JANDA BAIK – Friends of Janda Baik's Blog (FOJB)

promoting & preserving the natural beauty & development of Janda Baik

Folklore/Tales

RECORDED

What happens when two rivers meet? A kind of chemistry takes place. The meeting of the Bunus and Ceringging rivers is the birthplace of Janda Baik. In the early days, there was a small islet where Sultan Abu Bakar of Pahang took his meals.

Santap is the language of the royal courts which means the Sultan is having his meal. The place was aptly named Pulau Santap. The islet is no more to be seen but the place still entices visitors to have a picnic or take a dip in its shallow water with rather smooth-rounded rocks and pebbles are strewn all over. These are truly nature’s works of art that took decades to form.

Although the literal meaning of the name Janda Baik may sound odd, and is often derided as a place for many `good divorcees’, visitors will be surprised that the number of divorcees here is very small, and the name actually signifies a `happy reunion’. (According to the locals, out of the 1,000-odd residents living here since the early 1920s, only 34 divorcees are listed; a remarkable record compared to the current divorce rate.)

Tales:

Recent tales in 1990s  saying about the name of the village came about after an Orang Asli (Semalai) couple, who worked in a paddy field belonging to three of the early settlers there, went their separate ways following a misunderstanding on the wife’s skin ailment. The husband, a Tok Batin (traditional healer), followed a river to Selangor while the wife followed another to Negeri Sembilan. After several years, they came back separately and were reunited at Pulau Sebatin (a large sand dune in the middle of the local river) as the wife was healed. The residents then decided to name their settlement after the episode as Janda Balik (the divorcee is back). However, an English Colonial District Officer at that time, who was touched by the tale, named the village Janda Baik (good divorcee) instead to signify the happy reunion. Strangely, the name has stuck!

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