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Bawang Merah and Bawang Putih (Red Shallot and Garlic)

The Triumph of Kindness: Lessons in Good Deeds

Bawang Merah dan Bawang Putih | Edisi bahasa Indonesia

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Along with her stepmother, Bawang Putih shared a home with Bawang Merah, her stepsister. When Bawang Putih was a baby, her mother passed away. Her step-sister was then born after her father remarried a different woman.

Unfortunately, her father passed away soon after. Bawang Putih's life has been so miserable ever since. Bawang Putih was mistreated by her stepmother and stepsister. She was frequently required to perform all household duties.

One morning, Bawang Putih was washing some clothes in a river. Accidentally, her mother's clothes were washed away by the river. She was really worried, so she walked along the riverside to find the clothes. Finally, she met an old woman. She said that she kept the clothes and would give them back to Bawang Putih if she helped the old woman do the household chores.

Bawang Putih helped her happily. After everything was finished, the old woman returned the clothes. She also gave Bawang Putih a gift. The old woman had two pumpkins; one was small and the other one was bigger. Bawang Putih had to choose one.

Bawang Putih was not a greedy girl. So she took the small one. Bawang Putih returned home after thanking the elderly lady. When she arrived home, her stepmother and Bawang Merah were angry. They had been waiting for her all day long. Bawang Putih then told them about the clothes, the old woman, and the pumpkin. Her mother was really angry, so she grabbed the pumpkin and smashed it to the floor. Suddenly, they were all surprised. Inside the pumpkin, they found jewelries.

"Bawang Merah, hurry up. Go to the river and throw my clothes into the water. After that, find the old woman. Remember, you have to take the big pumpkin," the stepmother asked Bawang Merah to do exactly the same as Bawang Putih's experience.

Bawang Merah immediately went to the river. She threw the clothes into the water and pretended to search for them. Not long after that, she met the old woman. Again, she asked Bawang Merah to do household chores. She refused and asked the old woman to give her a big pumpkin.

The old woman then gave her the big one. Bawang Merah was so happy. She ran very fast. When she arrived home, her mother was impatient. She smashed the pumpkin on the floor. They were screaming. There were a lot of snakes inside the pumpkin! They were really scared. They were afraid the snakes would bite them.

"Mom, I think God just punished us. We had done bad things to Bawang Putih. And God didn't like that. We have to apologize to Bawang Putih," said Bawang Merah.

Finally, they realized their mistakes. They apologized, and Bawang Putih forgave them. Now the family is not poor anymore. Bawang Putih decided to sell all the jewelries and use the money for their daily lives. ***

Moral Message: Kindness Prevails

The story underscores the importance of kindness and positive attitudes. Despite facing mistreatment from her stepmother and stepsisters, Bawang Putih maintained a kind heart and readily offered selfless help to others when she encountered the elderly woman. Bawang Putih's genuine kindness brought forth fortunate outcomes, while the selfishness and malice of Bawang Merah and her stepmother led to deserving repercussions for their wrongful actions. The moral is that virtuous deeds yield positive outcomes, whereas malevolent actions result in adverse consequences. Acknowledging mistakes, offering apologies, and embracing forgiveness serve as catalysts for rectifying errors and fostering positive transformations in life.

Fun Fact: The Origins of Bawang Putih and Bawang Merah

Did you know?

"Bawang Putih" translates to garlic, while "Bawang Merah" refers to red shallot in Indonesian.

The genus Allium encompasses a diverse group of monocotyledonous flowering plants, comprising numerous species. Within this genus, cultivated varieties such as onion, garlic, scallion, shallot, leek, and chives belong to this family. The term "Allium," derived from Latin, is the generic name used for garlic, with "Allium sativum" denoting the cultivated garlic as the genus's type species.

The Latin word for garlic, "Allium," was adopted by Linnaeus in naming this genus. Some sources trace its origin to the Greek word "αλεω" (aleo), which associates with the garlic's distinctive odor, translating to "to avoid."

References: wikipedia,

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