BAWANG Putih lived with her step mother and her step sister, Bawang Merah. Bawang Putih’s mother died when she was a baby. Her father remarried another woman and later her step sister was born. Unfortunately, not long after that her father died. Since then, Bawang Putih’s life was sad. Her step mother and her step sister treated Bawang Putih badly and always asked her to do all the household chores.
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 river side 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 pumpkin was small and the other one was big. Bawang Putih had to choose one.
Bawang Putih was not a greedy girl. So she took the small one. After thanking the old woman, Bawang Putih then went home. When she arrived home, her step mother and Bawang Merah were angry. They had been waiting for her all day long. Bawang Putih then told 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 all were 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 step mother asked Bawang Merah to do exactly the same as Bawang Putih’s experience. Bawang Merah immediately went to the river. She threw the clothes and pretended to search 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 directly smashed the pumpkin to 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 both of them 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 used the money for their daily lives.
Bawang Merah and Bawang Putih Drama (A Javanese Story)
The story takes place in a simple village household. The head of this family has two wives, and each wife has their own daughter. Bawang Merah and her mother are jealous of the attention the father gives Bawang Putih and her mother. When the father dies, Bawang Merah and her mother take charge of the household and bully Bawang Putih into servitude. Bawang Putih’s mother stands up for her daughter but she soon dies prematurely. With her real mother and father dead, the gentle and obedient Bawang Putih is left alone to be tortured by her cruel stepmother and half-sister.
BM : Hey you! Prepare me warm water for a bath… My skin is must get warm temperature to be soft.
BP : OK, my sister. I’ll do it (She boils a pail of water, then pour it into the bathub).
BM : Faster!
BP : Be more patient… (she finishes it, and get out of the bathroom).
BM : Can you do all of things quickly? You are not adroit at all (get in into the bathroom).
BP : My goodness… why is she always hate me?
BM : (roaming) Ouch!! (out from the bathroom and throw down the door).
BP : (surprised) What happened?
BM : Hey! Where did you place your head, huh?
BP : Am I did something wrong?
BM : Yes, actually all that you have done is wrong!
BP : I’m sorry…(bow)
BM : Now you tring to burn my skin!
BP : No..! That’s not.
BM : You are jealous don’t you?
BP : I’m not. I just didn’t realize the water is that hot. Are you okay? (she looks at Bawang Merah’s hand)
BM : Don’t touch it! (avoid)
BP : That’s okay. I’ll see it, it will not hurt you… (reach for BM’s hand)
BM : I said don’t touch me! Impudent kid! (BM slaps BP’s face)
BP : Sis… (she is trying to control her mind) I want to save you. But you slapped me?
BM : Enough! Cause of your doing, I’m tired. Go wash my clothes in the river! If you dare to make me dissapointed one more time, I’ll tell all of your fault to mom.
BP : Please, don’t do that…
BM : Then, go now!
BP : She is quite hate me. God, can you make my sister like me a bit?
Bawang Putih goes to the river. Washing her sister’s clothes. Suddenly, there’s a fish approach to her. The fish is able to speak, and tells her that it is her mother who has came back to comfort her. Bawang is was overjoyed to be able to speak with her mother again, and secretly visits the pond whenever she can.
One day Bawang Merah sees Bawang Putih sneaking off and secretly follows her to the pond, where she witnesses Bawang Putih talking to the fish. After Bawang Putih leaves, Bawang Merah lures the fish to the surface of the pond and catches it. Bawang Merah kill the fish, cook it and feed it to Bawang Putih without telling her where it came from.
BM : You seems very ravenous… Is it delicious?
BP : Yes, very delicious. Thank you for cook me a meal.
BM : You know what kind of fish you have eaten?
BP : Tough I don’t know, It’s very good because you cooked it for me. So, what kind of fish ?
BM : You have to promise first.
BP : For what?
BM : For not get mad with me.
BP : I’m very happy because of you, my sis… I think I’m a little difficult to get angry with you today.
BM : Truthfully, I knew you have a friend near the river. That fish… I thought your friendship will be forever if you eat it.
BP : Sis, what?
BM : I fried it. But it will become your blood and bones, right?
BP : I can’t believe this… So you kill it?
BM : Yep.
BP : Why? It is my only one friend, it’s my mother…
BM : Your mother? How come?
BP : She came back again to see me. She listened to my stories and entertained me.
BM : I never know that things…
BP : Mother… you has passed for the second time… I can’t believe it.
BM : I’m sorry… (pretend she don’t know anything)
BP : Mother… I’m just happy to saw you again, but you quickly left me alone again…(she cried)
BM : I’m sorry… (big grin). I want to express my deepest condolences.
Bawang Putih gathers the fish bones and bury them in a small grave underneath a tree. When she visits the grave the next day, she is surprised to see that a beautiful swing has appeared from one of the tree’s branches. When she sits in the swing and sings an old lullaby, it magically swings back and forth. she continues to visit the magic swing whenever she can. One day, while she was is on the magic swing, a Prince who is hunting nearby hears her song. The Prince is overjoyed and asks Bawang Putih to marry him. She agrees.
BM : Now you’re the princess.
BP : I’m sorry. I know you admire the prince.
BM : Never mind. I’m happy too because both of you will get married.
BP : Thanks, I’ll miss you if I live in the castle.
BM : I’ll be miss you more .
BP : Therefore, would you and mother live with me?
BM : In the castle? But… We can’t be allowed by.
BP : My sis… Everybody want to live happily with their family. Why I can’t do that too?
BM : The King won’t be like it. Beside that… I’m sure that I have been being so bad to you.
BP : You’re still my sister.
BM : I’m too contemptible to accept your kindness.
BP : Don’t be like that…I just want to spend my days with both of my family… And forget all that past
BM : You completely forgive me?
BP : You are forgiven.
BM : Thanks my lovely sis! (crying)
Then, they live happily ever after in the castle.