Lombok Population

Lombok Population
The island of Lombok which is a part of the province of West Nusa Tenggara in Indonesia covers an area of 4,725 sq km and is the cradle for a population of 3,000,000, out of which maximum space is occupied by the Sasak and the Balinese groups. The remaining population graph consists of the Chinese, Arabs, Javanese and Sumbawanese groups and ethnicities.
Eastern Lombok was initially inhabited by the Dutch community while the west continued to be ruled by the Hindu Dynasty. Lombok, despite being less advanced compared to Bali, can still boast of the mind blowing tourist destinations like, Stratovolcano Mount Rinjani (determining Lombok’s topography), Kuta, Lembar, Mataram (the largest city and the administrative capital), Senggigi, and Gili Island, offering ample opportunity for the tourists to cherish and know the terrain of the land. When we intend to gain knowledge and acknowledge the history and culture of a certain place, then knowing about its culture, communities and population also becomes equally essential as every aspect of knowing about culture and population entails its share of historical elements.

Regarding the population of Lombok, as mentioned previously, Lombok population consists mostly of the Sasak community, who now amount to almost 2.6million that is approximately 80-85% of the total population. Very little is known about Sasak community, except for the fact that Lombok was ruled by the Majapahit Prime Minister, Gajah Mada. The origin of Sasak language is from the Bali-Sasak-Sumbawa subsection (language) which has further emerged from the Western Malayo-Polynesian offshoot of the Austronesian language class. The Sasaks, in the late 16th century and early 17th century had converted to Islam. The Wektu Telu faith of the Sasaks was equally influenced by the Balinese group which comprises of 10-15% of the total population. The Sasaks practice Waktu Telu sect in most parts of the island and especially in the village of Bayan. Mataram, Pujung, Sengkol, Rambitan, Sade, Tetebatu, Bumbung, Sembalun, Senaru, Loyok and Pasugulan still harbors a major chunk of the Wektu Telu community, who ardently follow the cult and have predominantly remained backward in nature. Among the Sasaks a small section of the minority following the Hindu-Buddhist norms of faith are known as the Bodha community, form almost an estimated population of 8000. This community is mostly concentrated in the village of Bentek and the slopes of Gunung Rinjani where they are totally secluded from the Islamic faith. They are known and recognized as the Buddhist by the Indonesian government. Another diversion in the Sasak (Waktu) community is the Waktu Lima clan which is represented by the Sasak migrants who had migrated from the central parts of Lombok and comparatively remained secluded from the indigenous crowd in Lombok.

Lombok’s subordination to the Gelgel Balinese kingdom introduced the Balinese community to the mainland of Lombok in the early 18th century. The Balinese populace today contributes for at least 300,000 of Lombok’s assemblage, which is apparently 10-15% of the Lombok’s population. The Balinese crowd owes its origin from three periods of migrations. The 1st group of migrants came in the prehistoric times from Java and Kalimantan. The 2nd wave came from Java during the Hindu period while the 3rd and the 4th influx took place during 15th and 16th centuries as conversion process to Islam was also on the move. The Java aristocrats who fled to Bali made their contributions in the population of Bali. The Balinese culture offers a very colorful appearance with its display of dance and drama activities and the civilization is known for using gamelan for the purpose of entertainment and in the field of music. The Balinese unlike the Sasaks strictly tend to follow the Hinduism (Shaivite Sect) mixed with mythologies of the pre-Hindu era and animism which finally rounds up at Buddhism. The Balinese clan also incorporates the Muslims of Lombok. The Balinese people mostly celebrate a wide variety of cultural festivals like Kite Festival, Galungan, Nyepi, Saraswati, Pager wesi, Carnival, the cremation ceremony of Ngaben.

The remaining meager portion of the population is constituted by the Chinese, Arab, Javanese and Sumbawanese groups and clans. The Chinese cultutre being one of the oldest cultural establishments of the world is also a part of the Lombok population and it equally contributes in the Buddhist sect of the Lombok religious sections and sub-sections. The Arabs coming originally from Arabian Peninsula and the key inhabitants in Middle East and Northern Africa are however not a homogenous ethnic group and also constitute a small portion of the Lombok population as they also contribute in the Islamic community present in Lombok. Contrary to the smaller compositions of Chinese and Arabs in Lombok the Javanese represent a more noticeable group as they are already known to be the largest and most prominent ethnic group on the Indonesian land. They tend to follow a variety of religious faiths like Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism and they are also known to participate in every type of professional activities. Among them the Santri community follows Islam while the Abhagan merely followed Islam while the Priyayi constituted the nobility. Lastly the Sumbawanese class of the populace is known to be the inhabitants of Sumbawa while Lombok belongs to its West. On the whole Lombok represents a colorful and multidimensional ethnic culture and community.
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