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Indonesian Folklore : Malin Kundang

Malin Kundang, is folk tale from West Sumatra about retribution on an ungrateful son. A sailor from a poor family, the protagonist sneaks onto a trading ship, eventually becoming rich, marrying a princess, and acquiring his own galleon. On his return to his home village, he is ashamed of his humble origins and refuses to recognise his elderly mother. It is because the rich man saw his elderly mother was dirty and poor. She curses him, and when he sets sail, he and his ship are turned to stone.

The Legend of Malin Kundang

Long time ago, there was a poor family that consisted of a mother and her only son, Malin Kudang. Malin's father was gone, when he had been a baby. Malin's mom worked so hard all day, so they can eat and survive.

Malin Kundang
Malin was a good smart boy; but he was little bit gloomy. He always helped her mother. He loved her so much. Time went quickly, Malin grew up to be a great looking, smart, and strong man. Even though he and her mother had worked so hard, they were still poor. Feeling sad visiting his mother still functioned in her older time, Malin asked for leaving to find a job in a major city.

Read to : The Legend of Situ Bagendit

"Ma, I want to go to big city to find a job." Asked Malin.
"Don't leave me alone, son" said his mom.
I don't want to see you work hard anymore. I promise I'll come back." said Malin.

With tough feeling, Malin's mother let her son go. The next day Malin went to the large city by a boat. Malin was good looking, smart, and strong guy. A lot of women felt in love with him, such as a daughter of the richest merchant in the city. Malin also felt in love with her too. To marry the girl, Malin worked so hard. He even buried all his previous; his origin and even his own mother. In summary, they eventually married. Malin subsequently became the wealthiest man in town which has many merchant ships, a big beautiful house, and many servants.

Malin was booming at the moment, but he forgot his own mother. He forgot his mum who in all her prays cried praying for Malin's security. He forgot his mum who constantly waited her son came back each morning in the harbor. He forget his mum who loved and missed her son, Malin, therefore much. Yet, Malin never came back.

One day, Malin's wife needed to go holiday in the next island that took 3 times sailing. So Malin prepared his big luxurious ship and everything to sail. However, in the middle of the voyage, storm blockaded his ship. Therefore, the boat needed to board in the nearest island, the island where Malin was born.

It was rare occasion, a large luxurious ship boarded from the harbor of the island where all of the villagers are fisherman. Therefore, once the ship stopped, each villager near the harbor came to see, such as Malin's mother. Malin's mum was shock and wept happily. She saw Malin in that ship. She watched Malin came back to see his mommy. With hurry, Malin's mum went to meet her cherished son.

"Is that you, Malin? Is that you, my beloved son? Requested Malin's mother.
"Son? She said you are her son? Is it true, Malin? Malin's wife shocked.
"No. . No, my dear wife. I don't know you poor, old, stink woman!" said Malin.

What Malin said really hurt his mother heart. She cried and wept. She didn't believe that her own son did horrible thing on her, his mom. With rage, she prayed to the almighty God to reply what her son had done to her.

Read to : Indonesian Fairy tales Belumbak Island

Suddenly, the wind blew hard and the storm rumbled. Malin and his wife returned to the boat take refuge. The storm got worst and hit Malin's hip, destroyed it. Everyone inside was died, such as Malin's wife. Malin himself was murdered. His body was turned to stone and allied with all the reef.


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