Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mepak (Kiss feeding): Melanau motherly love

1:00 PM

Photo by: Stefan

This is a melanau saying about Mepak:

Yen ji tileang a tina gak aneak,
Tenguan a debei keman,
Tenguan yen kawak sien mepak aneak,
Mepak tapak a debei nyaheak,
Enda lawuih madak aneak nyaheak. 

Which roughly translated:
A motherly love is when she is willing to kiss feed her infant during her meal and let her infant go full feed first.

Mepak is the act of chewing food for the purpose of physically breaking it down in order to feed a baby.

This is a traditional way to feed a baby used for generation by melanau mothers.

For western people and younger generation, Mepak may be alien to them but this is actually one of the most ancient practice for feeding a baby and perhaps the most natural way.

For instance, in the Ancient Egyptian medical papyrus, a mother was instructed to give medical remedy to a child through Mepak.

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