THE LOMBOK GUIDE
CURRENT ISSUE - ISSUE 263

Photo by Barbara

To find out more, pick up a copy of The Lombok Guide from the locations listed on our Distribution List or visit www.thelombokguide.com and discover the magic of Lombok for yourself… like thousands of others, you’ll be enchanted!

 
GOING TO THE MOVIES IN LOMBOK!
 

Cinema XXI Lombok

It was a rainy Saturday in Lombok, going to the beach was out of the question and Insidious: The Last Key was playing at Cinema XXI… what better time to head to the movies!

Large screens and good sound qualityCinema XXI is located on level 2 at Lombok Epicentrum Mall on Jalan Sriwijaya in Mataram.

Unlike the Indonesian bioskop of old, Cinema XXI is modern and plush. The large lobby is carpeted and nicely decorated with comfortable seating arrangements, food and drinks stalls, ticketing areas and even clean toilets!

There are a total of six cinemas in the complex, with five regular ‘Studio’ theatres and one exclusive ‘Premiere’ theatre. The ‘Studio’ theatres are the most popular, with comfortable seating and a larger range of movies screening daily (and of course cheaper than the ‘Premiere’ theatre).

However, the ‘Premiere’ is an absolute bargain, with tickets starting from just Rp 50,000. Ticketing for the ‘Premiere’ is handled at a separate table in the lobby where you can choose your preferred seats and pre-order food and drinks to be delivered to you inside prior to the start of the movie.

Plush recliner chairs in the Premiere theatre

You can also order these inside before the start of the movie. The menu lists a range of light meals and snacks including hot dogs, burgers, fish and chips, and more substantial meals like pasta or rice bowls. There is also a good selection of hot and cold drinks such as brewed coffees, flavoured teas, milk shakes and soft drinks.

Primier StudioAlternatively, purchase popcorn, drinks, meals and snacks from the concession stands in the lobby (you are not allowed to bring food and drinks from outside into the theatres).

Inside the ‘Premiere’ theatre, large comfortable recliner chairs are set in 2 x 2 configurations. The seats are roomy and recline around 160º without disturbing people in the row behind; they also have a foot rest and a drink holder in the arm.

Between each pair of chairs is a table for food and drinks and, underneath, drawers containing soft blankets to snuggle under (the theatre air conditioning is a little cool).
Snuggled under the blanket with a drink in hand, it’s time to watch the movie! The screen is large with good resolution and clarity, the movie is in English (with Indonesian subtitles) and the Dolby surround sound adds drama to the experience (even if it is a little loud).

Studio theatres are comfortableOverall, going to the movies in Lombok is better than in many western countries – and, with prices starting at just Rp 35,000 (approx US $2.63), much better value than average prices in the US at $8.89 and Australia at $13.80.

Tickets prices for the Studio theatres are: Rp 35,000 (Monday to Thursday), Rp 40,000 (Friday), and Rp 50,000 (Saturday, Sunday and public holidays).

Premier Theatre tickets cost: Rp 50,000 (Monday to Thursday), Rp 60,000 (Friday), and Rp 75,000 (Saturday, Sunday and public holidays).

By the way, Insidious The Last Key gets a one and a half star rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website. Not a movie to rave about… but the cinema was great!

 
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What's Hot
 

Don’t forget that Qunci Villas is running its “Month of Love” programme again this year with a series of special events in January and February celebrating romance and love of food and the arts!

From 20 January, the stylish resort in Mangsit will host two artists-in-residence: Diyah Yulianti and jewellery designer Ario Rushartono.

Anyone who would like to meet these respected Indonesian artists and view them at work is invited to visit Qunci from 20 January to 4 February.

An exhibition of their works will be held at Qunci on 27 January. Attendance is free of charge but places are limited and booking must be made in advance
(see pages 24 & 25 for details).

Now that high season is over - it’s back on! Break Feast at the Sheraton Senggigi Beach Resort is the best value in town and the perfect way to take a break (and pretend you’re on holiday at the Sheraton)!

The Sheraton’s Break Feast promotion gives you all day resort access and includes a fabulous buffet breakfast until 11am.

Sheraton Senggigi Pool

After breakfast, choose a sun bed and a good book and spend the day relaxing by the pool. Children especially love the pool at the Sheraton with its fun waterslide and mum and dad can relax, knowing their little ones are having fun just steps away.

In the afternoon, go for a walk along beautiful Senggigi Beach directly in front of the resort and have a swim in the calm ocean before heading up to the Senja Bar between 4 and 6pm for complimentary afternoon tea.

To register, just tell the staff at Kebun Anggrek Restaurant that you are Break Feast guests and they’ll take care of the rest.

Price for the all-inclusive day out is Rp 150,000++ with 50% discount for kids under 12 years old! Take a break the whole family (and your wallet) will love! See advert on opposite page.

Don’t miss the next Cellar Party at Square Restaurant in Senggigi on Friday, 2 FebruaryHeld on the first Friday of every month the Cellar Party features three and a half hours of free-flow imported red and white wines, together with a delicious buffet including sushi, tapas, pasta, roast meats, salads and desserts.

The Cellar Party starts at 7pm and costs just Rp 450,000 per person (inclusive) for a night of wining and dining.

Or you can choose the ‘buffet only’ option for just Rp 200,000 net per person... excellent value for a delicious meal and a great night out at one of Senggigi’s best dining venues! See advert on page 3.

 
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SIMULTANEOUS REGIONAL ELECTIONS 2018
 

In a few months, 171 regions across Indonesia will simultaneously hold the Direct Election of Regional Heads and Deputy Regional Heads (known as Pilkada or Pemilihan Kepala Daerah).

The campaigning period will officially start on 15 February and end by 24 June. The actual voting will take place on 27 June 2018.

Elections are scheduled to be held simultaneously in 17 provinces, 115 districts and 39 cities throughout Indonesia including West Java, Central Java, East Java, Bali and Lombok.

Specifically for the province of NTB (the islands of Lombok and Sumbawa), voting will take place to elect a new Governor and Vice Governor.

Other local elections include choosing candidates for the position of Regent (Bupati) and Vice Regent (Wakil Bupati) of the regencies of West Lombok, East Lombok, and Bima in Sumbawa.

Be prepared to be bombarded with political campaigning over the next four months as candidates jostle for position in the local polls.
 
The elections of 2018 are the third time that simultaneous Direct Elections have been held in Indonesia. The first was in 2015 and the second in 2017.

Before the first such election on 9 December 2015, Indonesia had never held elections with so many areas being contested at the same time. The decision to hold these elections on the same day is aimed at cutting costs and improving efficiency.

The budget for the 2018 elections is estimated at 10.5 trillion rupiah (approx US$ 735 million).

Based on the results of the General Election Commission (KPU) assessment, the List of Potential Voters in the 2018 elections will reach 160 million people. 

This number, according to the General Elections Commission, causes the potential for conflict to be large and, based on previous experience, the contest between candidates and political parties can potentially cause conflicts and political unrest. For example, if candidates put forward tribal, religious, or group issues in their campaigns.

President Joko Widodo and provincial leaders around the country have urged candidates to focus on winning through promoting their programmes and election platforms, rather than using “dirty tricks” that divide communities.

The voting age in Indonesia is 17 years but anyone who has an ID card (Kartu Tanda Penduduk or KTP) can vote, since persons under 17 years old who are or were married can get a KTP.

2018 in Indonesia is expected to be dominated by politics, with the election of a new President scheduled for 2019.

While regional elections will be finished by the end of June, official campaigning for the 2019 presidential election kicks off in September.

 
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DILEMMA: THOSE CONCRETE TABLES ON SENGGIGI BEACH!
 

Back in August 2017, the NTB Tourism Department built some large and extremely ugly concrete tables and chairs on the Senggigi beachfront.

It was no great surprise – Lombok’s provincial Tourism Department seems intent on destroying the natural beauty of Lombok’s beaches without consulting anyone in the tourism industry – but now protests have come from an unusual quarter.

On Thursday, 11 January 2018, around one hundred fishermen held a mass demonstration at the NTB Tourism Department offices, demanding that the government demolish the concrete tables and chairs immediately.

table senggigi

The reason? The tables and chairs are stopping the fishermen from parking their boats on Senggigi beach!

After the demonstration at the Tourism Department offices, the fishermen were apparently not satisfied and headed to the NTB Department of Marine and Fisheries office.

However, still not satisfied with the answers of two Heads of the Fisheries Department, they then converged on the Governor's office and threatened action.

“If there is no response and a good solution, we will block the access of tourists to Senggigi from Ampenan!” threatened Viken Madrid, Chairman of the Farmers and Fisherman’s Movement (Gerbang Tani) NTB.

Meanwhile, the NTB Tourism Office said that the building of the tables and chairs along the Senggigi beachfront was an advantage for tourists visiting the beach.

According to a report by newspaper Lombok Post on 12 Jan 2018, the majority of local residents in Senggigi support the building of the tables and chairs on the beach – precisely because it prevents the fishing boats from parking there!

According to the report, Senggigi locals are fed up with fishermen (the majority of whom come from Ampenan) parking their boats on the beach and destroying the environment.

Locals complain about fishermen living on the beach for months at a time, gutting and cleaning their fish on the beach, throwing food scraps and rubbish on the sand, and generally polluting the beachfront for years.

Separately, Head of Tourism NTB, LM Faozal asked the Mataram City Government to find a solution, saying that West Lombok regency has the right to protect tourism destinations.

“This is a problem for the West Lombok government, which has the right to protect tourism destinations, as well as having local regulations on tourism and coastal areas,” Faozal said. “So Mataram City government should not be able to interfere in it. Better they find a solution for their people by not disturbing the territory of others.”

 
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CONTROVERSY OVER BAU NYALE FESTIVAL
 

Lombok’s famous Bau Nyale Festival is surrounded by controversy once again this year.

Every year, community and cultural leaders clash with the Central Lombok government in deciding the date of the festival.

According to Sasak (ethnic Lombok) tradition, Bau Nyale should be held on the 20th day of the 10th month of the Sasak Calendar. The Sasak Calendar is based on lunar phases, similar to many other cultures around the world.

The Central Lombok government governs the south coast of Lombok – where the traditions of Bau Nyale are celebrated – and is responsible for planning and carrying out the festival each year.

Dondon Beach

However, the government is supposed to consult with traditional Sasak elders in deciding the true date for the festival, based on Sasak adat (law) and Sasak budaya (culture).

At a planning meeting with central government and community leaders on 4 January, it was decided that the main Bau Nyale Festival would take place at Seger Beach in South Lombok on 6 and 7 March 2018.

However, some traditional Sasak leaders and Sasak community have rejected this date, saying that the government is disregarding the true purpose of Bau Nyale.

Sasak elders and community leaders formed a group named “Sangkep Blok Pujut” and called another meeting on 8 January to “review” the decision to hold Bau Nyale in March.

The event was attended by Chairman of “Blok Pujut” Rata Wijaya, the Director of Rowot Sasak, DR L Ari Irawan, Sasak Cultural Officer, HL Agus Gaturahman, and the Head of Sub-district of Pujut and community leaders.

Rata Wijaya, Chairman of “Blok Pujut” told reporters: “There is a review of the Bau Nyale event because the dates set by the Central Lombok government do not match the Sasak calendar.”

“The true date for Bau Nyale is calculated using the Sasak calendar or the ‘Rowot’ calendar and certain formulas,” said Wijaya. “This is not a prediction. The Rowot calendar does not stand alone but calculates four factors: the sun, the moon, the stars and the natural phenomena (such as the tides in the south coast).”

As a result of the meeting, a decision was made to hold Bau Nyale separately and “Sangkep Blok Pujut” will celebrate Bau Nyale on 5 - 7 February 2018.

Raka Wijaya said the decision is not intended to oppose the government, but so that people can understand the true meaning of the Bau Nyale tradition.

It is not known how long the ritual of Bau Nyale has been carried out in Lombok but the earliest events in written history date back to the 16th century.

The tradition is focused on the time when the Nyale worms (a type of Annelida sea worm) spawns in the waters around Lombok.

It is also closely linked with the Sasak legend of Princess Mandalika – a historical tale about a beautiful princess who was being forced to marry a prince of the Sasak kingdoms, many of whom were competing for her. Unable to choose one of the princes without bringing war to the kingdoms, she threw herself to her death in the ocean off Seger Beach in South Lombok.

According to the legend, she was transformed into the Nyale worms and appears every year as a reminder to the Sasak people of sacrifice for the greater good of the community.

Therefore, people believe that Nyale are not just an ordinary sea worm but a creature that is believed to bring prosperity to those who catch it.

Traditional Sasak people respect the tradition and believe that people who ignore it will get misfortune. They believe Nyale can make their farmland more fertile, and that Nyale can be used for medicines and other purposes that are ‘magical’ according to their respective beliefs.

The “Blok Pujut” group believes that the Nyale will not appear in large numbers in March.

“We are afraid the tradition that we do from generation to generation cannot be felt by society because of the mistake in timing,” Raka Wijaya said. “We have to give the right information. There is no history of Bau Nyale in March. Therefore, don’t let the community feel disappointed to see the traditions that we carry out.”

As a result of the meeting, “Blok Pujut” will celebrate Bau Nyale a month earlier than the government, from 5 - 7 February on Dondon beach near Mertak Village in Pujut, South Lombok.

The event will also be used to launch Dondon Beach as a tourism destination. In addition, it will also showcase the various traditions that exist in Central Lombok, especially those linked to Bau Nyale, the group said.

The group told reporters that they are determined to preserve the traditions of the Sasak people and disagree with the way the Bau Nyale festival has been held in the past, particularly with the local government intermingling the event with politics, and bringing in bands to perform during the event.

“Do not let the tradition of Bau Nyale be implemented in the interests of a handful of people and forget the tradition that has long been glorified by our society,” they warned.

 
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2017 TOURISM ARRIVALS UP 16.5%: NTB TOURISM DEPARTMENT
 

Lombok’s famous Bau Nyale Festival is surrounded by controversy once again this year.

Every year, community and cultural leaders clash with the Central Lombok government in deciding the date of the festival.

According to Sasak (ethnic Lombok) tradition, Bau Nyale should be held on the 20th day of the 10th month of the Sasak Calendar. The Sasak Calendar is based on lunar phases, similar to many other cultures around the world.

The Central Lombok government governs the south coast of Lombok – where the traditions of Bau Nyale are celebrated – and is responsible for planning and carrying out the festival each year.

However, the government is supposed to consult with traditional Sasak elders in deciding the true date for the festival, based on Sasak adat (law) and Sasak budaya (culture).

At a planning meeting with central government and community leaders on 4 January, it was decided that the main Bau Nyale Festival would take place at Seger Beach in South Lombok on 6 and 7 March 2018.

However, some traditional Sasak leaders and Sasak community have rejected this date, saying that the government is disregarding the true purpose of Bau Nyale.

Sasak elders and community leaders formed a group named “Sangkep Blok Pujut” and called another meeting on 8 January to “review” the decision to hold Bau Nyale in March.

The event was attended by Chairman of “Blok Pujut” Rata Wijaya, the Director of Rowot Sasak, DR L Ari Irawan, Sasak Cultural Officer, HL Agus Gaturahman, and the Head of Sub-district of Pujut and community leaders.

Rata Wijaya, Chairman of “Blok Pujut” told reporters: “There is a review of the Bau Nyale event because the dates set by the Central Lombok government do not match the Sasak calendar.”

“The true date for Bau Nyale is calculated using the Sasak calendar or the ‘Rowot’ calendar and certain formulas,” said Wijaya. “This is not a prediction. The Rowot calendar does not stand alone but calculates four factors: the sun, the moon, the stars and the natural phenomena (such as the tides in the south coast).”

As a result of the meeting, a decision was made to hold Bau Nyale separately and “Sangkep Blok Pujut” will celebrate Bau Nyale on 5 - 7 February 2018.

Raka Wijaya said the decision is not intended to oppose the government, but so that people can understand the true meaning of the Bau Nyale tradition.

It is not known how long the ritual of Bau Nyale has been carried out in Lombok but the earliest events in written history date back to the 16th century.

The tradition is focused on the time when the Nyale worms (a type of Annelida sea worm) spawns in the waters around Lombok.

It is also closely linked with the Sasak legend of Princess Mandalika – a historical tale about a beautiful princess who was being forced to marry a prince of the Sasak kingdoms, many of whom were competing for her. Unable to choose one of the princes without bringing war to the kingdoms, she threw herself to her death in the ocean off Seger Beach in South Lombok.

According to the legend, she was transformed into the Nyale worms and appears every year as a reminder to the Sasak people of sacrifice for the greater good of the community.

Therefore, people believe that Nyale are not just an ordinary sea worm but a creature that is believed to bring prosperity to those who catch it.

Traditional Sasak people respect the tradition and believe that people who ignore it will get misfortune. They believe Nyale can make their farmland more fertile, and that Nyale can be used for medicines and other purposes that are ‘magical’ according to their respective beliefs.

The “Blok Pujut” group believes that the Nyale will not appear in large numbers in March.

“We are afraid the tradition that we do from generation to generation cannot be felt by society because of the mistake in timing,” Raka Wijaya said. “We have to give the right information. There is no history of Bau Nyale in March. Therefore, don’t let the community feel disappointed to see the traditions that we carry out.”

As a result of the meeting, “Blok Pujut” will celebrate Bau Nyale a month earlier than the government, from 5 - 7 February on Dondon beach near Mertak Village in Pujut, South Lombok.

The event will also be used to launch Dondon Beach as a tourism destination. In addition, it will also showcase the various traditions that exist in Central Lombok, especially those linked to Bau Nyale, the group said.

The group told reporters that they are determined to preserve the traditions of the Sasak people and disagree with the way the Bau Nyale festival has been held in the past, particularly with the local government intermingling the event with politics, and bringing in bands to perform during the event.

“Do not let the tradition of Bau Nyale be implemented in the interests of a handful of people and forget the tradition that has long been glorified by our society,” they warned.

 
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HEALTH AUTHORITIES BATTLE DIPHTHERIA OUTBREAKS
 

Diphtheria is a growing concern for Indonesian health officials, who are set to begin the second stage of an outbreak response immunisation (ORI) programme next month to contain the spread of diphtheria in 18 regencies and cities across the province.

As of 25 December 2017, Indonesia’s Ministry of Health has detected as many as 907 cases (cumulative during 2017) in which 44 people died.

Cases are reported to exist in 164 districts of 29 provinces throughout Indonesia.

In West Java, diphtheria cases have been reported in 23 regencies and cities, affecting 224 people, 15 of whom have died. 

A total of 73 people have been infected with diphtheria in Tangerang, Banten (Java), between December 2017 and January this year. Of the total, four have died.

infografis-waspada-difteri

The NTB Health Department has found eight people with suspected diphtheria across the province over the past month. Three patients at RSUP NTB in Mataram are being treated in isolation rooms while the hospital awaits the results of their laboratory tests from Surabaya.

Diphtheria is extremely rare in developed countries, thanks to widespread vaccination against the disease.

It was more or less eradicated in Indonesia in the 1990’s but health officials say it has re-emerged in the past four years because immunisation rates have dropped, partly reflecting fears about vaccines.

The current vaccination campaign against diphtheria in Indonesia is being undermined by alternative health practitioners and fringe Muslim clerics who claim immunisations are un-Islamic.

One of their justifications is that vaccinations are developed using products from “haram” animals like pigs and dogs.

Diphtheria  is a serious bacterial infection usually affecting the mucous membranes of the nose and throat. Diphtheria typically causes a sore throat, fever, swollen glands and weakness.

The hallmark sign of diphtheria is a sheet of thick, gray material covering the back of the throat, which can block the airway, causing patients to struggle for breath.

Medications are available to treat diphtheria. However, in advanced stages, diphtheria can damage the heart, kidneys and nervous system.

Even with treatment, diphtheria can be deadly – up to 3 percent of people world-wide who get diphtheria die from the disease. The rate is higher for children under 15 years old.

The disease spreads through airborne droplets (coughing or sneezing), through handling personal items contaminated by a person infected with diphtheria (tissues, unwashed drinking glasses, etc), and more rarely the disease spreads on shared household items, such as towels or toys.

 
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Take Some Time Out

An elderly man in Oklahoma calls his son in New York and says, “I hate to ruin your day son, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are getting a divorce. 45 years of marriage... and that much misery is enough!”

“Dad, what are you talking about?” the son yells.

“We can’t stand the sight of each other any longer,” the old dad explained. “We’re sick of each other and I’m sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Hong Kong and tell her!”

Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone.

“Like heck they’re getting divorced,” she shouts, “I'll take care of this!”

She calls her elderly father immediately and screams at him: “You are not getting divorced. Don’t do a single thing until I get there! I’m calling my brother back and we’ll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don’t do a thing, you hear me?”she yelled as she hung up the phone.

The old man hangs up his phone and smiles at his wife.

“Okay, it’s all set,” he says. “They’re both coming for Christmas and paying their own airfare.”

 
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