Sasak People in Lombok
The New Bali
Lombok is now becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations of Indonesia and many tourists prefer visiting Lombok instead of Bali!
This island is located next to Bali and has just as many beautiful beaches and surfing spots. People are more drawn to Lombok because the beaches are more pristine than Bali which has been overrun with tourists.
Gunung Rinjani, the second highest volcano in Indonesia, is located in Lombok. Many trekkers spend days enjoying the lush forests, breath-taking sunrises at the summit, waterfalls, and the crescent-shaped lake within the mountain.
The Sasak People
The Sasak people make up the majority population of Lombok. They are Muslim and work mainly as farmers, fishermen, and craftsmen. There are a few church planting teams working among this unreached people group of 3.4 million people, but many more workers are needed to reach them.
They have a rich culture that is unique from other islands of Indonesia. The ancient Sasak people used to perform a “stick fight” for the king as tribute for winning a war. Now the Sasak men perform this same “fight” as a celebration of friendship.
Dancing and music are very important to the Sasak people. They use large drums, traditional flutes, and handheld kettle gongs to perform music during ceremonies.
The Sasak people survived many wars throughout their history but unfortunately have no documented records of their history.
Unique Marriage Tradition
The Sasak people have one of the most unique (and shocking) ways to get married. The tradition that is respected among the Sasak is marriage through kidnapping (kawin culik).
Usually the man will kidnap the woman at night and then let her parents know the next day. If the parents give their blessing, the couple can then get married. If the man and his family do not let the parents know that he kidnapped their daughter, then they will report him to the police.
It is considered disrespectful to ask the parents beforehand to marry their daughter. Instead they have to kidnap the girl and follow specific guidelines. Sasak girls usually marry around 14 or 15 years old and must learn how to weave before they can get married.
This marriage tradition is still performed today in Lombok and considered normal among the Sasak since it has been their tradition for hundreds of years!
Prayers for Lombok
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:14-15
- Ask the Lord to send Indonesian believers to Lombok to proclaim the Good News to the Sasak people
- Pray for many Sasak people to hear about Jesus and believe He is the Savior of the world
- Ask for the Sasak believers to reach their island and even go to other unreached people groups in Indonesia to share the gospel