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Monday, March 28, 2011

The Legend Of Batu Balai

Once upon a time there lived an old widow with her only son named Dempu Awang in the middle of a forest in Mentok. They made their living by growing sweet potatos and taros. To improve their living Dempu Awang asked his mother's permission to go abroad to find a good job. His mother allowed him to go.
A few days later Dempu Awang left his village and his beloved mother. He got on board a ship as a sailor. Left alone in the middle of the forest. Dempu Awang's mother never stopped praying for her only son's safety, prosperity and happiness.
Ten years had passed since Dempu Awang left her mother. But during that time he never sent any news to his mother. Thanks to his mother's prayers Dempu Awang had made considerable fortune and married a very beautiful girl who was the daughter of a rich and respectable gentleman. Dempu Awang missed his mother and his native land. So he decided to go with his wife to Mentok by a luxurious sailing boat of his own.
On his arrival at Mentok, the fisherman who knew Dempu Awang told him that his mother was still alive. So he sent one of the fishermen to pick her up. But upon seeing the told, ugly and shabby woman stepping the ladder of his sailing boat, Dempu Awang changed his mind instantly. In the presence of his young, beautiful and richly dressed wife Dempu Awang denied the old woman to be his mother. "Dempu Awang, my son. Never deny that I am your mother, who nurtured you lovingly till you grew up and left me alone in the forest. Listen, that scar in your characteristic identity." Still Dempu Awang refused her and pushed her that she fell down from the ship. Upon seeing this, his wife insisted Dempu Awang to admit the old woman to be his mother. But Dempu Awang stubbornly refused.
Dempu Awang's denial hurt his mother very much. She knelt and rose her hands and prayed sincerely that God would give lesson to her ungrateful son. The prayer was answered. When Dempu Awang's ship was about to leave, suddenly it was attacked by  a  fierce thunder and rain-storm. The ship was broken in two and sank.
When the storm was over, it turned that Dempu Awang and his ship were changed into a mass of rock, while his wife a white ape. Locals believe that a mass pf rock measuring 8 x 6 x 5m located 3.5 km north to Mentok was formerly Dempu Awang's sailing ship. In old days a governmental meeting room, or Balai in local language, was built near the rock. That is why the rock is called "Batu Balai" or "Rock Meeting Room".

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