Duniya Ku

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In a tiny village by the sea, there lived a very poor family: father, Si Talang, mother Si Deruma, and their son, Si Tanggang. Life was hard, and every day they struggled to make a living.

Si Tanggang, a young man of 19 years of age, was unhappy with his impoverished life. It seemed to him that life was unfair because no matter how hard they work, there was hardly enough food to eat, let alone new clothes to wear. The tiny wooden shack they lived in was in disrepair and at the brink of collapsing.

Si Tanggang also loved his parents as much as they do him, and desperately wanted to help them. At first he did not know how, but after thinking long and hard, Si Tanggang finally found the solution.

And so one evening, as he was helping Si Deruma mend the fishing nets, he quietly spoke to her.

“Mother, you and Father have sacrificed so much of your energy to raise me. Both of you are getting old and should not work so hard. I am young and healthy, and it is now my turn to take care of you. But there is nothing here for me to do. The only way I can help improve our lives is for me to travel the world. I want to hunt for valuable treasures and to bring back a lot of money so that we can all live like rich people. I ask for your permission and blessings to leave home.”

Si Deruma was saddened to hear this. Si Tanggang was her only child and she did not want to be apart from him. However, she knew he deserved to be happy and to have a better life, something which she and her husband could not possibly give. And so, with a heavy heart, the old mother said yes.

The next day, Si Tanggang said goodbye to his parents and left the village in his tiny sampan. He was a skillful seaman, and was able to travel far and wide. Wherever he went, he took on any job he could find to make ends meet. The wages were meagre, and although Si Tanggang managed to save some money, it wasn’t enough to bring home to his family. He was determined to become rich, and so he continued his voyage in search for more.

One day, a pirate ship attacked and captured Si Tanggang. He was forced to become a slave for the pirates. Si Tanggang was angry with this bad luck, but he remained calm and obeyed his captors. He worked hard and before long, he had gained the trust of everyone on board, especially the captain. He liked Si Tanggang so much that he made Si Tanggang his right-hand man. Together, they sailed the high seas and discovered many treasures. When the pirate captain later died, Si Tanggang took charge of the ship and ventured out to even more far-reaching places.

Many, many years after he left his parents behind, Si Tanggang has now become a successful and wealthy merchant. He has also married the daughter of a sultan and lived in a beautiful mansion by the sea.

He never thought of his parents anymore. He never went back to look for them like he said he would.

As fate would have it, one fine day, Si Tanggang was sailing in his ship with his wife when he chanced upon an old man and a woman rowing a small sampan. Si Tanggang looked to see who they were, and was shocked to see that it was his father and mother! Si Talang and Si Deruma had earlier received word from the neighbors that their son’s ship was sailing nearby the village. Upon hearing the good news, Si Deruma quickly prepared her son’s favorite food and together with her husband, she went out to sea to welcome Si Tanggang home.

When the sampan came close to the ship, Si Deruma called out to Si Tanggang:

“My son, do you not remember us anymore? It’s your mother! Your father and I missed you very much!”.

Si Tanggang’s wife turned to her husband and asked, “Are they really your parents, dear? But they looked so dirty, and the clothes they wear are all tattered and worn-out…”

Immediately Si Tanggang’s face turned red with anger. “How dare they show themselves like this!” Si Tanggang thought to himself. He then said aloud to his wife, “Of course these two are NOT MY PARENTS! They are just old people who think I am their son because I am rich!”

“I have brought your favorite food ~ pisang salai and pais ikan! Here, my son, I made them specially for you, take them!” Si Deruma continued as she reached out to hand over the food to him.

Si Tanggang simply brushed the food aside and shoved Si Deruma causing her to fall back into the sampan.


Both Si Deruma and Si Talang were heart-broken to hear those harsh words. They turned around the sampan and paddled slowly back to shore. Si Deruma cried all the way, and after they landed, she fell to her knees on the ground and prayed to God: “O Lord Almighty, let there be retribution to my son for he is arrogant. Let him not forget that it was I who had brought him into this world!”

Almost immediately after Si Deruma finished her prayers, the sky turned dark, the wind blew strong as if a typhoon has come, and the waves swelled so high that Si Tanggang’s ship was battered and nearly sank.

Si Tanggang became very frightened and felt a sudden rush of guilt for what he did to his mother. He knew that the stormy sea was God’s punishment unto him for being disloyal to his parents.

“Mother…I have wronged you and father! Forgive me, please…”, Si Tanggang cried out, “Ask God to calm the sea once more for I don’t want to die….!!”

Si Deruma could only cry in hearing her son’s pleading, as God’s fury continued to turn Si Tanggang, his wife and everyone on board the ship into boulders!

And so the story goes….

The End.

“Pisang Salai” = smoked banana
“Pais Ikan” = grilled fish wrapped in banana leaves

Featured image courtesy of Edukid Publication Sdn Bhd.

One comment on “SI TANGGANG

  1. HacktickPLAYZ
    May 7, 2016

    It was a touching story

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on January 6, 2014 by in Classic Malay Folklores, Si Tanggang and tagged , , , .

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