French Talks: On Pencak Silat martial arts in Malaysian society

Date: 24 Jun 2019, 8:00pm - 10:00pm (GMT+08:00) Kuala Lumpur

[French Talks] On Pencak Silat martial arts in Malaysian society: A French anthropologist’s view

Talk conducted in English

Free entrance upon RSVP
Monday 24 June, 8pm @AFKL  

Rituals, Techniques and Politics of Pencak Silat in Malaysia

In Malaysia, pencak silat is a martial initiation that counts thousands of schools, as well as regional associations and a national federation. In many villages and urban neighborhoods, initiation groups are at the core of the sociocultural life. They gather the local communities during collective rituals, prepare the young men and women for their mundane existence and their afterlife, and convey a particular ethos to the initiates. Moreover, the schools are connected to political and religious issues. Apart from the cosmologies, techniques, rituals and modes of transmission, we will describe the pencak silat practice groups’ position towards state nationalism, regional identities’ tensions as well as political evolutions since the 2000s.

SPEAKER: Gabriel Facal

Gabriel Facal is an Anthropologist, associated to Centre de recherches sur l’Asie du Sud-Est (CASE, Paris) and Institut de recherches Asiatiques (Irasia, Marseille). He realized fifteen fieldworks in Southeast Asia. His research topics are martial initiation, clientelistic networks, vigilante groups and Islamic militant organisations. He is currently involved in a postdoctoral project (POPEI-Coll) with CASE to investigate heritage programs in Eastern Flores (Indonesia). 

Organised by

Embassy of France in Malaysia
Alliance Française de Kuala Lumpur


What is French Talks?
Welcoming French and Malaysian experts, it aims at creating a space of dialogue, and a bridge between the two countries and their cultures. This is particularly timely in this new Malaysia where people are willing to express their views


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