By Muhammad Yamin, 1920


On the barrier, the Barisan range,
I gaze down, looking down I behold;
Spread out dense jungles and valleys;
And charming rice fields, winding rivers;
And then more, I also behold,
The green sky exchanging colors
With forest crown, palm leafed jungles;
That is the land, my homeland
Sumatra its name, my beloved birth country.

As far as the eye can see, nothing but forests,
Mountains and hills, bestrewn with valleys;
Far in the distance, over there,
Hemmed in by mountains one by one
There is none other than a heaven,
Not a second perfect earth
– But Eden of the Malays above the world!
That is the country which I love,
Sumatra its name, which I honor.

On the barrier, the Barisan range,
Looking down on beautiful beaches and bays;
Stretching water, endless water,
None other the ocean, the Indian ocean.
There visible the waves, multitudes of waves
Breaking onto the sands, then spreading out,
They thunder, as if proclaiming:
“Oh Andalas, isle of Sumatra,
Make sweet the name, from north to south!”

Bogor, July 1920

Ngarai Sianok

Ngarai Sianok

Homeland (Tanah Air) was first published in Indonesian in the Dutch-language journal Jong Sumatra : organ van den Jong Sumatranen Bond, Batavia, 1920 No. 4. It was republished in Pane, Armijn (ed), Sandjak-Sandjak Muda Mr. Muhammad Yamin [The Young Poems of Mr. Muhammad Yamin], Firma Rada, Djakarta, 1954, p. 5.