If you are on my Facebook, you’ll know that Sister 1 have “recently” given birth to a very healthy baby girl. Now, as per traditional Bruneian custom, all baby girls between the age of 40 to 60 days usually go through circumcision, so we had a little function thing for her. But I will talk about the function in another post. 🙂
Circumcision is always associated with mutilation of the vagina and has received a lot of bad publicity in the “Western world” because many think that it entails the total removal of the clitoris (or worse, sewing up of the vagina).
While that may be true in some countries, in Brunei obviously it is not. I went through circumcision, and I assure you that me, along with the bulk of Bruneian female population who have undergone the procedure/ritual, can very well testify that our clitoris(es) are safe and very well intact.
What circumcision really, is a rite of passage. What really is removed? According to the lady doing circumcising, who you will see in the video below, the removed bit is a very tiny bit of skin over the clitoris.
I am not sure however, if she was referring to the hood of the clitoris but I think not, because that would have been really painful, and result in a large bit of skin and profuse bleeding, which in this case did not happen. What happened was, there was only a miniscule amount of blood, and a microscopic bit of skin tissue. So I can’t really answer that question. I just don’t have enough expertise in the area. Any Bruneian gynaecologist care to comment?
Technical things aside, the video below is nothing short of a taboo. Usually, the only person allowed to see this kind of ritual would be the mother, grandmother and the lady conducting the procedure. Any other individual, including the child’s own father, are BANNED out of the room. After that no one really talks about the ceremony/ritual forever except for the occasional, “yes you were circumcised” when asked.
But in the name of education, here it is. Ypu might get a baby girl one day, who knows? So take comfort in the fact that the subject is now Google-able. 🙂
You will hear an annoying nasal voice narrating the video, and obviously that’s me, so my advise is to only watch it no more than 3 times. After 3 times, it gets rather annoying.
For maximum pleasure, please view the video first before reading continuation below.
For your information, Nini (holding the baby, the baby’s grandmother) closed her eyes throughout the whole debacle. She’s very discomforted around blood which makes her totally ineligible for an interview despite the fact that she has been present in now a total of 5 circumcisions.
The aged lady who conducted the procedure is a trained midwife and have done countless of circumcisions. There is a myth, that said that if there is no blood, the baby will grow up to be n old maid. 🙂 But that’s just a myth. (I hope) She also said that the best time for a baby to get circumcised is at exactly 44 days old. If it’s too early, there will be nothing to remove, but after 60 days, the skin will be too… “hard” (karas was the word) and it will be very painful for the baby.
After the whole thing was done, she instructed Nini to bury the dirt and cotton filled with the skin and blood under a flowering plant. Baby Z’s things was buried in earth rich with roots from a jasmine.