Ancestor Worship and Identity: Ritual, Interpretation, and Social Normalization in the Malaysian Chinese Community

Clarke, Ian
October 2000
SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia;Oct2000, Vol. 15 Issue 2, p273
Academic Journal
This paper examines the role played by the practice of ancestor worship in Malaysian Chinese culture. Approaching this practice from the point of view of the unique nature of ritual in Chinese culture, the paper looks at how this practice is interpreted by various individuals and institutions within Malaysian Chinese society to make it compatible with their own separate ideological systems. Further it demonstrates that common participation in this ritual activity at one level acts as a form of social normalization among diverse social groupings, helping to create and express a Chinese ethnic identity within Malaysian society.


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