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.