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Lombok

The cross-culture experience and the attractions

Lombok is the lesser sister of Bali, less developed and less touristy but just as intriguing. The 4 days and 3 nights visit on 6-9 December 2013 organised by Izan of Dhia Holidays and Travels brought the 10 of us together - mostly teachers and ex-teachers. The 3.7 million population is mostly Muslims, about 80% of them. Though we share common religion, our culture is different, so is the language. We could understand them if they speak Indonesian but we were at a loss if Lombok language was used. The people are friendly, warm and willing to help. Since many Lombok young men and women have worked in Malaysia, Malaysian tourists have become familiar there.
Senggigi beach. Lombok near hotel Puri Bunga and Hotel Sheraton (7)

Senggigi beach. Lombok near hotel Puri Bunga and Hotel Sheraton (7)

Beautiful Kuta beach, white sand, cove, clean sea and hills but spoilt by pestering children and adults who peddle their wares.

Beautiful Kuta beach, white sand, cove, clean sea and hills but spoilt by pestering children and adults who peddle their wares.

Most part of the island is still green and untouched with hills, forests and padi-fields. The coastline is fascinating with sheltered coves and pristine beaches. Senggigi beach is with black sand and Kuta beach with white soft sand. I was told that the eastern part of the island which is not developed yet, is rich with pink sandy beach.
There are a number of cases in Malaysia where young Malay girls were reported run away or kidnapped to Lombok by their Lombok boy-friend who worked in Malaysia. This has concerned many parents, knowing their daughters would have a tough life in Lombok. ' Curi perempuan' is a Lombok culture where a young girl is stolen by a young man and he takes her to his parents' house. Usually both girl and boy are in love and want to get married. Asking a girl's parent (melamar) is considered an insult. After the girl is stolen, the process of negotiation between the boy's family and the girl's family is conducted. According to Pak Hakim, our local guide, even if the girl's parents do not agree , they have a away of making them agree - implying that there is some mystical magic (guna-guna) is used which is still widespreadly practiced.
80 % of Lombok's populatiuon is Muslims but the religion is mostly mixed with animism, Hinduism and Budhism. Some of them called themselves Muslims but practice a branch of Islam that's contrary to the teaching like the Wetu Tiga, that is, they pray 3 times a day instead of 5 times a day. Unfortunately, Lombok young men apply their culture and beliefs in Malaysia and disregard that taking a young girl away without parental consent is amounting to kidnapping. The government interfered in some cases and brought the girls back to their parents.
A 'Lumbung Padi' a storage for padi above the ground at Sasak Traditional Village

A 'Lumbung Padi' a storage for padi above the ground at Sasak Traditional Village

Inside Sasak Traditional house, Rambitan 081213 (25)

Inside Sasak Traditional house, Rambitan 081213 (25)

17 year old Sasak girl, pregnant and married by 'curi' system.

17 year old Sasak girl, pregnant and married by 'curi' system.

We visited the Sasak Traditional Village in Rambitan. Sasak is the indigenous people of Lombok. The roof of their houses is made of Alang-alang grass (elephant grass) which can last about 7 years and the floor is made up of cow-dung mixed with clay and padi husks which keep the house cool. The men sleep outside the house to guard a young girl from being stolen by a young man. They intermarry among themselves and live in the village. Their income is from padi-planting once a year and weaving by the women. The Sasak people guard their people closely from outside influence and practice their traditional way of life strictly.
We stopped for prayer at this unfinished mosque.

We stopped for prayer at this unfinished mosque.

Lombok is known as the island with a 'Thousand Mosques' but most of them are unfinished. They rely solely on gotong-royong, and continue work when there is money. The glaring difference is that most mosques are built just a few meters from one another which is not necessary and not really encouraged.
The steps we have to climb to reach our room at Puri Bunga hotel.  This is only half-way.

The steps we have to climb to reach our room at Puri Bunga hotel. This is only half-way.

Hotel Puri Bunga, Senggigi, perched high on a hill - a test to guests' stamina.

Hotel Puri Bunga, Senggigi, perched high on a hill - a test to guests' stamina.

Puri Bunga Hotel, Senggigi, Lombok

Puri Bunga Hotel, Senggigi, Lombok

Sunset at Senggigi beach taken from the balcony of room 216, Hotel Puri Bunga .

Sunset at Senggigi beach taken from the balcony of room 216, Hotel Puri Bunga .

We stayed at Hotel Puri Bunga in Senggigi, the developed part of the island, opposite Sheraton Hotel. It's a beautiful hotel built on green hills but the numerous steps to the rooms can kill an elderly guests. It's definitely not friendly to seniors, young children and handicapped people. So this hotel should be avoided.
From a balcony at Hotel Bunga Puri. Senggigi. Lombok (12)

From a balcony at Hotel Bunga Puri. Senggigi. Lombok (12)

However, the view of the beach, sunset and the scenery is magnificent from room balcony.
The food in Lombok is normal but I didn't actually enjoy it as it's so hot for my poor tongue. Of course some members love it. I think 'nasi padang' is more delicious with more variety. The famous local food is called Ayam Telewang - grilled chicken with kangkung and sambal.
There are a number attractions in Lombok.
Sendang Gile Waterfall

Sendang Gile Waterfall

Sendang Gile Waterfall with the ladies.

Sendang Gile Waterfall with the ladies.


The group at Kuta Beach. Lombok. 081213 (1)

The group at Kuta Beach. Lombok. 081213 (1)


Lombok unique pottery. Water is poured from the bottom hole and poured out through the snout.

Lombok unique pottery. Water is poured from the bottom hole and poured out through the snout.

Pak Hakim demonstrate how the pot, Kendi Maling,  works at Lombok pottery at Banyumulak.

Pak Hakim demonstrate how the pot, Kendi Maling, works at Lombok pottery at Banyumulak.

Sunset at Senggigi beach taken from the balcony of room 216, Hotel Bunga Puri.

Sunset at Senggigi beach taken from the balcony of room 216, Hotel Bunga Puri.

With Zah and Zarina at Pearl shop, Lombok, 061213

With Zah and Zarina at Pearl shop, Lombok, 061213


The ladies enjoying sweet roasted corn by Senggigi scenic road. 081213

The ladies enjoying sweet roasted corn by Senggigi scenic road. 081213

Scenic route at Bukit Malimbu  071213 (8)

Scenic route at Bukit Malimbu 071213 (8)

Learning to weave at Dyhaqrmasetya Tenun Village

Learning to weave at Dyhaqrmasetya Tenun Village


One comment from Pak Hakim which I still remember is how some Lombok guys who work in Malaysia described retired people in Malaysia as "Lashkar tak Berguna' (useless army). I guess they think retired people here do not contribute anything after they retired. We straightened this thought by introducing most of the members as retired but still contributing to society. We laughed and not feel offended by this misconception.

Posted by zuraidaharahman 23:23

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