The Origins of Lake Toba

Season 1 Episode 6 from North Sumatra

Cerita ini berawal dari seorang petani bernama Pak Toba yang hidup di satu desa di wilayah Sumatera Utara. Pak Toba hidup sendiri dan sehari-harinya sibuk dengan pekerjaannya di ladang. Hasil ladangnya mencukupi untuk kehidupan yang layak.

Suatu hari, Pak Toba pergi memancing di sungai dan mengharapkan bisa menangkap ikan yang cukup besar untuk disantap. Setelah menunggu beberapa lama, kailnya tidak berhasil menangkap ikan. Saat Pak Toba mulai menyerah dan berencana untuk pulang, kailnya bergerak-gerak. Pak Toba berusaha memegang dengan kuat kailnya yang ternyata berhasil menangkap ikan yang lebih besar dari yang dia duga. Ikan itu tidak hanya besar, tapi juga sangat indah, sisiknya berwarna keemasan dan sorot matanya sangat indah. Pak Toba sangat senang mendapatkan ikan tersebut dan membawanya kembali ke rumah.

Sesampainya di rumah, saat Pak Toba akan memasak ikan itu, terdengar suara ikan itu yang meminta agar Pak Toba tidak membunuhnya, lalu mendadak, berubahlah wujud ikan tersebut menjadi seorang wanita cantik. Ternyata ikan tersebut adalah wujud kutukan dari dewa. Ikan tersebut berterima kasih kepada Pak Toba dan sebagai tanda terima kasih, maka wanita itu mau menikah dengan Pak Toba dengan satu syarat, yaitu, Pak Toba tidak akan pernah mengungkapkan kebenaran bahwa wanita itu dulunya adalah seekor ikan. 

Setelah Pak Toba berjanji, menikahlah mereka dan mereka hidup sangat bahagia, bahkan, mereka dikaruniai seorang anak laki-laki yang mereka beri nama Samosir. Sebenarnya Samosir adalah anak yang baik, tapi karena ibunya sangat memanjakannya, maka Samosir tumbuh menjadi anak yang sangat malas dan bertabiat buruk. 

Beberapa kali, ketika ibunya meminta Samosir untuk membawakan makanan ke Pak Toba saat dia bekerja di ladang, Samosir malah menolaknya. Maka ibunya yang harus pergi sendiri mengantarkan makanan tersebut. Hingga satu hari, Samosir akhirnya mengiyakan dan pergi mengantar makanan untuk ayahnya. 

Di tengah jalan, Samosir berhenti beristirahat dan memakan sebagian besar dari bekal untuk ayahnya. Sesampainya di ladang, makanan itu sudah hampir tidak ada sisanya sama sekali. Ayahnya sangat marah melihat Samosir tidak hanya datang telat, juga telah memakan makanannya. Karena emosi yang sudah menumpuk, ayahnya berteriak “Dasar anak kurang ajar tidak tahu diuntung kau anak ikan!”

Samosir terkejut dan lari ketakutan balik ke rumah. Sesampainya di rumah, Samosir menceritakan apa yang ayahnya katakan. Mendengar suaminya melanggar janji pernikahan mereka, dengan sedih, ibunya meminta Samosir untuk pergi ke bukit yang dekat rumah mereka dan naik ke pohon yang tertinggi. Tanpa bertanya-tanya, Samosir melakukan yang ibunya minta. 

Setelah Samosir sampai di tempat yang ibunya perintahkan, berlarilah ibunya ke sungai terdekat dan melompat ke dalamnya. Wujudnya langsung berubah kembali menjadi ikan besar. Bersamaan dengan itu, terlihatlah kilat menyambar dan guruh menggelegar. Turunlah hujan yang lebat dan air meluap dimana-dimana yang menenggelamkan desa tempat mereka tinggal. 

Pak Toba pun tidak bisa menyelamatkan diri dari banjir yang besar. Makin lama banjir yang besar itu makin meluas dan menjadi sebuah danau besar. Danau itu bernama Danau Toba dan tempat Samosir berlindung menjadi Pulau Samosir. 

The next one will be in English version

ENGLISH

This story begins with a farmer named Mr. Toba who lived in a village in North Sumatera. Mr. Toba lived alone and his days were filled with busy work in his fields. His fields produced enough for a decent living. 

One day, Mr. Toba went fishing in the river and hoped to catch a fish that was big enough to be eaten. After waiting for some time, his fishing rod had not been able to catch any fish. When Mr. Toba started to give up and planned to head home, his fishing rod suddenly started to move. Mr. Toba tried to hold on tightly to his fishing rod which apparently had managed to catch a fish which was bigger than what he had hoped for. The fish was not only big but was also very beautiful, its scales were golden and its eyes were beautiful. Mr. Toba was very happy that he had caught the fish and brought it back home.

Arriving at his home, when Mr. Toba was going to cook the fish, the voice of the fish was heard and it asked Mr. Toba to not kill it, then suddenly, the fish transformed into a beautiful woman. The fish was a cursed form by the gods. The fish was grateful to Mr. Toba and as a token of gratitude, the woman agreed to marry Mr. Toba under one condition, which was that Mr. Toba must never reveal that the woman was previously a fish.

After Mr. Toba had promised, they were married and they lived very happily, they were even blessed with a son whom they named Samosir. Samosir was actually a good boy, but as his mother had spoiled him, Samosir grew up to be a very lazy child with a bad attitude.

Many times, when his mother had asked Samosir to bring food to Mr. Toba who was working in his fields, Samosir had always declined. So his mother was the one who had to go alone to deliver the food. Until one day, Samosir finally said yes and went to deliver the food to his father.

Halfway through his walk, Samosir stopped to rest and ate most of the food that was to be delivered to his father. When he had reached the fields, there was almost no food left. His father was very angry to see that not only Samosir had arrived late, but he had also ate the food. Because of his rising anger, his father shouted “You insolent child, you ungrateful child of a fish!”

Samosir was shocked and ran back home fearfully. When he arrived home, Samosir told his mother about what his father had said. Hearing that her husband had broken their wedding promise, with great sadness his mother asked Samosir to go up the hill near their home and climb the highest tree. Without asking any questions, Samosir did what his mother had asked.

After Samosir had reached the place his mother had asked him to go to, his mother ran to the closest river and jumped into it. She transformed back immediately into a big fish. At the same moment, lightning struck and thunder rumbled. It then rained heavily and water rose up everywhere drowning the village where they had lived.

Mr. Toba was unable to save himself from the big flood. After some time, the flood covered a much larger area and became a great lake. The lake then was named Lake Toba and the place where Samosir took cover became known as the island of Samosir.

New Vocabularies

Ladang: Fields

Layak: Decent

Disantap: Eaten

Sisik: Scale

Kutukan: Curse

Kurang ajar: Insolent

Danau: Lake

The Indonesian language used here is in the daily-conversation format, that has influences from the local culture and custom. Should you have questions on the more formal version, please consult with your guru Bahasa Indonesia.