Preserving Tradition with a Purpose: Interpreting Zuo Yuezi in Malaysia

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Chin Yee Mun Wu Ming Chu



Many traditional practices are no longer practiced. To a large extent, modernity is seen as the factor that changes our perception on the meaning of practicality. Due to modernization, individuals became more rational. As a result, many traditional practices were perceived as irrelevant and no longer practical. However, such understanding of rationalization can be problematic. There are some traditional practices which are continued till today, such as zuo yuezi. It has been practised by Chinese women for more than one thousand years. Hence, this paper argues that it is not modernity that causes individuals to be rational. Rationalization happens all the time and as a result some cultural practices were abandoned while some others continued. In order to discuss this notion, an inductive study was done to describe and explore forty seven Chinese women views on zuo yuezi. Data from this study revealed that the women continued the practice because they found purposes to practise it. Therefore, rationalization should not be seen as an outcome that is confined to modernity. It is an on-going process that transcends modernity and shaped by individuals' interpretation of what benefits them. 


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MUN, Chin Yee; CHU, Wu Ming. Preserving Tradition with a Purpose: Interpreting Zuo Yuezi in Malaysia. Journal of Chinese Literature And Culture 馬大華人文學與文化學刊, [S.l.], v. 1, n. 1, p. 1-15, oct. 2019. ISSN 2289-232X. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 22 oct. 2020.