"I know there is a perigi (well) Hang Tuah in Malacca but it was built by the local people and they go there at night to ask for numbers …"
It is good to know that someone so respected in the world of the Malaysian academia have a wicked sense of humour.
(What? It is seditious of the good Professor to sully the grave of the great Hang Tuah by saying so? Really, ahh?)
So then, should mythos and facts mix it up in our good old Malaysian (ahem) history?
Nope, but I do think that most myths are basically exaggerated facts so much so the tales become way too tall to totally tell.
One fact which I can tell is this: all these myths help make, urm, “history” the more pleasurable (the less tedious?) to learn.
Give the children (and adults too) some credit in that they will be able to discern which are facts and which are not.
There is of course the danger in driving through myths as facts to promote a certain agenda: but Churchill (Winston) was partially right when he said:”History is written by the victors.”
Partially because the human tenacity has often also seen scripts by the so-called losers filter out to the world, eventually.
Anyway, back to Hang Tuah.
The version that’s etched forever in my mind and memory is unfortunately P Ramlee’s and not the Hikayat due to the former being the more easily digestible form.
Political intrigue, love romance, comradeship, treason, an anti hero, fight scenes… and all within a mere one half hour of doing nothing.
Now, what is there not to like about P Ramlee’s Hang Tuah?
Just don’t forget to open the window to chuck out any so supposed factual facts.
The now immortalized words in PRamlee’s version of “Akukah yang bersalah atau Jebatkah yang bersalah?" though says a whole lot about the reason why the legend of Hang Tuah existed for so long though.
So, did Hang Tuah exist? Probably.
What of his exploits? Probably exaggerated.
PS: Posting's no relation to pix below.