Thursday, January 24, 2019

Legend of Kemaro Island by Zhulian Saputra

Kemaro Island is located in the middle of Musi River in Palembang, South Sumatera. “Kemaro” is a word from Palembang which means “kemarau” in Indonesia, or “dry” in English. According to Palembang people, the island is given that name because the island is never getting wet, in other words, this island is always dry although the volume of water in Musi River is getting greater.

There is a legend from Palembang about Kemaro Island. Once upon a time, the king which was leading in Sriwijaya kingdom had a daughter, who was called Siti Fatimah. She was very beautiful. She fell in love with a trader from Tiongkok, Tan Bun Ann. Both Siti Fatimah and Tan Bun Ann loved each other. One day, Tan Bun Ann wanted to marry Siti Fatimah. Siti Fatimah’s father, the king of Sriwijaya kingdom, offered some requirements for Tan Bun Ann before married with Siti Fatimah. The king asked him to bring 9 bags of gold. Tan Bun Ann’s families agreed with the requirements.

Tan Bun Ann’s families put the gold in the bag, and they covered it with some vegetables to avoid some pirates at that time, but Tan Bun Ann didn’t know about it. When the King wanted to see the gold, Tan Bun Ann was surprised because he saw the vegetables in the bag instead of the gold. The King was angry and Tan Bun Ann was extremely shy, then he kicked the bag into the river. He jumped into the river afterwards.

Siti Fatimah was disappointed. She also jumped into the river, but before that she said, “Somedays, there would be a land in the middle of the river, and it would be known as my grave.” Today we can see that what Siti Fatimah had said becomes true. Many people believe that Kemaro Island is the grave of Siti Fatimah.

Desi Suryani

Author & Editor

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