Friday, October 30, 2009

Bu Nyai Pak Yai

In Javanese culture there's a tradition where the wife of an Ulema is called as Bu Nyai. Bu Nyai is a woman who accompanies Pak Yai. Something not right here is that people tend to respect or make Bu Nyai and Pak Yai very superior--even the most superior of all. This is absolutely wrong.

Pak Yai is an educated person. To be a Pak Yai, a man must at least reaches the age of fourty. It is because Pak Yai always refers to an old pious man and so is Bu Nyai, an old cleric's wife with jilbab. They two are basically human beings. There is no reason to make them more superior, for the highest human is in fact Muhammad.

Bu Nyai stays in a pesantren. Often a Pak Yai has more than one Bu Nyai as Islam allows men to have more than a wife.

So you wanna be a Bu Nyai?


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