VITALITY OF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE IN MALAYSIAN WEDDING CARDS: A MULTIETHNIC PERSPECTIVE

Siti Rohana Mohd Thani, Kuang Ching Hei

Abstract


The way language is used within a certain community reflects the culture of its users but is it possible to accommodate the culture of others when different communities live within one country as citizens? This paper examined thirty Malaysian wedding cards gathered from the three dominant ethnic groups of Malay, Chinese and Indian. It focussed on the vitality of language and culture presented in current day wedding cards issued by modern day couples, that is, from the year 2000 onwards. Data extracted for analysis comprised the language printed on the cards followed by the symbolic and cultural features noted on and within the cards. Leech’s (1981) framework of making meanings from printed language was applied. Findings suggest that current day wedding cards of the three ethnic communities have adapted to modernisation in terms of design, colour and information. However, symbolic language and traditional and cultural features reflecting each of the respective community were still prevalent. The findings imply that despite the advancement of technology and globalisation, Malaysia’s diverse ethnic groups remained faithful to their cultures with each group retaining and promoting its respective symbolic features and cultural identity. This indicates that one’s ethnic identity and culture are important particularly when expressed through wedding cards. Our claim is confined to the analysis of a small portion of wedding cards, hence, a more extensive study may be necessary to verify this claim. 


Keywords


CULTURE, IDENTITY, TRADITION, SYMBOLIC FEATURES, WEDDING CARDS

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.24200/mjll.vol6iss2pp48-66

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