THE WARRIOR WHO ALMOST MARRIED HIS MOTHER
(SIGHT-SEEING IN INDONESIA 2017)
Hartono, Grandmaster Wong and Sifu Joko at Tangkuban Perahu
On 14th October 2017 Hartono took me and Joko for some sight-seeing. We started very early at 5.00 am so as to avoid the morning traffic. But still the traffic was quite heavy at this early hour, though Hartono said that according to Jakarta standard it was mild. But the roads were soon packed with cars and trucks.
We stopped at a rest station near Bandung at about 7.00 am for breakfast, but being used to the delicious food in Jakarta, we did not find the restaurants at the rest station appealing. So we drove on. Probably due to hunger, we came to another rest station, where there were hardly any restaurants, and where we hurriedly had something to fill our stomach. I had some warm hot chocolate and some bread.
Soon we reached "Saung Abah", which means "Honorable Father" in Indonesian. It was a tourist attraction, with ponds and a running stream with chalets on top. We had a delicious breakfast in one of the chalets. I particularly liked a fried fish, which was fresh and very tasty. Hartono told me that the food was of a local tribe.
Along the way there were many houses, reminding me of Japan where a person could hardly tell one city from another as the houses ran continuously. There were also many tea plantations on the way. Indonesia is famous for tea.
We then turned into a lovely Hot Spring Tourist Spot called Sari Ater, which is also called Ciater as the water came from a crater. There were many hot springs and fountains. The Indonesian people believe that the water is good and has medication effect. Hartono and Joko dipped their feet into a hot spring while I enjoyed myself in the surrounding greenery.
“The water is very hot,” Hartono exclaimed. Soon they came out of the hot spring and joined me to take some photographs for memory.
“Here is a nice spot for some photos,” Hartono said. “Young couples like to take photos here, but it is not for us as we already have our beautiful wives.”
Then we headed for Tangkuban Perahu, which is a favorite tourist attraction. It was an active volcano, with strong smell of sulphur and fumes rising from the ground.
“There is a legend about Tangkuban Perhau,” Hartono mentioned. “Sangkuriang, a famous warrior, wanted to marry his mother, who still looked young and beautiful.” Joko then told me the legend.
While Dayang Sumbi was weaving, her shuttle fell down a mountain. She made a promise that whoever could fetch her shuttle back, she would marry him. A dog, called Tumang, brought back her shuttle. So Dayang Sumbi had to marry the dog.
Grandmaster Wong at Kampung Daun
They had a son called Sangjuriang. One day Dayang Sumbi wanted to eat some deer meat, and his son went hunting for a deer. Tumang, the dog, went with him.
But Sangjuriang could not find any deer. He did not want to disappoint his mother, so he killed the dog.
Later when Dayang Sumbi found out the truth, she was furious. She hit her son with a spoon causing a scar, and chased him away.
Sangjuriang left home and wandered about. One day he returned to his village, but he did not know it. He found Dayang Sumbi, who remained young and beautiful. Without knowing the identity of each other, they fell in love. Sangjuriang wanted to marry his mother, Dayang Sumbi.
Dayang Sumbi found out the scar on his head, and knew he was her son. It was impossible for them to be married. So Dayang Sumbi gave Sangjuriang a condition, that he should make a boat before dawn.
Sangjuriang worked fast, and was about to finish the boat. Dayang Sumbi was worried. She made cockerels crow, indicating dawn though it really wasn’t dawn yet. Sangjuriang was angry. He kicked the boat which turned upside down becoming a mountain which is now called Tangkuban Perahu.
There are, nevertheless, two flaws concerning the legend. It is unbelievable that Sangjuriang could not recognize his mother, Dayang Sumbi, who reared him up, and that he could not recognize the village where he grew up. You don't have to believe legends, but to enjoy them, though some legends are true.
Hartono, Joko and I came down the volcanic mountain and headed towards Bandung. We passed Lembang, a small town, where there were many nurseries.
"We buy our plants here." Joko told me.
Joko’s wife and her friend met us at Kampung Daun, which means “Leave Village” in the Indonesian language. Kampung Daun is actually a restaurant, but in an exquisite setting with a lot of trees and ponds. The lunch, at the courtesy of Joko and his wife, was very delicious.
In Bandung we went to Joko’s house, which is a lovely mansion. Then we visited an ecological center, called Eco Camp, which was surrounded by trees and herbs. We found a special stone erected in Hartono’s honour. Hartono, a rich businessman, must have contributed a lot of money to the center.
“The stone is more than 1000 years old,” Hartono told me.
After leaving Joko in Bandung, we set for Jakarta, which is about 150 km away. But we were caught in a traffic jam, for which Jakarta and Bandung were notorious. We took an hour to cover just 2 km!
“If the traffic is fine, it would take about 3 hours to reach Jakarta from Bandung. If the traffic is bad, it would take 9 hours,” Joko told me earlier.
Luckily, all of us practice Shaolin Wahnam arts. We even enjoyed the traffic jam.
Wong Kiew Kit
22nd October 2017
Hartono, Grandmaster Wong and Sifu Joko at Sari Ater