Once upon a time, on the north coast of Sumatra lived a poor woman and his son. The boy was called Malin Kundang. They didn’t earn much as fishing was their only source of income. Malin Kundang grew up as a skillful young boy. He always helps his mother to earn some money. However, as they were only fisherman’s helper, they still lived in poverty. “Mother, what if I sail overseas?” asked Malin Kundang one day to his mother. Her mother didn’t agree but Malin Kundang had made up his mind. “Mother, if I stay here, I’ll always be a poor man. I want to be a successful person,” urged Malin kundang. His mother wiped her tears, “If you really want to go, I can’t stop you. I could only pray to God for you to gain success in life,” said his mother wisely. “But, promise me, you’ll come home.”
In the next morning, Malin Kundang was ready to go. Three days ago, he met one of the successful ship’s crew. Malin was offered to join him. “Take a good care of yourself, son,” said Malin Kundang’s mother as she gave him some food supplies. “Yes, Mother,” Malin Kundang said. “You too have to take a good care of yourself. I’ll keep in touch with you,” he continued before kissing his mother’s hand. Before Malin stepped onto the ship, Malin’s mother hugged him tight as if she didn’t want to let him go.
It had been three months since Malin Kundang left his mother. As his mother had predicted before, he hadn’t contacted her yet. Every morning, she stood on the pier. She wished to see the ship that brought Malin kundang home. Every day and night, she prayed to the God for her son’s safety. There was so much prayer that had been said due to her deep love for Malin Kundang. Even though it’s been a year she had not heard any news from Malin Kundang, she kept waiting and praying for him.
After several years waiting without any news, Malin Kundang’s mother was suddenly surprised by the arrival of a big ship in the pier where she usually stood to wait for her son. When the ship finally pulled over, Malin Kundang’s mother saw a man who looked wealthy stepping down a ladder along with a beautiful woman. She could not be wrong. Her blurry eyes still easily recognized him. The man was Malin Kundang, her son.
Malin Kundang’s mother quickly went to see her beloved son. “Malin, you’re back, son!” said Malin Kundang’s mother and without hesitation, she came running to hug Malin Kundang, “I miss you so much.” But, Malin Kundang didn’t show any respond. He was ashamed to admit his own mother in front of his beautiful wife. “You’re not my Mother. I don’t know you. My mother would never wear such ragged and ugly clothes,” said Malin Kundang as he release his mother embrace.
Malin Kundang’s mother take a step back, “Malin…You don’t recognize me? I’m your mother!” she said sadly. Malin Kundang’s face was as cold as ice. “Guard, take this old women out of here,” Malin Kundang ordered his bodyguard. “Give her some money so she won’t disturb me again!” Malin Kundang’s mother cried as she was dragged by the bodyguard, ”Malin... my son. Why do you treat your own mother like this?”
Malin Kundang ignored his mother and ordered the ship crews to set sail. Malin Kundang’s mother sat alone in the pier. Her heart was so hurt, she cried and cried. “Dear God, if he isn’t my son, please let him have a save journey. But if he is, I cursed him to become a stone,” she prayed to the God.
In the quiet sea, suddenly the wind blew so hard and a thunderstorm came. Malin Kundang’s huge ship was wrecked. He was thrown by the wave out of his ship, and fell on a small island. Suddenly, his whole body turned into stone. He was punished for not admitting his own mother.***