We’re all excited about Beauty and the Beast finally hitting our screens on 30 March, even though we’re more than familiar with the story of Belle and other princesses like her. Like us, you probably grew up with Disney princesses and Grimm’s fairytales. But did you know that Malaysia has its share of fairytales and princesses too?
And there’s a whole book about them.
This children’s book is lovingly researched and retold by Silverfish Books’ Raman Krishnan. It tells the stories of ten legendary princesses – some mythical, some historical – and features beautiful illustrations from artist Emila Yusof. Sometimes their stories are inspiring legends of bravery and wisdom, and others are darker cautionary tales.
Here are the stories of some of Malaysia’s princesses that are just fascinating as any Disney storyline!
Puteri Gunung Ledang
One of our most famous princesses is Puteri Gunung Ledang, who you might remember from your secondary school literature textbooks or the 2004 feature film. The celestial princess is known for her list of increasingly impossible demands she set to get out of marrying the Sultan of Perak.
Other princesses that feature in the book are Princess Walinong Sari, a warrior who never lost a fight, Princess Zaleha, who was protected by the moon, and more. “They are interesting folk stories that influence the lives of our people every day in big and small ways,” writes Raman in the book’s foreword.