Saturday 25 February 2012

Can't Explain Yourself? Be A Pak Pandir!

This is a second time I am writing about Pak Pandir, a character in the Malay folklore. Briefly, Pak Pandir symbolises a person who is naive and stupid. One of the stories about him is about the death of his son. He overfeed the son with porridge until the innocent little kid died. The tiny body was wrapped in a mat and was brought for burial. Somehow the body slipped through and Pak Pandir buried the empty map. On his way back home he saw the body of his son and said to himself "I am not the only one who lost a son today".

To many Malaysians, the above short story about Pak Pandir is meant to be a joke. That's why when somebody did something foolish, the person will be equated as Pak Pandir and people will just laugh off and move on. So, Pak Pandir is not only an escapism in the old days but a way to excuse oneself when there is no other option to choose.

In the modern days, many people use the option to be Pak Pandir when they are caught at a corner and could not explain their behaviors or conducts. By insinuating that others did the same or they did the same thing in the past and nobody was bothered, one indirectly says, "Hang on guys, I am a Pak Pandir, just laugh at me and move on. Don't worry for what I did".

Unfortunately, many Malaysians will forgive Pak Pandir easily, irrespective where the contemporary Pak Pandirs sit in our society. Perhaps, unconsciously the concept of Pak Pandir has been hardwired in our brains. It could be that we themselves want to ensure this escape route is open for us to use should we need it. Many of us love Pak Pandir so much so that we kiss their hands when we meet them.

So, we when we are caught doing something which we could not explain, be a Pak Pandir and we will be forgiven.

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