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The Indonesian Folk Tale of the Rooster with Magical Powers: Cindelaras

Have you ever heard of a rooster that lays golden eggs? In Indonesian folklore, such a creature exists, and it is at the heart of the captivating story of Cindelaras. This tale, passed down through generations, is more than just a charming fable; it’s a window into Indonesian culture, traditions, and values.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • The Story of Cindelaras
    • The Orphan’s Plight
    • The Magical Rooster
    • The King’s Greed
    • The Rooster’s Disappearance
    • Cindelaras’s Rise to Power
    • The Reveal
    • The Story’s Conclusion
  • The Significance of the Cindelaras Story
    • Moral Lessons
    • Cultural Impact
    • Modern Relevance
  • FAQ
  • Conclusion


Cindelaras, meaning “shining light” in Indonesian, is a beloved folk tale that resonates with people of all ages. This story, originating from the island of Java, tells of an orphan boy, his extraordinary rooster, and a greedy king. But beyond its simple plot, Cindelaras offers profound insights into the human condition. It explores themes of kindness, resilience, justice, and the role of fate in shaping our destinies.

The story’s popularity speaks to its enduring appeal. It has been passed down orally through generations, woven into the fabric of Indonesian culture. Cindelaras has also found its way into various forms of art, from traditional puppet shows to modern adaptations in literature and film.

The Story of Cindelaras

The story of Cindelaras begins with a young orphan boy named Cindelaras. Abandoned at a young age, he finds refuge with a kind old woman who takes him in and provides him with a loving home. However, Cindelaras’s life takes an unexpected turn when he discovers a magical rooster.

The Orphan’s Plight

Life for Cindelaras was simple yet filled with hardship. He lived in a small village, working hard to earn a meager living. While his heart yearned for a family and a loving home, all he had was the compassion of the elderly woman who took him in. Yet, in his loneliness, he found solace in the company of a rooster he had befriended.

The Magical Rooster

One day, Cindelaras noticed something extraordinary about his rooster: it laid golden eggs! The discovery brought both joy and fear. While the golden eggs promised wealth, Cindelaras also knew they could attract unwanted attention.

The King’s Greed

News of the golden rooster reached the King’s ears. Greed consumed him, and he desperately desired the rooster for himself. He offered Cindelaras a hefty sum for the rooster, but the young boy refused. The King, consumed by his desire, continued to pursue the rooster, leaving Cindelaras in a state of constant worry.

The Rooster’s Disappearance

Knowing that the King would not rest until he obtained the rooster, Cindelaras devised a plan. He decided to hide the rooster, hoping to protect it from the King’s grasp. He took the rooster to a nearby forest, where he hid it in a secluded spot.

Cindelaras’s Rise to Power

The King, frustrated by the rooster’s disappearance, began to search for it. He offered a reward to anyone who could find it. Unbeknownst to the King, Cindelaras had entered the palace disguised as a servant. He cleverly used his wit and kindness to gain the King’s favor. His compassion for the King’s well-being and his ability to solve the King’s problems earned him respect and trust.

The Reveal

As time passed, Cindelaras’s influence in the palace grew. His genuine compassion and wisdom won the hearts of the people. Yet, the King’s greed remained a constant threat. One day, a feast was organized in the palace. Cindelaras, remembering his rooster, requested permission to attend. He brought with him a dish of delicious food, a gift for the King. As the King was about to take a bite, Cindelaras, in a dramatic gesture, revealed the rooster from under the dish. It was a moment of shock and revelation for all, including the King.

The Story’s Conclusion

The King, realizing his folly and greed, was humbled. He finally saw the good in Cindelaras, the orphan he had disregarded. The King acknowledged Cindelaras’s true identity and his virtue, bestowing upon him a position of power and respect within the kingdom. Cindelaras’s journey from a humble orphan to a revered leader served as a testament to the power of kindness and virtue. The story ends on a note of hope and justice, signifying that even in the face of hardship, kindness and compassion will triumph over greed and deceit.

The Significance of the Cindelaras Story

The Cindelaras story, with its simple yet profound narrative, offers numerous lessons and insights. It transcends its cultural origin, speaking to universal values and human experiences that resonate with people across the globe.

Moral Lessons

At its core, Cindelaras emphasizes the importance of kindness and generosity. Cindelaras, despite his own struggles, never loses sight of compassion. This virtue is the driving force behind his actions, ultimately leading to his success. The story teaches us that kindness, even in the face of adversity, can pave the way for a brighter future.

Another crucial theme is the concept of “rewards for virtue.” The tale highlights that good deeds are never forgotten. Cindelaras’s compassion and wisdom are recognized, culminating in his rise to power and recognition. This underscores the idea that righteousness and virtue are ultimately rewarded, not by external forces but by the inherent goodness in the world.

Furthermore, Cindelaras encapsulates the notion of “justice triumphs.” Greed and deceit, represented by the King, are exposed and punished. The King’s relentless pursuit of the magical rooster for selfish gain ultimately leads to his downfall. This reinforces the idea that justice will prevail, and those who act with malice will eventually face consequences for their actions.

Cultural Impact

The Cindelaras story is deeply ingrained in Indonesian culture. Its oral tradition serves as a vital method for preserving historical narratives, moral values, and cultural identities. By passing down these stories, generations connect with their past, reinforcing shared beliefs and traditions.

The story has also inspired various forms of art in Indonesia. It is often adapted into puppet shows, known as “wayang,” where the characters and themes come to life through intricate puppets and vibrant storytelling. Cindelaras has also been incorporated into literature, music, and dance, showcasing its enduring influence on Indonesian artistic expression.

Modern Relevance

Although rooted in Indonesian folklore, Cindelaras’s themes remain relevant in today’s world. The story’s message of fairness and justice continues to resonate with contemporary audiences. In an increasingly complex and often unjust world, Cindelaras serves as a reminder of the importance of fighting for what is right and believing in the power of kindness.

The story’s adaptable nature allows for modern reinterpretations. Contemporary adaptations may explore themes of social justice, environmental awareness, or the challenges of modern society, providing a platform for discussing current issues through the lens of traditional storytelling.


Where can I find the full story of Cindelaras?

You can find the full story of Cindelaras online through various websites and resources dedicated to Indonesian folklore. Additionally, libraries and bookstores may carry books featuring collections of Indonesian folk tales, including the story of Cindelaras.

Is Cindelaras a real person?

No, Cindelaras is a fictional character, a product of Indonesian folklore. The story, while rooted in traditional beliefs and values, is a creative expression of those beliefs, not an actual historical event.

Is the magical rooster a symbol of something else?

The magical rooster, with its ability to lay golden eggs, can be interpreted as a symbol of wealth, prosperity, or even divine favor. In Indonesian culture, roosters often represent good luck and fortune, making the magical rooster a potent symbol of desired outcomes.

What are other popular Indonesian folk tales?

Indonesia boasts a rich tapestry of folklore. Besides Cindelaras, other well-known tales include:

  • Bawang Merah dan Bawang Putih: A story about two sisters, one kind and one wicked.
  • Malin Kundang: A story about a disobedient son who is cursed by his mother.
  • Sangkuriang: A story about a young man who unknowingly falls in love with his mother.

These tales, like Cindelaras, offer valuable insights into Indonesian culture, history, and beliefs. They reflect the values, traditions, and anxieties of the people, providing a window into their rich cultural heritage.


The story of Cindelaras, with its captivating narrative and enduring themes, continues to captivate audiences around the world. This Indonesian folk tale serves as a reminder that even in the face of hardship, kindness, and resilience can lead to a brighter future. The story also encourages us to value compassion, fairness, and the pursuit of justice in our own lives.

By exploring the rich world of Indonesian folklore, we gain a deeper understanding of the cultural heritage, values, and beliefs of its people. The Cindelaras story, with its enduring appeal, stands as a testament to the power of storytelling to connect us across cultures and generations.