Friday, December 19, 2008

Princess Mandalika

Princess Mandalika
Folklore from Nusa Tenggara Barat

ONCE upon a time, there was a kingdom in Lombok. The king had a very beautiful daughter. Her name was Princess Mandalika. She was very beautiful; many young men fell in love with her.
Princes from all over the place wanted to marry her. One by one, they came to propose her. Princess Mandalika was a kind girl. She hated to make people sad. So, when those princes came to propose her to be their wives, she was very confused. She could not decide, and she also did not want to make them sad.
The king then held a competition in Seger Kuta beach, Lombok. He asked all the princes to take part in archery competition. The rule was simple: whoever shot the target perfectly, he could be the husband of his beautiful daughter.
One by one, all participants tried their best. They all wanted to be the winners. After several time, there was no winner. All the participants were great. Those princes were great in archery.
Because there was no a winner, then they started to argue. They claimed to be the best. The argument was getting hotter and hotter. Finally, they all were fighting. Soon, the fighting was bigger. It was like a war, because all princes brought their soldiers in the archery competition.
Princess Mandalika was really worried. She did not want the war to get bigger and hurt many people. Finally, she had an idea.
"Everybody, listen up! I know you all love me and want me to be your wife. But I can't be all your wives. I don't want you to fight because of me. And I don't want you to be sad either. I want you all to have me, but not as your wives. I want to be someone that everybody can have. I want to be useful for you. I want to be nyale that you all can enjoy together," said Princess Mandalika.
The king and all other people in the beach did not understand what she meant. The king then came to her. But before he came closer to his daughter, Princess Mandalika jumped to the sea. She was disappeared in the big waves.
It was chaos on the beach. People were screaming. All the princes tried to swim to find the princess. But no one dared to jump in the sea, the waves were too high.
After several hours trying to search the princess, suddenly they found a lot of sea worms on the beach. The king then realized that his daughter had returned as sea worms. Later he named the worms as nyale.
Until now, people in Lombok always try to catch nyale. Nyale is very delicious and that is why more and more people come to Lombok to catch it. However, they cannot catch it anytime they want. They can only find it once a year, in February or March. The tradition to catch the sea worms is called Bau Nyale.


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