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.

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