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Indonesian Folklore: The Legend of Malin Kundang

Kamis, 03 Desember 2020 - 02:27 | 85.52k
Indonesian Folklore: The Legend of Malin Kundang
Malin Kundang, the ungrateful son. (PHOTO: appadvice.com)
Pewarta: | Editor: Faizal R Arief

TIMESINDONESIA, JAKARTA – Have you ever heard of a story called Malin Kundang? Malin Kundang is the folklore of an ungrateful son originated from West Sumatra, Indonesia.

Once upon a time, in a seaside village in Padang, West Sumatra lived a widow called Mande Rubayah with her only son, Malin Kundang. Mande Rubayah loved her son so much, which turned Malin Kundang a spoiled child.

One day, Malin Kundang suffered a severe sickness, that his mother gave every cent of her life savings to cure his illness.

Days, months, and years passed by, Malin Kundang turned adult and his mother an old woman. Malin Kundang asked his mother to let him hitch a docked ship nearby and wander to the big cities to get better fortunes for the family.

Mande denied his request and asked Malin to stay and take care of his mother instead.

“Mother, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. Not every year a ship this large docks here. I want to take this opportunity to change our fate, please let me go,” Malin pleaded his mother.

With a sad heart, Mande finally accepted his plea.

“Please be back soon, my child. I will be waiting for you here,” Mande cried.

Days by days passed slowly while waiting for Malin. She prayed every single day for Malin to go home safely. To every ship’s crews and captains, she asked for Malin’s whereabouts and did not get a single answer nor message for her.

Many years full of waiting passed and Mande Rubayah grew older and weaker, while she heard the news from a ship captain nearby that Malin married to a noble and rich woman from a big city. “Mande, do you know that your son is now married to a beautiful woman, a daughter of a very rich noble,” said the captain.

“Malin, my son. Please go home soon, I am already old and weak. Please be home soon,” his mother prayed every single day to meet her long-awaited son.

Months later, another large ship docked near the village. It was the most luxurious and beautiful ship Mande had ever seen. A pair of rich couples walked off the ship with lustrous and gold-embroidered attires. Mande immediately recognized the couple, rushed through the crowds, and hugged the rich man in the lustrous attire.

“Malin, my son. You’re back!” Mande broke her tears happily and relieved. “Why didn’t you send me a message? I miss you, my child”.

Unexpectedly, Malin jolted and pushed Mande away from him. His wife also looked down on Mande without any respect. Malin’s wife spat and shouted at Malin and Mande, “Is this rumpled old woman your mother? Why would you lie to me, Malin? You said that your mother is also a noblewoman like me?”

Hearing that, Malin became furious and pushed his mother to fall to the sand, “You mad woman! I am not your son!” he snapped at his mother.

Mande Rubayah sunk in disbelief and hugged Malin’s feet. “Malin, oh Malin! I’ve been waiting for you this long. Why would you do this to me, your mother?”

Full of anger, Malin kicked his mother away, “You are not my mother. You are ugly, poor, and dirty,” yelled Malin.

Mande cried brokenheartedly. She felt weak, sad, and desperate while Malin and his wife turned their backs and walked away to their ship.

The ship sailed away and the crowds left Mande alone by the shore. Mande cried and prayed, “Oh, God. If he was not my son, I will forgive his actions to me. But if he is Malin Kundang, I ask you for your righteousness!”

Immediately, the sky turned dark and the wind blew violently. The rain fell upon the earth with a destructive storm.

The storm shook Malin’s ship, furious thunders hit the ship unforgivingly and blazed it into pieces.

The next morning, shipwrecks shored near the village with a kneeling man-shaped stone between the debris. This stone was believed as the cursed form of Malin Kundang, kneeling for forgiveness from his mother until today.

That is the story of Malin Kundang from West Sumatra, with an important message for us all. Love your parents unconditionally, in any condition. Never forget their good deeds for us. (*)



Publisher : Sholihin Nur

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