MINYAK PUTIH // “WHITE OIL”
Main Piece: (rough translation from Indonesian)
Minyak Putih (translation: white oil) is a very well known type of oil that is uniquely fragrant in Indonesia. It is used to help heal you when you are sick – such as flu, cold, pneumonia, anything.
The way you use it is you rub it on the part of your body that needs healing – such as your chest or your back when say you need to heal your lungs.
Often it is a Indonesian/Chinese belief that the body is sick (like Flu, example) because “wind” has entered the body – and the oil (or other methods such as coining, previously mentioned) can heal you by taking this bad wind out of your body.
Why do they know this piece?
I know this because everyone in my family uses this. It is a tradition of our culture.
Where/Who did they learn it from?
I learned it from my mother.
What does it mean for them?
It is a very good way to heal you when you are sick.
Context of Performance:
Talking to grandmother over the phone.
Minyak Putih is very well known throughout Indonesians. Although it is hard to get here in the States, most of my Indonesian American friends that I met here in the States all have heard and/or use Minyak Putih. They all seem to believe on its healing properties. As do I – it’s like Vicks in a sense that it clears up your nasal passages when you breathe it in, and has a relaxing quality about it like Lavender.