Malaysia is well known for the diverse ethnic and tradition strands that make up its unique culture. One of the customs which is still being practised is “Munjung”. This occasion is popular when the Islamic holy month of Ramadan approaches until Eid Al-Fitr Celebration. The term “Munjung” is defined as giving or offering and this culture is descended from Javanese ancestor in Malaysia which is now almost forgotten and neglected custom in this era.

Ramadan is the month where all Muslims are fasting not just from food and water, but spiritually devoting and reflecting themselves to their faith as well as fostering empathy and help to those in needs. Therefore, “Munjung” is a medium where the Muslims aid and share meals with others collectively among neighbours and friends in Ramadan or Shawwal. Thus, “Munjung” tradition is indeed reflecting the influence of Islamic beliefs and customs as Islam has always emphasising charity, solidarity, being socially responsible and helpful. It can be explained by a few concepts introduced by Islam such as the ideas of “Sadaqah” (charity) and “Sunnah” (prophetic tradition of hospitality), shaping the principles and customs of “Munjung”. This culture, additionally, symbolises the interconnectedness of people in society and represents the Malay values of hospitality, charity, and mutual assistance.

This tradition somehow seems to be faded and in the brink of being history from time to time. What should be the causes? People are moving towards modern styles of living and this modernisation has reshaped the way we live. People are now celebrating and practising new norms by combining traditional and contemporary elements of giving and sharing although it deviates from the original “Munjung” tradition. Nonetheless, it would be a great loss for us if this tradition disappeared. Initiatives should be implemented in order to preserve and promote this invaluable custom in Malaysia.

The community plays a vital role in safeguarding this tradition, but it could be handy to have initiatives from cultural organisations and institutions. The main goal is to preserve and raising awareness of the “Munjung” culture to future generations despite the influence of modernisation. Protecting this cultural treasure is more than just a rescue attempt in a world that is changing rapidly; it is a commitment to fostering Malaysian identity. It is our responsibility of our cultural legacy to value, honour, and preserve the “Munjung” tradition so that it remains an asset to Malaysian.





Shakina Shahlee

Language Teacher

Centre for Language Studies

Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM)