Malay Folk Genre Pantun: Traditions and Modernity

Authors: Victoria Kytina (University Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia),
Dana Bartosh (Moscow City University, Russia),
Mariya Kharlamova (Moscow State Linguistic University, Russia),
Ekaterina Kotova (Pushkin State Russian Language Institute, Russia)
Speakers: Victoria Kytina
Strand: Poetics
Session Type: General Session


Purpose – to analyze and systematize the features of pantun, both traditional for this Malay folklore genre and due to its historical development, and uniqueness, inherent in individual pantuns, as well as to identify the reasons for the relevance of this genre in Malay culture.

Methodology – comparative-typological, descriptive-functional, and cultural-historical research methods were used in the work.

Findings – the main features of pantun as a traditional genre of Malay poetry are systematized. Logic, brevity, and the presence of rhyme are identified as the main structural features due to the historical development of pantun. These features determine in many ways the content: symbolism, allegorical and thematic, as well as the phonetic features of the pantun. The considered features of pantuns that meet certain national characteristics of the Malay people can be identified as the reasons for the popularity of this genre so far.

Significance – The classic folk pantun is a miniature poetic form, characterized by structural, substantive and phonetic features and strict rules of design. Violations of the traditional rules in individual pantuns are rather exceptional and subordinate to the content component. Being an integral part of the culture of the people, pantuns undergo some changes in the thematic aspect, in particular, they reflect the realities of modern reality, but these changes do not go beyond the boundaries of the traditions of the genre.

Keywords: Pantun, Malay folk genre, Symbolism, Malay literature, Malay poetry.