Although we are living in a new age, Malaysian folklores have played an essential part in every Malaysian citizen’s childhood and culture. With that, it is important to carry on the habit of telling stories such as Puteri Gunung Ledang, Hang Tuah, Sang Kancil and Bawang Merah Bawang Putih to preserve our heritage for the upcoming generation. However, it also important to note that some folklores are not as relevant in current times as compared to when they were initially written (re: Dayang Senandong).
As the years pass, some folklores have been adapted into movies, television series and even books. Recently, the long-forgotten Malaysian folklore, Hikayat Raja Babi is becoming an illustrated picture book retold in English, titled The Malay Tale Of The Pig King.
My new picture book ‘The Malay Tale of the Pig King’ is based on Hikayat Raja Babi and will be out soon. Isn’t the cover gorgeous? ❤ #TheMalayTaleOfThePigKing #HikayatRajaBabi pic.twitter.com/DTirJMOk4m
— Heidi Shamsuddin (@heidishamsuddin) July 20, 2020
The tale of Hikayat Raja Babi was written in 1775 by a merchant from Semarang (now Indonesia) and tells the story of a royal couple who was cursed to have a pig as a child.
The king was initially disgusted and embarrassed by the appearance of his son but soon found that his son’s ingenuity was unlike anyone else’s in the kingdom. The story goes on to feature the life of hardship of the prince growing up alienated from the rest of society. However, his abnormal appearance never detracted from his courage, bravery and kind heart.
Crowdfunding THE MALAY TALE OF THE PIG KING
A fully illustrated, hardcover retelling in English of HIKAYAT RAJA BABI (1775). We seek early buyers who will also contribute to the printing cost. (RM50 per book for Malaysia / US$25 per book outside Malaysia, inclusive of postage). pic.twitter.com/j1vALfV430
— Matahari Books (@mataharibooks) July 21, 2020
Translated by Heidi Shamsuddin and illustrated by Evi Shelvia, the English retelling of the folklore is being published by Matahari Books, who is now crowdfunding until 10 August to seek for early buyers who want to contribute to the printing cost.
As a token of appreciation, people who have donated will have their names imprinted at the beginning of the book.
This is not the first time Hikayat Raja Babi has been made into a book, as the first version of it was translated from Jawi into Bahasa Malaysia and published by Fixi Books. However, this is the first time that this folklore will be having its English retelling.
It will be sold for RM50 through Matahari Bookstore shops and at Fixi Books’ online store.
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