Politeness Strategies of The Pembayun(s) in The Bride- Kidnapping Practices of Sasak Culture
Lalu Nurul Yaqin and Thilagavathi Shanmuganathan
Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, Volume 28, Issue 1, March 2020
Keywords: Bride-kidnapping, marriage rituals, politeness strategies, Sasak culture
Published on: 19 March 2020
Bride-kidnapping is considered a violation of human rights in many cultures worldwide, but among the Sasak people of Lombok, it has deep customary implications. While the act itself is consensual between the couple, it is an occasion for the families to confront each other and discuss settlements or dispute the offers between each other. The negotiation is a show of tradition or customary norms where politeness strategies is observed during the discussions between the two disputing parties affected by the bride-kidnapping. During the discussions, rituals such as Sejati, Selabar, and Sorong Serah are conducted to neutralise anxiety, address face attacks and reduce disputes that may have arisen due to the bride- kidnapping. In these three rituals, the language resources of the representatives of both families, also known as Pembayun (adat leaders), is to negotiate and come to a settlement through polite discourse. This study is an ethnographic enquiry and data were analysed based on Brown and Levinsons model of politeness. The study revealed that the most preferred strategy was negative politeness used by both the Pembayun in the bride- kidnapping rituals. The notion of politeness and the strategies in which it is achieved in communication is culture-bound and culture-specific.