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Lancang and His Mother

Lancang and Ibunya | Edisi Indonesia

The Legend of Lancang lake

Folklore from Riau

ONCE upon a time in Riau, there lived a young man with his mother. His name was Lancang. He was a poor farmer. He wanted to build a big house for his mother.

However he did not have enough money. He planned to leave his village and find another better job. He talked to his mother about it.

"I'm tired of being poor, Mother. I want to be rich. I want you to live in a big house," said Lancang.

The mother was so touched. She knew how hard her son worked. Though she was so happy to hear how he wanted her to be happy, she did not want him to leave her.

"I don't mind living in a hut like this, as long as you are next to me," said the mother lovingly.

"But I don't want to be poor. I want to be rich and have lots of money. Please let me go, Mother," said Lancang.

The mother could not hold her son any more. He was stubborn. Once he made up his mind, no one could change it. And finally she let him.

"Please promise that you will come back, Son," asked the mother.

"I promise, Mother," said Lancang.

He was sad to leave his mother but his desire of being rich was so big. He then left the house and went to Andalas Island.

Lancang was so lucky. He had a job. He worked for a rich merchant. The merchant liked him very much. Lancang was not only diligent, but he was also loyal and smart. The merchant did not have any sons. He only had a daughter. The merchant wanted Lancang to marry his daughter. Lancang agreed. He also loved the merchant's daughter.

Lancang and his wife lived happily. The merchant had retired and gave all his business to Lancang. He became a very rich man. Lancang had lots of money! Lancang wanted to go back home. He brought lots of silk and gold. He wanted to give them to his mother.

The ship that brought Lancang and his crew arrived at the village.

Lancang's mother had heard from people that his son came back home. She was so happy. The mother got on the ship. Unfortunately the crew asked her to leave. She was old and wore shabby clothes. They thought she was a beggar.

"Leave the ship now!" said'the crew.

"I'm Lancang's mother. Please let me see him now!"

Lancang heard the noise. And when he saw his mother, he was so embarrassed. He was wearing beautiful clothes and jewelries. He looked very much different from his mother. He ignored his mother and asked the crew to get rid off her.

"Lancang... please don't do this to me. Let me hug you, I really miss you," cried the mother.

'You are not my mother!" said Lancang. Then he left her.

The mother was extremely sad. She cried and cried. She asked God to punish him. Not long after that rain fell down heavily. It seemed that God had answered her prayer. Thunder attacked the ship. It ruined into pieces.

The silks were thrown into Kampar Kiri The area was then named as Lipat Kain. Lipat means to fold and Kain means cloth. The pole of the ship was thrown into a lake. People then named the lake as Lancang Lake. ***



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