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Jakarta Post

Harmony in Lombok

Jakarta   /   Fri, June 24 2011   /  08:00 am

Paradise on earth: A tourist dips her body into the water after sunbathing in Gili Trawangan.With many disputes between religions and races in Indonesia lately, it seems like the national Bhineka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity) slogan has been ripped off.

My adventure in Lombok shows that there is still hope to keep the spirit alive.

Lombok is an island across the strait from Bali, dwelled by Sasak and Balinese.

Locals and foreigners rub along very well in Gili Trawangan. It is a gili (Sasak’s word of small island) with most population among the other two Lombok’s north west gilis. Around an hour driving north from Lombok’s capital Mataram, you will get to Bangsal, a small harbour to jump off to Gili Trawangan.

The island’s natives, especially those who work in bars, resorts and hostels, speak not only quite good conversational English, but also Fre...