THE CULTURE AND CUSTOM OF THE MALAY COMMUNITY: THE LULLUBY CUSTOM
Berendoi(to lulluby) originates from the word endoi of the Perlis Malay dialect meaning a hammock to put a baby or child to sleep. This custom is as the family thanksgiving after receiving a newborn baby. This custom too develops in Kedah especially in districts sharing the same boundaries as Perlis such as Bukit Besar, Kota Sarang Semut, Kubang Rotan and Bukit Kerengga.
Berendoi started to develop in Perlis in the sixties, introduced by the late Penghulu Othman from Bintong, Perlis, who also introduced the Canggung dance during the Japanese administration that eventually became the state identity dance. Berendoi has elements of the Islamic teachings with at least three or four participants chanting rythmatically during the or shaving of a week-old baby hair. Among the activities in the berendoi ceremony still around today are:
1. Mouth Splitting
This activity is performed by the religious, village head or local leader, by rubbing banana to the baby mouth. This is followed by rubbing with a ring dipped in milk with prayers so that the baby will be fluent in speech, kind, courteous and the like.
The endoi or the hammock for this activity is adorned beautifully with colourful flowers with the shaved baby placed inside the hammock. Then the lulluby starts with songs praising Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) or that contain advice, spirituals and examples with the hope that these elements can be inculcated into the baby.
3. Lulluby Above the Coconut Tree Shoot or Make a Vow
This activity is a sign to discharge a vow or pay an intent. As an example, a family dream to have a son is achieved after having daughters. Due to the impossibility of performing this custom on a real coconut tree, therefore a coconut with shoot is placed under the hammock to symbolise a coconut tree with shoot, and swayed to portray the parent high ambition and thanks for the gift long craved.
Every performance is usually held together with a thanksgiving feast and akikah (slaughtering of an animal usually a goat for the baby) with the goat meat as the main dish. Berendoi starts after the meal is served. The Berendoi group consists of a number of men adorning the Malay attire with pelikat sarung and songkok (head gear), or women in either a uniform of baju kurung or baju kebaya attire with head scarf.
The Berendoi group starts their performance by chanting verses praising Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and then the group leader cradles the baby and places him in the hammock. The song usually sung first is Ya Rabbi in the Arabic and Malay languages with the lyrics full of praises of the Prophet. Every song has four lines in poetic form like the example below:
We begin with Bismillah (in the name of Allah)
Secondly with Alhamdulillah (thank you Allah)
Requesting for blessings from Allah
To obtain the good traits of Rasulullah (the Prophet)