pragmatics. The findings would prove whether Malay way of conceiving time is eroded or reinforced and strengthened over time.

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