Padusi, Story of Three Strong Women

That day, I got a rare chance to watch a remarkable musical theater titled “Padusi.” The story is about a women legend in Minang (Padang), Indonesia.

Padusi itself, means woman in Minang language.  It was a story about tradition that still live in there until today. It is about 3 different story, 3 women, 1 fight.

So it was all about the power of women. Women are not that weak, we are a strong person, not differ than men. But we do realize our destiny as woman.


Just like Puti Bungsu who live her life as human as best as she can as Malin Deman wife, but not gave up her dream to go back to the place where she was coming from, as a fairy.

Or like Siti Jamilan who really respect her husband (Lareh Simawang), trust him, and loyal to him until the very end of her life.

Or just like Sabai Nan Aluih who strongly  refused to be married to some old man named Rajo nan Panjang, eventhough he had a great power and feared by others (somehow it reminds me of the story Siti Nurbaya and Datuk Maringgih).

Even in the end, Sabai is bravely confronted him and took revenge on him for the death of his father Rajo Babandiang.

IMG-20130511-WA0003What impress me is the show was awesomely beautiful and simply touching. A simple decoration, a colorful songket (a traditional fabric from Padang), a meaningful dance, and a very touching music were completed by a strong performance from the actors, actresses, and dancers.

My feeling is being like on a rollercoaster throughout the show. I felt lots of emotion in the same time. All the cast and crew were doing great for turned me like that.

Padusi made me want to watch some more.

This is one of short review which I like from The Jakarta Post:

In the story, the titular character Padusi arrives in Padang on a plane from Jakarta. She is recently widowed and wants to rediscover her cultural heritage in the land of her ancestors.

During her visit, she encounters legends from local folktales, which are represented by three vignettes in the play.


The first is about Puti Bungsu, a fairy who is stranded after her wings are stolen and hidden by Malin Deman, while she bathes at a pond with her sisters.


Puti Bungsu is later forced into marriage with Malin Deman, a man dependent on his mother. Even after giving birth to her son, Malin Duano, Puti Bungsu never stops looking for her stolen wings.


The second story, which is related to the first, follows Malin Deman, who leaves his village to look for Puti Bungsu. He meets the womanizing Lareh Simawang, who intends to marry another woman despite already having an expectant wife, Siti Jamilan, and two children.


After discovering that her husband wishes to marry a younger woman, the pregnant Siti Jamilan decides to kill herself and her two children. Lareh Simawang is deeply shocked by his wife’s actions and loses his mind.


In the third and final encounter with the legends, Padusi observes the story of the beautiful and kindhearted Sabai Nan Aluih, who refuses to be betrothed to an elderly aristocrat, Rajo Nan Panjang. Her betrothal was demanded as a payment for the debts of her father, Rajo Babandiang.


In the final scene, Padusi talks with Malin Deman and Lareh Simawang. She imparts the lesson she has learned from the women.


I am not a woman that can be bought with wealth and power, or can be judged,” Padusi says, both to herself and the men.


dsc_6601dsc_6603There is a well said from Tom Ibnur (Padusi choreographer) which I strongly agreed,

We, as artist can not walk alone.

We need partner and support…

So, rather than being angry when our culture is claimed by others,

lets support each other to conserve our culture.

If it’s not us, who else?

If It’s not now, when will?



Stories from Minangkabau Through the Ages

Padusi, Tiga Kisah Legenda Ranah Minang