If you have ever read Shantaram, then you can be familiar with what are many places in Lombok about. A lot of slums, where people live in a house from banana leaf, they have almost nothing and they still will share with your cup of Lombok coffee or tea.
Indonesia has many different islands and each island has its own language and culture. Some time ago they all became united and got one language in common — Indonesian. So, if you come to Bali, you will meet Balinese people with their language, If you come to Lombok, then you meet people called Sasak and the language that called the same Sasak language. Now all of them speaks Indonesian. But still, there are so many small villages where people still can speak Sasak and not just Sasak, but the dialect that will understand only people from exactly that village.
There are many different traditions in Sasak culture, that are very interesting and you can see how people are united here. Family for them is the most important thing, if something is happening with some member of the family, then they all are coming together to help to find the solution. If a couple getting married, then they have to agree on it with the village, the date, what and how it will be. And the whole ceremony will be for around a week or so even more, depends on tradition in each village, as again it can be different. That is still so interesting for me, how can it be the island is so small (same size as my hometown), but there are so many different dialects and even languages here and traditions of villages that are next to each other can be so different.
Weddings in Lombok
Wedding is a very big event, they are inviting so many people, I was invited so many times to the wedding of some couple that I barely knew. Everyone is so beautifully dressed up in traditional clothes, make-up (even small kids). All guests usually are walking from one village (from where the broom is) to the village of the bride, so the whole town can see they are getting married. All this is together with a lot of music and dancing, which is beautiful. Then it all goes to a reception with different food, water, and coffee. The main food is of course rice and some fried vegetables, fried chicken or fish. And all this is usually happening in the village of husband or wife, until night and for several next days. For me, it is so spectacular, as the whole big parade. When I saw it the first time, I was thinking “Wow, they mast probably very important people here”. While it was just an ordinary wedding.
Sasak is a rich culture with its own character same as all other islands in this beautiful country. For me one of the most important things is that here people will have nothing but will be happy to share those small things they have, it is not much for them it is everything and that is a real beauty. The different island is like a small country that has a personality and at first, side not connected to other parts, but looking closer and you see how it is all united and all traditions are pretty much the same, just with a different cover. And all over Indonesia people will help you and invite you for the wedding or some other ceremony, if they like you, no matter how long do you know each other.