The Malay Tale of the Wise Parrot

The Hikayat Bayan Budiman, ‘Tale of the Wise Parrot’, is an old work of Malay literature, probably composed in the 15th century or earlier. It is based on a Persian original, the Tuti-nama, and is the earliest example in Malay of a framed narrative: a literary work comprising a compilation of individual stories. And like the ‘Thousand and One Nights’, in the ‘Tale of the Wise Parrot’, the stories are designed to help the protagonists avoid a nasty fate.

In the Hikayat Bayan Budiman, Khoja Maimun is married to the beautiful Siti Zainab. One day he buys a rare parrot, which can speak and foretell the future, and a mynah bird. The wonderful stories the birds tell of far-away places lead Khoja Maimun to sail off to seek his fortune, leaving his wife in the care of the birds. While her husband is away Zainab falls in love with a prince, and in order to stop her committing adultery, the parrot begins to tell a story. Carried away by the narrative, Zainab forgets her assignment, and morning comes. The next evening the parrot commences another story, and in this way he keeps Zainab rooted to her house until her husband Maimun returns from his travels.

– See more at: http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/asian-and-african/2015/03/the-malay-tale-of-the-wise-parrot.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+asian-and-african+%28Asia+and+Africa%29#sthash.ZY0lZ2NR.dpuf

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s