People and Tradition

The total population of the island is 3.17 million. The inhabitants of Lombok consist of 85% Sasak, 10-15% Balinese, small percentage of ethnic Chinese, Javanese, Sumbawanese & Arab Indonesians.

The local Sasak people of Lombok do not have formal greetings such as “Good Morning or Good Evening.” For example, A Sasak person may approach a friend and might ask (in the local dialect), “How are you?”, “How is your family?” Is used as a form of greeting.

Locals may greet you the same way in English (it might be their only English they know), so please don’t get annoyed, they are being polite.

The hierarchy of the Sasak people of the north and of the west possess a caste system. There are actually four castes, but the highest is the title “Datu” for men, “Denek Bini” for women. The second tier is the title “Raden” for men and “Denda” for women. In the central and east Lombok, the title “Lalu” for men and “Lale” for women.

The lifestyle of the local Sasak still presently holds traditional village customs and traditional law called “Adat.” These laws preside over courting and marriage rites, and circumcision ceremonies.

In west Lombok, where predominantly Balinese communities are evident. Their colorful and ornate temples are decorated with ceremonial offerings. While traversing its roads, Sasak ceremonies are less visible, but every so often you might encounter elaborate wedding precessions with live music and dance.