Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Day 15

The Jambi people (also known as the Melayu Jambi - i.e. Jambi Malay) primarily live in four of the six districts that comprise the Jambi Province of central Sumatera. These districts are Tanjungjabung, Batanghari, Bungo-Tebo, and the capital city of Jambi. The Jambi language is a branch of the Melayu (Malay) language cluster. Their culture is greatly influenced by the Minangkabau culture.Most of the area the Jambi inhabit is a lowland basin of dense jungles, peat bogs, swamps, and rivers--all drained by the mighty Batang Hari River (655 km. long) and its tributaries. The rivers are important to them not only as a means of transportation but as a source of fish. They are adept swimmers and fishermen. They use eight types of traditional fishing tackle, as well as the modern pukat (fishnet). They are great eaters of ikan (fish) and complain that a meal is incomplete without its distinctive flavor.
The Jambi have many different kinds of ceremonies and rituals, which they celebrate at special occasions. These would include: birth of a child, naming a child, first hair cut, ear piercing for two-year old girls, and circumcision for sons between six and ten years old. When the children come of age, (15 year old girls and 17 year old boys), there is a ceremony to file their teeth as a symbol of their adulthood.
Many of the Jambi people feel that they have been displaced and disadvantaged in the area economy by the many transmigrants who have arrived in recent years. More extensive educational assistance could help them gain the skills they need to achieve a competitive position with other ethnic groups. Better medical care is also needed among the Jambi.
We can PRAY:
*Pray for long-term Christian laborers to work among the Jambi Maylay people.
*Pray for the love of Jesus to penetrate the walls built up against the Gospel, so that the people of Jambi may find their identity and freedom in being children of God.
*Pray for the Jambi Maylay who have accepted the gospel, that they would be strong and courageous witnesses to their own people, resulting in a culturally-adapted Jambi church.


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