The Universality of the Similarities and Differences between Malay and Chinese Mythologies
In the literary context, folk literature is also referred to as oral literature. As one of the oldest known sources of literature, mythology falls into this genre. This research aims to identify the universality of the similarities and differences between Malay and Chinese mythologies. This study was based on a qualitative approach involving a library method and a descriptive analysis based on Plummer’s (1997) Literary Sociology Theory, which were used to analyze the primary data of the study. In addition, several books and journal articles were selected to be used as the secondary of the study. Specifically, this study employed literary-based research by using storybooks of Malay and Chinese mythologies, namely Cerita Rakyat Malaysia (2008) and Mitos China Purbakala Jilid 1 dan Jilid 2 (2009). The analysis revealed that irrespective of their cultural origins, Malay and Chinese mythologies shared some similarities in terms of their plots, themes, characteristics, social values. The analysis also revealed that their main differences stemmed from the religious perspective. Revealingly, the analysis showed that the importance placed on such oral literature was not only for entertainment purposes but also for educational purposes as well. Overall, these findings reinforce the universality of Malay and Chinese mythologies as a literary genre that defines their unique cultural identity that is heavily influenced by mysticism. Given such interesting findings, it becomes imperative for practitioners to promote stories of mythologies as an important cultural heritage to the young generation.