Travelling is one of my hobbies since I was a kid. However, due to lots of things to do, or activities and routine things, sometimes, travelling is hard to do. Usually, the hard part is not having no time to go but having no money to spend for it! This time, for my travelling moment, I went to Jembatan Siti Nurbaya, one of tourism places in West Sumatera, Indonesia. People of Padang and the nearby area usually go to this place for the afternoon time or just for having outdoor walk around this legendary bridge.
What makes this place interesting to me is the history behind the bridge, especially the thing called as the Legend of Siti Nurbaya, an urban legend. The name of the place is Jembatan Siti Nurbaya. In English, it is called as Siti Nurbaya Bridge. In Indonesia, the name of Siti Nurbaya is widely known as one of romantic characters in Marah Rusli‘s work entitled Roman Siti Nurbaya (published in 1922 by Balai Pustaka).
A short review of this legend is this:
Siti Nurbaya, a modest and pretty girl, was falling in love with Samsul Bahri, a handsome young man of Minang people in West Sumatera, Indonesia. They had planned to get married soon after they reached the age of maturity. Their parents had made an agreement that they would allow and even positively encourage Siti Nurbaya and Samsul Bahri to get married.
In an unfortunate situation, Bagindo Sulaiman, as the father of Siti Nurbaya, and her wife as well, had a great debt to Datuak Maringgih. Datuak Maringgih was an old man, very old, with many wives. He could have that chance to marry many girls in that town because he was rich and a landlord in the area. When Bagindo Sulaiman wanted to beg for the mercy of Datuak Maringgih about the debt, the old man decided that the debt could be considered as over when Bagindo Sulaiman let him married Siti Nurbaya. Bagindo Sulaiman had no other choice in that condition.
Knowing that she had been forced to get married with Datuak Maringgih, Siti Nurbaya killed herself by eating poisonous “lemang”, a specific food made by rice and red sugar in Minang. Lately, Datuak Maringgih and Samsul Bahri were met in a battle when fighting with the Dutch colonial. They were both finally dead. At last, the love of Siti Nurbaya and Samsul Bahri was never realized. (Taken from various sources and translated to English)
Until now, the place where Siti Nurbaya was found and known to be dead had been regarded as one of tourism places in Padang, West Sumatera, Indonesia. As the evidence of this urban legend, the picture below is the grave of Siti Nurbaya and Samsul Bahri:
The picture above had been known as the grave of Siti Nurbaya and Samsul Bahri. Many people came to the grave area just for reflecting the spirit of love expressed in the legend of Siti Nurbaya and sometimes, they had spiritual connection to the area. The man who lives in the area told that when some people came for superstition things, they should be ready to face and see things that are out of their mind. I am not really sure with this superstitious thing but for some people, they believe it just like a religion.
And now, the legend of Siti Nurbaya has changed and turned into a big bridge with delightful scenery there.
In addition, this place is used commonly by young people as a place for hanging out, meeting with friends, enjoying the lux scenery of sunset in that historical place, eating fresh and delicious baked corn, and having nice night with the beautiful lamp decoration on the bridge.
If you want to get there, you can simply take public transportation from Central Pasar Raya or you can take taxi. The cost for the transportation is not expensive depending on which type of transportation that you use.
In the above picture, when you look straight to the road in the bridge, you see a mountain. The mountain is called as Gunung Padang. You can find and see the grave of Siti Nurbaya and Samsul Bahri there. Before you get into the grave area, you will have to be in Taman Siti Nurbaya (a park). The park is beautiful and of course, there is a story there, too. A legend told that Siti Nurbaya and Samsul Bahri were dancing in that area just to enjoy the love that they felt inside.
One thing that makes me amazed is when I read the following engraved written expression near Siti Nurbaya and Samsul Bahri grave area. It was written by Samsul Bahri for Siti Nurbaya long before they died:
“Adiak mandi, denai manyauak. Nak sasumua kito baduo
Adiak masak, denai manyanduak. Nak sadapua kito baduo
Adiak lalok, denai mangantuak. Nak sakasua kito baduo
Adiak mati, denai ramuak. Nak sakubua kito badua”
The translation of the above writing is:
“You are bathing, I am pouring the water. Wishing us be both in the bathroom.
You are cooking, I am stirring the food. Wishing us be both in the kitchen.
You are sleeping, I am sleepy. Wishing us both be in the same bed.
You are in the death, I am in dying to death. Wishing us both be in the same grave”
(Translated by Syayid Sandi Sukandi, in a literal way)
When you have time to visit this place, make sure you can taste the baked corn and the beautiful sunset.
Recommended links for further reading in Indonesian version:
For Minangkabau tourism information, you can go to this link: