Saturday, 14 June 2014

How naughty children were punished in 1849

Extracted from the Hikayat Munshi Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir, 1849

All manner of instruments for inflicting punishment were kept in the school, different kinds for different offences. There  was also  the sengkang, a punishment for  children; who  were always  squabbling or absconding or thieving. The child  was held with  his right hand up to his  left  ear, and was told to stand up and  sit  down over  and  over again, as  in the picture. 

There  was a punishment for pupils who were lazy in their  studies.  Smoke  was generated in a heap of  dry  coconut fibre  and  the  child  made  to  stand  astride it.  Sometimes dry  pepper was put in the fire.  The  reek  of the smoke  was most irritating and  caused a copious discharge from eyes and and  nose.  

There was the cane and the apit china. The apit china was made from four pieces of rattan, each about  six  inches long,  fitting together at  a point at  one  end  and  threaded  with  a long  piece of twine  at  the other, as in the picture. It was  used  for squeezing the fingers  together as  a punishment for  children  who  stole  or  hit their fellow-pupils. 

Another  was called  the kayu  palat. It  was made out of  a round piece of  wood  about  the  width  of  a  man's  chest.  Three holes  were pierced in  it,  those  on the right and  left carrying the knotted  ends of two pieces of cord  which passed  through the centre  hole.  It  was used  to punish children  who  ran away from school, or  who  climbed trees, or  who gazed at  their  friends.  The child's  feet  were put one into  each  ot  the  two loops of  the  cord which  was twisted upwards and  used to beat his soles.  

There was  also the rantai besi, a chain  six  feet  or  more  in length, nailed  to  the  end  of a beam.  The free  end  was  fitted  with  a lock-pin and  it  was  used to punish children who regularly  played truant or  were always quarrelling, or  who  did  not  listen  to  their parents' instructions  and  were  late for  school.  The  chain  was locked round  the  offender's  waist and  he was  made  to carry the  wooden beam  on his  shoulder  round  the  school. Sometimes  he was  left wearing the  chain  and  was  not  allowed home,  his  rice being sent to  him. 

There was a punishment for  children  who made mistakes  in  class.  A twisted  cord  was  fastened  round  the  child's waist  and  tied  to  a post. The child  was  then  told  to go on  with his writing until  it  was  done.  Not until  it  was finished  was he released, his  rice being sent  to  him by his parents. A punishment for  children  who were  verv badly  behaved, ones  who fought, ran away or  stole things was to gantung - hang them up  by their  two  hands  with  their  feet  off  the ground. Another punishment  for  those  who  misbehaved  and  stole  was  to place them  face downwards  on  the floor  and  beat them.  Another  for  children who  told  lies  or  used  bad language or  insulted people consisted  in putting,  pepper into  their  mouths.

No comments: