Indonesian Folktales: Malin Kundang


Malin Kundang
Once upon a time , there lived a fisherman family on the coastal area of Sumatera. The family consisted of a father, a mother, and a son. The son was Malin Kundang. The family had a financial problem. so Malin's father decided to go overseas.

"My wife and son, I have to sail. I will make money somewhere. I wil be back after I get enough money." said Malin Kundang's father.

He sailed to the far away places by his ship to earn for a living.

Malin then lived with his mother. They stayed in their hut. Some weeks passed but Malin's father had not yet come back. Even there was no news about his father after a year. As a consequent, Malin's mother had to be the breadwinner for the family.

Malin Kundang was smart but a naughty boy. He likes to run after cocks or hens and hit them with stick. One day, when Malin Kundang tried to catch a cock, he stumbled on a stone. His right arm was hurt and the scar became permanent.

Some years passed and Malin Kundang grew more mature. He was a strong and handsome boy. He often thought about his family. "My mother works hard while my father never comes back. I have to help my mother. I have to be a rich man." He thought that he could get much money overseas. He dreamed of being a wealthy man when he came back from foreign country.

One day a ship's captain invited him to sail across the sea. The captain said that he had been poor. but after he had gone abroad. he became rich.

"Malin, you will be rich if you go overseas. You can do many things there and make more money,“ said the ship's captain.

"I think you're right, captain." Malin Kundang replied.

Malin Kundang was very interested to the invitation. Then, he asked permission to his mother.
"Mother, would you let me sail with the captain? I believe I will get success on abroad.‘ said Malin Kundang.

"But, Malin, why don't you stay here and help your mother?"

"Mother, I believe that I will get success and be a rich man. I promise that I will be home after l get much money. l just want to make you happy." 

I Actually, Malin's mother was objected with Malin's idea; however Malin's desire was so strong. His mother finally gave him permission to go overseas. Malin's mother prepared everything for her son. Before Malin's departure, she gave a message.

"My Dear Son, if you get what you want, don't forget to come home. Don't forget your mother and your village.’ said his mother with tears rolling down her eyes.

Malin Kundang got into the ship. Soon the ship sailed across the sea as Malin was seeing her mother waving her hand. During the voyage, Malin Kundang learned a lot about sailing and ship. The experienced sailors taught him how to be a good sailor. In the middle of the sea, suddenly Malin's ship was hijacked by pirates.

"They're pirates!“ one of the sailors shouted.

The sailors try to fight against the pirates but they were too weak. The pirates took everything in the ship and killed almost passengers and sailors. Malin Kundang was very lucky. He wasn't killed because he was hiding in a little cabin when the piracy took place. He hid behind some logs and nobody could see him.

After the pirates had left the ship, Malin came out of the cabin. His ship was afloat in the middle of sea and he was alone inside.

“What can I do now?” Malin Kundang was so confused, but he remembered that he could not fail to make his dream come true.

"This is my ship now. I am alone but l have to make it ashore.
Malin tried hard to take the ship to the nearest island. After a few days, the ship could be ashore on a coast.

There was a village near the coast. Malin was helped by the villagers there after he told them the story about the ship's voyage and piracy. Even a rich man gave him job. Malin Kundang worked very hard. Because of his intelligence, he was trusted by his master to be the assistant. Gradually, Malin became a famous man in the village. Then, Malin built his own company. He got more success and became a new wealthy man. He had many ships and hundreds of employees. After that, he mam'ed a girl from that village.

At Malin's birthplace, his mother heard that Malin had become a successful and well-known man. She also knew that Malin had married. She was very happy and she thanked to God because Malin could reach his dream. Everyday she went to the harbor and hoped that Malin Kundang would come home soon.

"My son, please come back. You have promised that you will be back after you are rich," Malin's mother said to herself.

After his marriage, Malin Kundang planned to do a cruise. He would use the biggest and the most luxurious ship he had. Then he departed and finally reached his birthplace's harbor. Meanwhile, his mother was sitting near the harbor. She saw a couple standing on the ship. She was sure that the man was her son, Malin Kundang.

Malin Kundang got off his ship and was greeted by the people. His mother saw a scar on his right arm. lt made her sure that the man was her son.

"Malin Kundang," said his mother.

But Malin Kundang only turned his head without words. His motherthen got close to him and hold him.

"Malin Kundang, l am your mother. Why do you go too long without giving any news?" said her mother.

Unexpectedly, Malin Kundang refused her mother and even pushed her until she fell on the ground.

"Who are you? How dare you, claiming me as your son?"

Malin Kundang Actually, Malin Kundang knew that she was her mother, but he was ashamed to confess it because her mother was old and poor. Therefore, he pretended he didn't recognize her.

"ls the woman your mother?" asked Malin's wife.

”No, it is impossible. She is just a beggar who acted as if she were my mother. She just wants to take my wealth," said Malin Kundang.

Hearing Malin's words, his mother was very sad and irritated. She couldn't believe that Malin Kundang had dumped her. ln her anger, she said.

"Oh God, lf he is my son, | wish him to be a stone," Soon afterwards, a hurricane occurred and beat Malin's ship. Then, Malin Kundang's body went stiff and finally he became a stone.
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