Sep 17, 2008

The Legend of Toba Lake

Once upon a time, there was a fisherman lived in a North Sumatra. Don’t ask me the year, all I know it was a very long time before you were born. When he was fishing in a river, a big fish was nailed. This fish had gold color all over its body. It was beautiful. The fisherman was very excited. He imagined a delicious dinner in his head. He put the fish in his basket and went home happily.

When he got home, he put the fish in a sink. He grabbed a knife to kill the fish. But when he almost killed it, he saw the fish eyes and felt pity. He took the knife away and put the fish in washbasin and added water in it. “Don’t worry, I wouldn’t kill you” the fisherman said.

The fisherman went fishing again. But this time he couldn’t get any fish. He went home with nothing in his hand. His stomach started to sing. He walked home slouching. He was surprised when he saw smoke came out from his kitchen.

“Who cooked in my kitchen?” he confused.

He took a peep and surprised when he saw a beautiful girl cooked in his house. “Why there’s a girl in my kitchen?” he confused.

The fisherman entered the room. “Who are you?” he asked the girl.

“I’m the fish.” The girl said.

The fisherman looked the washbasin and saw nothing in it. “The fish?” he asked incredulous.

“Yes. You didn’t kill me and I’m very thankful. I will return your kindness.” The girl said.

“That’s ok. I didn’t ask any return” the fisherman said.

“But I have to.”The girl insisted.

“Well, I lived alone. I don’t have family. If you want to be my wife, I will be very happy.” The fisherman asked the girl.

The girl smiled and said “I’d love to but you have to promise me that if we have kid you can’t tell him about me.”

And so, the fisherman and the fish girl were married. And then they had a child called Samo. Samo was very naughty. He couldn’t be advisable. He always played and never helped his parents.

One day Samo was asked to deliver lunch to his father. On his way, he met his friends and forgot to deliver his father’s lunch. Samo played with his friends. When he was tired and hungry, he was resting under a tree and ate his father lunch. Meanwhile his father waited him in starve and tired. His father went home and saw Samo played. “Where is my lunch?” he asked.

“Mmm…mm.. I ate it” Samo said afraid.

“Why you ate it?” his father asked.

“ I was hungry after playing with my friend” Samo said.

“You were told to deliver my lunch but you didn’t listen.” his father was very furious. “I can’t handle you anymore. You are very naughty. Go away from me. Don’t come home anymore.” His father yelled and evicted Samo from his house.

And this what happened if you can’t control your mouth when you angry. His father said the words that he wouldn’t suppose to say. “You… fish’s son.”

Suddenly, the sky was getting dark. The storm was breaking the ears. The rain felt from the sky like giant hose sprayed water all over the place. And then the water came out from the land and getting harder.

Sumo’s mother was very sad. “I told you don’t tell him about me” she said to her husband. “Now I’m going back to be fish again. Good by” the mother was transformed magically to be gold fish again and disappear through the water. The water was getting higher and drown the village and formed a lake.

Meanwhile, sumo run to the hill and stayed there. The hill then was surrounded by the lake.

Now the lake was known as Toba Lake. Toba came from Tuba word means no mercy. And the hill in the middle called Samosir Island. Samosir means ‘Samo di usir’ or in English : Samo have been evicted.

This is just a legend, there were so many versions of the name’s story. You can’t tell which one is really true. But I heard this version since I was a little girl.

Jun 3, 2008

Malin Kundang

Let me tell you the story about a boy and his mother. This boy is a very famous person in my country. No body knows his face but everybody knows his name. The boy was called Malin Kundang. Why Malin Kundang famous? Was he an Indonesian Idol? We’ll find out here.

The story began when Malin Kundang was a boy. He lived with his mother. He didn’t have father anymore. Some people said he’s dead and some people said he left for sailing and never came back. And because the father did not around, the mother had to work for the family. Sadly for the mother, even though she worked hard, still could not make worth living for her son. They still lived poorly and her health was not great either. Malin kundang realized their condition. He was sad. He could not let his mother worked hard in sickness so he asked permission from her to go abroad.

“Where are you going, Malin?” his mother asked.

“I am going to sail, mother. Like our neighbor, he sails and sells many things abroad. Then he comes back with a lot of money. Do you see things he brought?” Malin said excited. “I can be rich too. And you don’t have to work anymore. Please mother, give me permission to sail. It’ll only need couple years then I’ll come back here.” Malin hold his mother’s hand, begged her for permission.

His mother could not say no to her loved child. She knew Malin wanted it so much. When she said yes, he was pranced all over the room.

Malin left by merchant ship belonged to his wealthy merchant neighbor. He worked as one of the ship’s crew. It was very great. He loved the sailing. They sailed from one island to another, met strange people, heard strange languages, experienced adventures and sold things. During the time, he learned about trading from his merchant. Malin was a smart boy. He understood quickly. But the lessons finished when they met pirates at the sea.

The pirates attacked the merchant ship. When they closed enough, they jumped to merchant ship with weapons in their hands. The merchant’s crew tried to fight back but the pirates were too strong. Just in sort time, the merchant’s crew was defeated. They killed all the men and took the goods along with them, then burned the ship and sink it down.

Oh no. Was Malin killed too?

Don’t worry, the story doesn’t finish yet. Our celebrity lived. He hid in a place or pretended dead, I’m not really sure. The pirates thought no one lived and then they left the crime place. Malin hang on a piece of wood, tried to save his life. For couple days he was floating in the sea. His head was getting dizzy. He was cold and tired. His hands could not hold his body anymore. His vision started blurry and then he passed out.

Was he dead? Shark ate him?

No no. The man was not dead easily. He survived. He got cast away at a beach. He was unconscious when the local villagers found him. Soon he stayed with them, made friends with them and then married with one of their daughter. Malin’s wife came from the wealthy family and had a high status in the social community. Apparently that made him shame to admit that he was poor and he was nobody in the social community. So he lied to his wife and her family. He lied about who he was. He said he was alone and no parents.

Malin then started to sail again. With helps from his wife, he traded goods like his merchant used to do. After couple years, he succeed to build his trades business. He had few merchant ships with hundreds crews. He was rich. His dream came true.

One day, Malin sailed to his hometown. With his big ship, he tied up to the dock. He brought lots of goods to sell. Everybody in the dock was fascinated with his ship and his goods. Malin - the new wealthy merchant - suddenly became famous. Everybody talked about him and then the talks were heard to an old woman’s ears.

“Is it true what you say?” the old woman asked the story teller.

“Yes. It’s true.”

“Who was the merchant’s name?” she asked again.

“It’s Malin, ma’am. Malin Kundang.”

The woman was surprised. The words were just said charged her body with full of energy.
“That’s my son.” She yelled. The woman hurried to the dock. She wanted to meet his son that she missed so much. The day that she waited for long time had come. The day where her son would come home. God answered her pray. She met her son again.

At the dock, the woman’s head turned around. Her eyes were looking for a face of her son. When she saw two persons at the ship, she got stood. She saw her son with a beautiful woman. She called Malin but he did not hear. She called him louder and tried to get to the ship. But then two guards blocked her way.

“Who are you? “ One of the guards asked.

“I’m Malin’s mother” the old woman said.

Malin heard the noise. He came closer.

“What is going on?” he asked .

“This old lady said she is your mother, sir.” The guard explained.

When he saw the old woman, he got surprised. He recognized the old woman as his mother. She was older then he remembered. Her hair turned grey, her skin was wrinkle and her cloth was dirty and torn. Compare to him, it’s like sky and earth. She looked like beggar.

And now look what money can do to you.

“She’s not my mother” Malin said and turned his face from her.

“I’m your mother, Malin. Don’t you remember me?” she said. Her tear started to float in her eyes.

“No. you are not my mother. I don’t have beggar mother.” Malin yelled to her.

“Go away and don't come back.” he evicted the old woman.

“You are rebellious son, Malin. You are shame to admit your own mother because I’m dirty and poor. You are blinded by your wealth.” her mother cried, hurt and angry. “I cursed you into a stone. Let God be my witness” .

Suddenly, the sky turned to dark and sound of thunder cracked everyone ears. The sea billowed. The big waves came from the sea and threw Malin’s ship and his people to the ground and crashed it.

Malin got shocked. He realized his sin to his mother. “I’m sorry mother.” he kowtowed, begged her for forgiveness. But everything was too late. God didn’t give second change to Malin. He and the pieces of his ship turned into stones. That’s the power of mother’s words. Very powerful. Trust me. I’ve been there. So be careful when you had fight with your mother, you could be the next stone.

By the way, you can see the famous Malin Kundang and the pieces of his ship rock at Aia Manih beach, south Padang, West Sumatra.

Apr 3, 2008

Timun Mas ( Golden Cucumber )

The story began when a lonely old couple met a stupid ugly giant. The couple had no child but they were dying to have one. The giant said he could help them but with a term. So these God’s creatures made an agreement. The giant gave them a magic cucumber seed to grow a child and when the child grew up, they had to give the child up.

The magic seed was planted in the yard. In weeks, a big cucumber came out of it. They took the cucumber to their house and sliced it. There was a baby girl in it. They were very surprise and happy. Finally, they had a child. The baby girl was named Timun Mas (Golden Cucumber). Timun Mas became a nice girl. She loved her stepparents and always obeyed them. She took care of them and never hurt them. Her stepparents loved her more and more.

In short years, Timun Mas became a young girl. The day to give her up to the giant was getting closer. The couple was worried. They could not fulfill their promise to the giant. They loved Timun Mas too much to give her up. Therefore, they were looking for a way to break the promise.

In the afternoon, the giant came to their house. He wanted to take Timun Mas as their agreement. The old couple saw the giant coming. They told Timun Mas to run away.

“Why I have to run away?” Timun Mas asked.

“Because the giant wants to eat you,” answered her stepparents. Timun Mas looked pale. She was afraid to be eaten by the giant. Her stepparents gave her cucumber seed, needles, salt and fermented shrimp paste. “Use these for your protection,” they said. Timun Mas went out from the kitchen door. Her stepparents went to front to meet the giant.

“Where is Timun Mas? I come here to take her,” the giant asked in his loud voice.

“She was not here,” the old couple answered with frightened tremble.

“Where is she?” he asked again.

“She left”

“Are you trying to cut our agreement?” the giant asked angrily.

The old couple got more trembles. “We couldn’t give her. We loved her too much”.

The giant eyes were wider. He was very angry. He chased Timun Mas. Timun Mas saw the giant. She spread the cucumber seed. Suddenly, there were large cucumbers between them. Timun Mas run faster. The blocked cucumbers did not hold the giant. He could smash the cucumbers easily. Then he chased her again. When he was getting closer, Timun Mas spread the needles. Suddenly, there were bamboo trees growing from the land. The giant run the blockade. His body was wounded because of the trees were sharp. However, the giant would not give up. He was still chasing Timun Mas. Timun Mas run again. And when he almost got her, she spread the salt. Suddenly, the land became an ocean. The giant tried to swim. Although he almost drowned, he was still chasing Timun Mas. Then Timun Mas spread her last weapon –the fermented shrimp paste- and suddenly the ocean became a mud ocean. The mud sucked the giant until his head. Then he never showed up again.

Timun Mas then went home. Her stepparents were very happy to see their daughter home.

This story was not very good for children because it teaches you to break your promises, even with an ugly giant. But this story also tells you that parent’s love was very big and makes them to do anything to protect their child even though they were not your birth parents. So read this story just for fun. Ok ?

Jan 21, 2008

Bawang Merah dan Bawang Putih (Red Onion and Garlic)

Do know Cinderella story? Indonesia also has Cinderella story, only this story does not end up happily ever after with a handsome prince, although there is a version of that. This version ends with no handsome prince but still happy.

The story started in a big house where a mother and two beautiful girls lived. There was no man in that house because he was already dead. He left two beautiful girls from different mothers. First mother was dead and left him a beautiful little girl called Bawang Putih. Then after she became young girl, her father left her with a stepmother and a stepsister called Bawang Merah. It was a bad luck for Bawang Putih because her stepsister and her stepmother were not kind of person who liked her.

Bawang Putih was a maid in her own house. She did all the houseworks. She cleaned, washed and cooked. Her stepmother and her stepsister were the queens in the house.

In one usual day, Bawang Putih went to the river to wash her stepmother’s clothes. She accidentally washed away her mother’s shawl. That would be a problem because the shawl was her favorite. When her stepmother knew, she got furious. She kicked Bawang Putih off the street. She would not let Bawang Putih home if she could not find the shawl.

Bawang Putih walked fringing the edge of the river. Her eyes were looking for a piece of yellow shawl stacked on the rocks in the river. However, she did not see anything. Bawang Putih continued walking. She stopped in front of women who washed there. “Did you see a yellow shawl swept away?” Bawang Putih asked them.

“Yes. I saw it. Buto Ijo took it a while ago. Is it yours?” one of them asked Bawang Putih.

“Yes it is. I have to get there then” Bawang Putih said.

“Be careful Bawang Putih. Buto Ijo is crazy,” they warn her.

Buto Ijo was an old woman who lived alone. They said she was a little bit crazy. Her hair was like branches of tree, dirty and stiff. She lost almost her teeth and she liked talking alone. The rumor told Buto Ijo cooked from human bones. It was scary.

Bawang Putih came to Buto Ijo’s house. The house looked dirty and untidy. It is as no one ever lived there. She knocked the door carefully. She heard a walk came to the door. Bawang Putih was a bit afraid. The door was opened, a wrinkle face came from it. Her eyes looked sharply, she seemed did not like to be bothers. “What do you want?” the old woman asked suspicious. She did not smile at all.

“I’m looking for a shawl. It is yellow. The woman in the river said you had taken it. The shawl belongs to my mothers,” Bawang Putih said.

“Yes, I took it. “ Buto Ijo said. “But if you want it you have to stay here for a while and did what I order.”

“What do you want me to do?” Bawang Putih said.

“I want you to clean the house and garden. You also have to cook for me” Buto Ijo gave her conditions.

Bawang Putih agreed. She stayed there for a while, cooked and cleaned the house. Buto Ijo was not that scary like her thought. In fact, Buto Ijo was a nice old woman and funny. She liked her. After couple of days, Buto Ijo gave the shawl to her. Before Bawang Putih left the house, Buto Ijo gave her pumpkin. “These are pumpkin. One of them is yours, Bawang Putih and open it when you get home,” Buto Ijo said. Bawang Putih took the small pumpkin. “Thank you Buto Ijo” she said. Bawang Putih then went home.

In her house, Bawang Merah sliced the pumpkin. She was surprised seeing there was a bunch of jewelry in it. Her stepmother and her stepsister were surprised too. “Where did you get that?” her stepsister asked.

“Buto Ijo gave it to me,” Bawang Putih said. Then she told them the story.

Bawang Merah wanted to get a pumpkin with jewelry in it too. The she went to the river and washed away her shawl in purpose. She followed the shawl and she saw Buto Ijo took it. She went to Buto Ijo’s house and asked her for the shawl. Buto Ijo said if Bawang Merah wanted her shawl she had to stay there for a while and she had to do the housework. It was just as she asked to Bawang Putih. For a pumpkin of jewelry, Bawang Merah agreed to stay there and do the houseworks.

After couple of days, Buto Ijo gave her shawl. Before Bawang Merah left the house, Buto Ijo gave her a pumpkin. Bawang Merah was very happy. Her head was full with images of jewelry. Bawang Merah took the big pumpkin. She ran to her house. She could not wait to slice the pumpkin and get the jewelry out of it.

When she got home, she took the knife and cut the pumpkin. She got surprised seeing snakes came out from it instead of jewelries. She threw the pumpkin and ran out the house.

Jan 18, 2008

Lutung Kasarung

In a kingdom of heaven, Guruminda son of Sunan Ambu plunged in thought. He was thinking about his mother. The thought drove him crazy. He thought her not as a mother but as a woman. That was very brash. He was shy to his mother because of the thought. He could not imagine his mother’s anger if she knew about it.

But a mother always has a sharp feeling about her children. That’s why you cannot tell lie to your mother because she always knows.

That is why Sunan Ambu knew her son’s problem. So she ordered Guruminda to come. “Guruminda, I know what in your mind and I know it’s wrong. So I’ve been thinking that you have to go to earth to have some lessons. And you will go down there as a monkey.”

Guruminda stood up, his lips sealed. He accepted the order as a punishment because of his effrontery. He was transformed as a black long tailed monkey called Lutung Kasarung, went to the earth and lived in a forest.

Meanwhile in the kingdom of Pasir Batang, in the earth, King Tapa Agung felt the time had come to put his crown to his heir but he could not decide the person. King Tapa Agung had seven daughters and no son. The oldest was Princes Purbararang. The crown should be hers because she was the oldest but King Tapa Agung felt hard to give the crown to her. People knew Princess Purbararang as an arrogant princess. She never cared about her people. On the other hand, her youngest sister, Princess Purbasari was a dear for all her folks.

King Tapa Agung did penance to get divine inspiration from his Gods. So after a while, king Tapa Agung decided to give the crown to Princess Purbasari. Princess Purbararang was very disappointed with king’s decision. She had a plan to evict Purbasari. She could not stand see other person held a power.

Princess Purbararang visited a witch and asked her for a poison. The witched gave her a small bottle of a poison. Princess Purbararang went home with a poison in her hand.

In the night, when Purbasari slept, Purbararang walked slowly into Purbasari’s room. She sprayed the poison to Purbasari’s body. In a second, the beautiful Purbasari turned to be the ugly black Purbasari. People could not recognize her face again. Purbasari was evicted from her palace. Purbararang then became a queen of Pasir Batang kingdom.

People were afraid of Purbasari’s look so she isolated herself in the forest. A kingdom advisor, Batara Lengser, built a simple house in the forest for Purbasari. He asked Purbasari to be patient facing a life test.

Since Purbararang ruled Pasir Batang, she became more arrogant. She always gave punishment to people if they did not make her happy. People were afraid of her. There was also no hope from her fiancé, prince Indrajaya. He did not care what Purbararang did. All he cared was dressed up.

One day, Purbararang held a ceremony. She ordered a man to get a fresh animal. He had to get it or his head would replace the animal head. The man went hunting. After couple of hours, he met a black long tail monkey. The monkey jumped from one tree to other tree. He was surprised saw the unusual monkey. He chased the monkey and tied it with a rope. He brought the monkey to the palace as a ritual offering. He tied the monkey in the middle of field where the ceremony was held. When queen Purbararang entered the field with Batara Lengser, the monkey struggled, released his tied and jumped all over the place, hit the soldiers with their spears and almost injured the queen. The monkey became so wild and unable to be approached. When Batara Lengser tried to approach the monkey, suddenly the monkey became quite. The monkey obeyed Batara Lengser.

Queen Purbararang then had an idea for the monkey. She ordered Batara Lengser to give the monkey to Purbasari. She thought the wild monkey could hurt and killed Purbasari. So Purbararang didn’t have to worry anymore about her crown.

Batara Lengser brought the monkey to Purbasari. He ordered the monkey not to hurt Purbasari. The monkey nodded his head like a person who understand the order.

In the forest, at Purbasari place, she and the monkey became friends. The monkey known as
Lutung Kasarung always made Purbasari laughed. They played together. She also made friend with animals around her house.

One day, Lutung Kasarung did penance. He asked his mother to help him built a bathing place for Purbasari. His mother then sent some of her man to build a bathing place near Purbasari’s house. The bathing place was beautiful. The shower was made from gold and the floor was made from marble. The water flew from the clear waterfall. Sunan Ambu also ordered her tailor to make a cloth from clouds and rainbow for Purbasari.

When Purbasari entered the bathing place, her eyes opened wide. She amazed the architecture of the shower. The walls and the floors were so glossy. The bathing tub was very wide like a natural pool and the water was so clear.

“How this happened, Lutung?” Purbasari asked.

“You are a kindhearted person, Purbasari. That’s why heaven loves you,” Lutung said. “Now, take a bath and wear this cloth “Lutung said to Purbasari while its hand gave her the cloud cloth.

“It’s so soft and beautiful” Purbasari stroke the cloth. Purbasari got into the bathing tub. The water made her black body cleaned. Her skin became soft again and it made her more beautiful then ever. When she wore the cloth, she felt so light. Purbasari looked beautiful. Lutung spellbound. Purbasari was looked different than he knew. She captivated.

The news about a beautiful bathing place in the middle of forest was heard into the palace. Queen Purbararang thought there were people from Pasir Batang built the bathing place for Purbasari. Queen Purbararang was very angry. She needed reason to kill Purbasari. Then she made a contest for Purbasari. She challenged Purbasari to make a huma, a clear land for cultivation. It had to finish before the sunrise. If Purbasari failed, she would die by hanging.

When Batara Lengser went to Purbasari’s place to tell her about the contest, Queen Purbararang ordered hundreds of her soldiers to clear land near Purbasari’s place for cultivation. She thought Purbasari and her men would not be able to finish it before the sunrise.

Purbasari was confused how to clear the land in one night. She did not have men to do that. Lutung Kasarung then helped her. He asked his mother in the heaven to send him soldiers to clear the land. Sunan Ambu sent her soldiers to earth to help Purbasari.

The next day, after the sunrise, Purbararang, prince Indrajaya and her men went to the forest. She was surprised saw a huma next to hers. There were Batara Lengser and Lutung Kasarung standing there.

Purbararang was angry and disappointed. She still challenged Purbasari to contest their beauty. Purbararang thought Purbasari was still a black ugly girl. She ordered Purbasari to come out from her house. Purbasari then came out from the house. She turned to be a beautiful girl. She was more beautiful then Purbararang. There was no dirt in her skin. Purbararang was shocked but she still had plan. She challenged Purbasari’s fiance.

“People, I challenge Purbasari’s fiancé to fight with my fiancé, prince Indrajaya. Where is your fiancé, Purbasari ?” asked Purbararang. Prince Indrajaya came forward and smiled mocking Purbasari. Purbasari turned her head to Lutung Kasarung.

“A monkey, Purbasari?” asked Purbararang laughing.
Lutung Kasarung came forward and sat with legs crossed in the ground. His put his hands together in front his chest. Then Lutung Kasarung transformed into a handsome youngman. He turned to be Guruminda. People were shocked, especially prince Indrajaya. His face became pale. He was afraid to fight with Guruminda. Then he put his hands together and hung his head, asked mercy for him.

Purbararang lost her contest. She gave her crown to Purbasari. Purbasari and Guruminda rode to the palace. They ruled the Pasir Batang kingdom. Citizens were happy. They lived safe and wealthy. Purbararang and her fiancé were punished for what they did.

Jan 14, 2008

Mount of Tangkuban Perahu

If you go to West Java, Indonesia, in the north of Bandung city, you will see a mountain that reminds you with a boat that turned up side down. The mountain called Mount Tangkuban Perahu. It has a very famous story.

It began when King Sungging Purbangkara went for hunting in the jungle with his men. He could not hold his bladder control and urinated under the coconut tree. His urine was accidentally accommodated in a piece of coconut shell.

Just a few meters from the place, a female pig was looking for water to drink. When she saw king’s urine in the coconut shell, she drank it. Apparently, the pig was not just a pig. She was reincarnation of a goddess called Wayungyang that being accursed. Then something magic was happened. The pig got pregnant. I know, it’s weird. That’s why I said “magic”. In tales, everything can happen, you know.

Therefore, after couple of months, Wayungyang gave birth to a baby girl. The baby was a human. Feeling could not foster the baby, she took her to place where King Sungging Purbangkara used to hunt.

When she heard the sound of horse's trot, she put the baby in the grass, covered her with a blanket and moved back slowly. The baby was crying when the troops was getting closer. When they saw a baby in the grass, they slowed down. Then the King got down from his horse. He took the baby. His eyes were looking around to find person who put this baby. However, neither he nor his men knew whose the baby was.

King Sungging Purbangkara decided to adopt the baby. He took the baby to palace and named her Dayang Sumbi. Dayang Sumbi grew up in to a beautiful girl. She was very good in embroidery and weaving. Her beauty and skills were known through neighboring kingdom. Many kings from another kingdom asked her to be their wife. They fought each other for her. The king then isolated his daughter to forest. He built a house and a weaving stage for her.
One day, Dayang Sumbi was weaving. Accidentally, she dropped teropong (tool for thread made by bamboo). The teropong was rolling around then falling from stage. Dayang Sumbi tried to pick the teropong but her hand could not reach it. She looked around for help but there was no one there. Then she said, “If there’s a man can help me, I will take him to be my husband and if a woman, I will take her to be my sister.”

That time, she didn’t know there was a dog under the stage. The dog picked the teropong and gave it to Dayang Sumbi. Dayang Sumbi was shocked. She remembered her words. She could not cancel the words. And since the dog was male, so Dayang Sumbi had to marry the dog. Well, an honor person has to keep his/her words, right?

The dog then called Tumang. Tumang and Dayang Sumbi had a son called Sangkuriang. Don’t ask me how that happened. Sangkuriang grew up to be a smart and cheerful kid. The kid liked hunting. He and Tumang always went for hunting. They went for couple of days and got home with deer or pig meat in his hands.

In one morning, like always, Sangkuriang and Tumang went for hunting. When he saw a pig, he ordered Tumang to chase the pig. Tumang knew the pig was Wayungyang. He got scared so he was just circling around Sangkuriang’s feet and made him felt. When he got up, the pig was already gone. Sangkuriang was very angry. Tumang made him lost his meat target. So he stretched his arch and pointed it to Tumang. Sangkuriang killed Tumang. When he realized what he did, it was too late to feel sorry. Tumang was already dead. Sangkuriang then disemboweled Tumang and took its heart. He wrapped it with banana leave and put it inside his bag. He buried Tumang then he got home.

In the house, he gave the heart to his mother. He said it was a deer heart. Dayang Sumbi cooked the heart and served it with hot rice. They then ate together. When Dayang Sumbi did not see Tumang, she asked his son “where is Tumang?”

His son did not answer anything. He just stood up and kept silent his mouth. Dayang Sumbi felt something was wrong. Her eyes looked his son sharply then asked him carefully “whose heart is that?” Her hand pointed to the food that she cooked.

Sangkuriang looked his mother and said frightened “it’s Tumang’s heart”. Suddenly her legs became so week and could not hold her body. Dayang Sumbi was shocked and furious. She griped a ladle and hit Sangkuriang with it. Sangkuriang’s head was bleeding. He was afraid with his mother. He ran to the forest. He ran and ran and did not stop until his leg got stack on a root. Sangkuriang lost his balance and felt to the ground. His head hit the ground and made him fade out.

When Sangkuriang woke up, he did not recognize his surrounding. He could not even remember his name or his house. Apparently, the hitting was very hard and made him lost his memory. Sangkuriang then continued walking with a confused mind.

Dayang Sumbi regretted for evicting her son. She hoped Sangkuriang would come home. But he never came home. Dayang Sumbi prayed to Gods. She did penance and only ate leaves for years. And that made her face looked always young and beautiful.

One day there was a man passed by at Dayang Sumbi’s house. When he saw a beautiful woman came out from the house, he could not take his eyes of her. He felt in love with Dayang Sumbi in his first sight. Dayang Sumbi felt familiar with the man’s face but she could not remember whose face was.

The next day, the man came to Dayang Sumbi’s house again. Also the next day, and the day after. He always had reasons to visit her. One day, he could not hold his willing to marry Dayang Sumbi. Dayang Sumbi who also had feeling for him agreed to marry him.

One day Dayang Sumbi accidentally saw a scar on the man’s head. She looked surprised knowing the scar was alike her son’s scar. She asked her fiance “who are you? How did you get that scar?”

“I don’t remember my real name. I also don’t remember how I got this scar. I guessed it happened when I was a child. All I remember I was in the middle of jungle, my head was bleeding and then I met a company of thieves and their leader adopted me as his son. Why?” the man asked.

Dayang Sumbi was surprised. Her eyes opened wide. She felt like got a shock from thousands volt of electricity. “You are my son. You are Sangkuriang.” She said tremble.

“That’s rubbish. You are too young to be my mother” the man did not believe.

“I looked young because my food and my penance. I’m the person who made that scar. I hit you with a ladle because you killed Tumang, your father” Dayang Sumbi explanted.

“That’s a lie. I don’t believe you. You said it because you don’t want to marry me” the man argued. “You will marry me, Dayang Sumbi” the man said with an angry and threaten face.

Dayang Sumbi couldn’t argue anymore. She was afraid with him but she couldn’t marry her own son. Her brain looked for a way to cancel the marriage. She said to the man “alright, I will marry you. But I have conditions for you”.

“What are they?” the man asked.

“I want you to dam up Citarum River and build a lake. Also, build a boat for me. All of them have to finish in one night before the rooster crowed in the morning” Dayang Sumbi gave her conditions.

“Alright.” Sangkuriang accepted the challenges. He then gathered all his genie friends, asked them for a help to dam up the river. Their number was hundreds. They worked hard to dam the river, some of them made boat. And before sunrise, the work was almost done.

Sangkuriang was glad to see his friends work. He smiled remembering Dayang Sumbi was going to be his wife in a few hours.

Dayang Sumbi watched the work from a distance. She was panic knowing the boat was almost done. She was looking for an idea to fail it.

She thought about an idea. She stretched a white cloth and waved it around the roosters. The roosters thought it was a sunrise. They started to crow. When the villagers heard the crow, they thought morning had come. They went to their barn and started to pound the rice. The crow and the pounding of rice came one to another. The voice was so noise. Sangkuriang and his genie friends heard the noise, they also thought the morning had arrived. His genie friends left the place. Sangkuriang was very disappointed. The work just need a little more. Sangkuriang was angry. He kicked the boat. The boat flung and turned up side down. Then the boat became a mountain. That’s why the mountain is called Tangkuban Perahu.

Jan 4, 2008

Aryo Menak and Tunjung Wulan

Aryo Menak was walking around under the moon light, thinking about his life. His age was enough to feel love but there was no girl could fill his desire. He wondered if Gods would like to send him a fairy. He was looking at the sky but all he saw just dark sky, and the stars seemed did not plan to drop a fairy.

Aryo Menak stopped walking when he heard voices around the lake. He listened carefully and wondered. He kept silent and walked to the lake. He stopped behind big tree and peeped. He was surprised when he saw beautiful fairies were taking bath. He was very fascinated about their beauty. His heart beat fast. He thought “Gods must have answered my pray”. He watched them from a distance. He was thinking how to get one of them to be his wife. When he saw their shawls, he thought about a plan. He took one of them and hid it under his clothes.

When the fairies finished their bath, they got up and wore their clothes. One of them found out that her shawl was gone. “Where is my shawl?” she asked her friends. They look for everywhere but they couldn’t find it.
“We have to go home now,” one of them said.
“But I can’t go home without my shawl” the fairy who lost the shawl said.
“I’m sorry Tunjung Wulan but we can’t stay any longer” they started to fling out the shawls and flew to the sky. Tunjung Wulan watched her friends left. She was very sad.

Aryo Menak came closer and asked carefully “Are you ok?”
Tunjung Wulan was surprised knowing there was a youngman in front of her. She said sadly, “No, I’m not ok. I can’t go home”
Aryo Menak then offered her to stay in his house for a while. Tunjung Wulan thought she had nowhere to go. Then without thinking anymore, she accepted the offer.

For couple of months Tunjung Wulan stayed in Aryo Menak’s house. Aryo Menak treated her very nicely so Tunjung Wulan started to love him. When Aryo Menak asked her to marry him, she accepted his proposal. Since the marriage, his fortune was great. His harvest was always good and the barn was never empty. Actually, that made him wondered since he always ate rice but never saw his wife pounded the rice.

One day Tunjung Wulan went to market. Before she left, she warned her husband” The rice was being cook, meanwhile never open the rice boiler”.

Aryo Menak promised not to open it. However, after his wife left, he was very curious about the boiler. He went to the kitchen and opened the boiler. He broke his words and opened the boiler’s cover. He saw there was only a grain of rice in the boiler. It seemed she only needed a grain to make a basket of rice. Aryo Menak then put the cover back to its place.

When Tunjung Wulan came home, she was surprised that the rice did not avalanche. She reliazed it was because her husband broke his promised and opened the boiler. The magic was gone. Tunjung Wulan then had to cook rice manually. She had to pound the rice before it was cooked and she needed more to eat. Soon the barn became empty.

Another day, Tunjung Wulan went to the barn to get rice. She was surprised knowing her shawl was lying under the rice hill. The shawl which almost forgotten since she married. Then she came to her husband and asked, “Did you hide my shawl?”
Aryo Menak could not hide his shock. He admitted what he did. Tunjung Wulan was very angry. She wore her fairy clothes and her shawl. “I’m leaving you now,” she said. Aryo Menak begged her not to leave him. However, Tunjung Wulan did not want to listen. She flew to the sky, back to the heaven.

Awang Sukma has the the similar story in Angel Lake.

Jan 2, 2008

The Legend Of Banyuwangi

Patih sidapaksa lived in a land called East Java. He was a patih from Blambangan kingdom. Patih Sidapaksa felt in love with Sri Tanjung, a beautiful girl from a village. Sidapaksa’s mother did not agree with his son’s lover. Apparently, his mother hated her because Sri Tanjung was not an aristocrat. It is a very important status in her society. But love is love, isn’t it? Nothing can’t stand its way. Sidapaksa did not care about his future wife status and married her. A couple months after the marriage, the wife got pregnant. They were very happy waiting for the childbirth.

One day in the morning, the king called patih Sidapaksa. He ordered his patih to get a flower at Mount Ijen for his queen. The flower was believed could make younger the person who bathed with it. Therefore, Sidapaksa went to Mount Ijen, left his wife and his mother for couple of months.

Meanwhile the baby’s birth was getting closer. Sri Tanjung stayed with her mother in law. When the baby boy was born, her mother in law helped her took care the baby. The reason she did that was not that she cared about her grandson. Instead, she wanted to get rid of the child and his mother.

And that night must be a very misfortune night from all Sri Tanjung’s nights. She went to a bath and left the baby in the room. Her mother in law entered the room. When she saw the baby slept, her evil’s mind was working. Slowly and carefully, she took the baby and brought him to the river. Without thinking any further, at the edge of the river, she threw the baby. The crying of the baby did not change her mind. The water was so fast. It drowned the baby and made his voice silent just in a few second.

When Sri Tanjung finished her bath, she was shocked knowing her baby was gone. She look for everywhere for the baby but she could not find him. She felt powerless in her room thinking about her baby. When her mother in law came home, the mother pretended knew nothing about it.

Sidapaksa came home from his long journey. In front of his house, his mother was standing. When she saw Sidapaksa arrived, she ran to him and cried. She said, “Oh my son, I am sorry. I am useless. I couldn’t stop your wife killing the baby.”
“What? Why she did that?” Sidapaksa yelled.
“She was afraid that you found out that the baby was not your son,” she explained.
Sidapaksa was very angry. He felt like got a stroke by lightning in the middle of the day. He went to the house looking for his wife. When he entered his room, he saw his wife was sleeping. He woke her up and dragged her out the room. Sri Tanjung was surprised knowing her husband came home with anger. “What’s going on?” she asked.
“You’re having affair and killed the baby.” Sidapaksa accused her. His hand pointed his keris to his wife.
“For the sake of Gods, I did not having affair and killed the baby.” She argued.
“I don’t believe you,” Sidapaksa said. He dragged her wife to the river and said, “You threw him to the river”.
“I did not do those things,” Sri Tanjung kept her argue. But it seemed she could not persuade her husband anymore. So she said” if you don’t believe me, you can kill me and throw my body to the river. If the water smells fragrant, it means I am innocent. Let Gods be my witnesses”.

Sidapaksa stabbed his keris to her chest until she died then he threw her body to the river. But strangely, the water did not turn to red and smell fishy when her blood got in to it. Instead, the blood cleaned the river and smelt fragrant. Sidapaksa was shocked and yelled like a crazy person” Wangi.. banyu.. wangi.. banyu.. wangi..”. It means “fragrant.. water.. fragrant.. water.. fragrant..”. Suddenly in the middle of river, two flowers showed up, the big ones and the small ones. The big flower was incarnation of Sri Tanjung and the small flower was incarnation of her baby. Then the small one talked to Sidapaksa” Father, I am your son. My mother was innocent. Grandmother drowned me to this river”. Sidapaksa felt stood. He realized he had made a huge mistake. However, his wife and his child would never live again. And he could only cry and regret.

After the incident, the area around the river called banyuwangi. In Javanese language, banyuwangi means fragrant water.