The Malays have a belief that when a pregnant woman gets frightened by a man, or a scene, her new born will either look like the man or have a mark from the scene. This is known as "kesan".
An example of a real story here. Three Malay ladies were sitting on a bench in a garden. An English man came in and suddenly tried to frighten the ladies. They were so frightened that they screamed non stop. Why did the English men do that, no one knew. But months later, the three ladies all gave birth to albinoes, who had yellow hair but pink eyes.
The Foochows have a vague explanation that "a shadow may fall over a pregnant lady, and disturb the foetus, resulting in changes in appearance of the child. Hence during pregnancy a woman should not go out of the house at all to safe guard the health of the baby."
This is a sad story from Sibu.
A high ranking man brought his new wife to live in Sibu. She soon became pregnant and the couple was over the moon. One day the wife was frightened by an Indian man who purported jumped over the fence as she was drying her laundry. She was stunned for a while she said but then she did not tell her husband about the fright. The Indian man left as suddenly as he came.
A few months later when the child was born, both the husband and wife were stunned by the baby who hard dark skin like century egg.
The high ranking official asked the wife for a divorce and she sadly left Sibu with the baby. We never knew what happened after that to mother and baby. In those days there was no DNA. The baby should be as old as I am now.
I am sure the Indian man must have no knowledge of what he did had caused so much heart aches in Sibu.
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