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Indonesian Tales – Bawang Merah Bawang Putih Bedtime Story


Are you ready for indonesian tales – bedtime time story? Today we’ve prepared for you a fairy-tale about two sisters: Bawang Merah and Bawang Putih. Check it out and tell us if you can find any similarities with other, more known stories?

Indonesian Tales – Bawang Merah Bawang Putih Bedtime Story

In small village in java lived a widow with her daughter named Bawang Merah and her step daughter Bawang Putih. The two girls were completely opposite in character. While Bawang Merah was lazy and spoilt, Bawang Putih was diligent and sweet. In the cottage Bawang Putih always had to do the work, while her step sister slept until lunch time. “It’s your job to finish all the housework, cooking and other chores” – shouted her step mother every day.

One morning Bawang Putih went down to the river to do the laundry. After she had washed all the clothes, she put them carefully in a wicker basket. The water looked so cool and inviting that she decided to have a swim before returning to the cottage. Placing the basket on a large rock beside the river, Bawang Putih had a refreshing bath. Suddenly, river flow risen and swept the basket carrying it downstream.

Bawang Putih was scared of her step mother’s reaction but she quietly returned home to face the consequences. “Damn you stupid girl. You had better go back to the river and find all of our clothes” – screamed the widow. Crying softly Bawang Putih returned to the river. She felt guilty that she hadn’t secured the basket of clothes properly before taking her bath. She walked arefully along the riverbank watching out of any sign of the basket. Coming across a man she asked if he seen it, but he just shook his head and went back to work. Bawang Putih continued to walk and ask everyone she met along the riverbank. Quite exhausted, she eventually came to a strange looking cottage where she met an old green woman who was a giant. Bawang Putih was given some delicious food and lead to a comfortable bed where she could spend the night. Closing her eyes, the girl quickly felt into a deep sleep.

The next morning Bawang Putih woke up early and in return for the kindness of her host, she helped with all the housework. As she was washing the last dishes, she heard a loud noise of footsteps approaching the cottage. The giant woman shrieked and hid Bawang Putih under big pot in the kitchen. Afterwards, kitchen entered the enormous green giant. He raised his nose in the air and sniffed greedily: “I’m very hungry. Is that the flesh of a young girl that I can smell?” – He growled. “It’s just your imagination. I have made a big pot of very tasty stew” – Replied his mother. After meal, green giant returned to the forest and Bawang Putih could step out from her hideout.


Bawang Putih stayed with giant mother for several days and cleaned the whole cottage from top to bottom. The time had come. Little girl had to return back home. Giant mother really enjoyed having such a sweet and hard working girl as a company. In the farewell time, giant mother brought two pumpkins. One was big and one was small. “As you are such a nice girl, please chose one of these pumpkins to take back home with you” – said the giant woman. Bawang Putih was not a greedy type of person, so she chose the small one and thanked giant for the great hospitality.

Carrying the pumpkin along the riverbank, Bawang Putih planned to give it as a gift to her step mother and sister. However, because she didn’t manage to collect all the lost clothes, she wasn’t forgiven for her act. “Let’s eat this tasty pumpkin” – Couldn’t wait Bawang Merah as she greedily snatched the fruit from the hands of her sister. When the pumpkin was cut in half, step mother cried with joy. The inside was filled with gold coins and jewels. Greedy sister and step mother made poor girl to tell where the pumpkin came from.

After receiving all the information, devious Bawang Merah left early and followed the path along the riverbank, until she came to the strange looking cottage. Pretending that she was lost, Bawang Merah stayed for a couple of days with the giant woman and tried to show that she was a nice girl. When it came time for Bawang Merah to leave, she chose the biggest pumpkin that was offered to her. She thought that surely it will have the biggest amount of treasures hidden inside.

With a big smile on her face, Bawang Merah sang and dance all the way back home. Together with her mother they quickly began to open the pumpkin. To their surprise, instead of gold coins and jewels, from the pumpkin came out poisonous snake and bit them with its deadly fangs. Bawang Putih lived happily ever after and met a handsome young prince who married her and took care of her.

What’s the moral of the story?
Watch out on your karma, as everyone will be rewarded accordingly to their actions in life. If you have a good heart, sooner or later you will find joy and happiness.

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