Revised folk-tale, April 20, 2014
By Rizal Saryadi
A long time ago in 15th century, Java was ruled in democratic system by King Sirupata. He was a wise person, kind, and friendly. Because of his integrity, everyone respected him though he acted as ordinary people in daily social life.
One day the former Prime Minister of Kingdom died, and the king was forced to make a quick decision for who would succeed that position. Then the king invited all officials of the kingdom and discussed the proper candidate of this position. The discussion was not taking long time because the forums agreed to choose his son, Sirwala, to take the position. As his counselor suggested, “ My King…your son is trusted to be in this position and I think he is qualified to be the Prime Minister of our kingdom based on his love and responsibility towards the kingdom.” The King and all forums agreed with the counselor and the decided Sirwala as the official Prime Minister of Java Kingdom.
After a month Sirwala was being a Prime Minister of Java Kingdom counselor talked to the king that they needed to send a delegation for a piece between their kingdom and Sriwijaya.
“My king…I think that our kingdom doesn’t need to have a war with Sriwijaya. As we know our society would be suffered because of war” said the counselor. At the moment the king replied, “Hmm…you’re right my friend. Our kingdom must be peaceful, and our people must not be suffered because of war. I will call Sirwala to finish this matter. What about you my friend? Do you have any idea?” then the counselor said, “I have no idea, sir, your decision is very wise for me”. After that, the counselor asked permission to leave king’s room.
At night, Sirwala went home sadly. He told his wife about the task.
“I cannot leave you alone. Soon you will give birth to our child” Sirwala said.
“Don’t worry about me. I can take care of myself.” His wife answered.
Tomorrow morning Sirwala left his kingdom and beautiful wife to accomplish the task from king. It was a long and hard journey for him to leave his wife. The hardest thing is he left his happy life and sweet memory with his beloved wife in the kingdom.
A few days after Sirwala left, his wife gave birth to a handsome baby boy. She was very proud of the baby. But unfortunately, one day Sirwala's wife went to the spring. The wicked woman, Sirwala’s mother, took the baby away. She threw the baby to a river.
Sirwala's wife was shocked when she could not find her baby. "Where is my baby?" she cried. She looked for for her son, but she could not find him. Finally she fell sick because she did not eat or drink. She grew more thin and weak day after day.
After six months, Sirwala came home. He could not wait to see his wife and child.His mother saw him at the gate. She said to him,"My son, your wife is wicked woman. She killed her own baby. She killed your son. She threw your son into the river."
Sirwala was very shocked to hear it. When he met his wife, he did not believe in anything his wife said. He was very angry that he would kill his wife.Sadly his wife said, "I'm very sad because you dont believe me. You don't have to kill me. Because I will die soon."Then she cut her thumb and ran into a river nearby. Then there was a hidden voice said, " my dear husband, my blood will be the witness of the truth. If the fragrant smell comes out of this river, then I'm innocent."
A miracle happened. From the river, there came out some fragrant smell. At the center of the river came out two beautiful-strange flowers. A big flower and a small one. The small flower said, "Dad, I'm your son. My mother is innocent. It was grandmother who threw me intothe river." After that Sirwala cried loudly. He regreted what he had done to his wife. But it was too late. His wife and child turned into two beautiful-strange flowers.
The smelly and dirty river turned into clear and sweet smelled one. In javanese, the fragrant river is called Banyuwangi. And now the land around the fragrant river is known as Banyuwangi, a town in East Java.