myth malin kundang

A long time ago, in a small village near the beach in West
Sumatera, lived a woman and her son, Malin Kundang. Malin
Kundang’s father had passed away when he was a baby, and he
had to live hard with his mother.
Malin Kundang was a healthy, diligent, and strong child. He
usually went to the sea to catch fish, and brought it to his
mother, or sold it in the town.
One day, when Malin Kundang was sailing as usual, he saw a
merchant’s ship which was being raided by a small band of
pirates. With his brave and power, Malin Kundang defeated the
pirates. The merchant was so happy and asked Malin Kundang to
sail with him. Malin Kundang agreed.
Many years later, Malin Kundang became a wealthy merchant,
with a huge ship, loads of trading goods, many ship crews, and a
beautiful wife. In his journey, his ship landed on a beach. The
villagers reconigzed him, and the news ran fast in the town:
Malin Kundang became a rich man and now he is here. His
mother, in deep-felt sadness after years of loneliness, ran to the
beach to meet her beloved son again.
When the mother came, Malin Kundang, in front of his well
dressed wife, his crews and his own gloriness, denied to meet
that old, poor and dirty woman. For three times she begged
Malin Kundang and for three times yelled at him. At last Malin
Kundang said to her “Enough, old woman! I have never had a
mother like you, a dirty and ugly peasant!” Then he ordered his
crews to set sail.
Enraged, she cursed Malin Kundang that he would turn into a
stone if he didn’t apologize. Malin Kundang just laughed and set
sail. In the quiet sea, suddenly a thunderstorm came. His huge
ship was wrecked and it was too late for Malin Kundang to
apologized. He was thrown by the wave out of his ship, fell on a
small island, and suddenly turned into stone.
Another Version
The legendary story is said to be originated here in Padang
where the remains of “Batu Malin Kundang” is located.
Malin Kundang who hails from a poor family. Just like any other
Minang men, Malin Kundang decided to travel elsewhere to seek
good fortune, leaving behind his old mother. His life changed
when he married the daughter of a rich man in Siam. Soon after
achieving success and gaining great fortune he sailed back
homeward on his own ship to Padang together with his wife and
Upon hearing of Malin Kundang’s return, his mother rushed to
the beach to meet her long lost son. Unfortunately, Malin
Kundang felt ashamed upon looking at his old and poor mother
– he was a rich man with fine clothing and a beautiful wife while
his mother was looking ragged and poor as she was. In his
undisguised disgust he ignored his mother, refused to greet her
and returned to his ship.
Humiliated and heartbroken by her arrogant son’s behavior, his
mother fell to her knees in desperation and prayed to God asking
that her son be punished for what he did. Soon a terrible storm
rose up and Malin Kundang’s ship was wrecked upon the rocks.
Realising his mistake and sin for ignoring his mother, the badly
injured Malin Kundang tried to get ashore to seek forgiveness
from his mother but as he crawled on his hands and knees he
was suddenly turned into stone.
Until today, a stone that from a certain angle resembles the
figure of a man on his hands and knees with his head seemingly
buried in the rock can still be found here in Pantai Air Manis. It
is said that Malin Kundang has been forced to stay on the beach
forever, begging for forgiveness from his mother. Around this
rocky figure barrels and ropes have been carved into the stone
to represent the shipwreck washed up on the shore. The tale of
an ungrateful son makes the tranquil Pantai Air Manis a
legendary location to visit that may offer some lesson in life.


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