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COMMUNITY INITIATIVES

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BUILD A PRE-SCHOOL

IndoSmiles and the local community of Laja Village, Flores Island, Indonesia, are joining forces to make an environmentally friendly and sustainable preschool building which will be serviceable for at least 3 years at a reasonable cost, on time and budget with transparency throughout all project phases.

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EARLY CHILDHOOD BOOKS

IndoSmiles funds preschool and youth books in remote areas.

HOW WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE

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AN IMPRESSION OF FLORES

Sunda Islands

The island of Flores is extremely mountainous, with peaks that rise more than 7,000 feet and a number of active volcanoes. The interior of the island is heavily forested, and the few rivers that traverse the island are not navigable. The climate is tropical, with little daily variation in temperature. There is, however, a marked division between wet and dry seasons. 

The principal agricultural products cultivated are corn, rice, coconuts, cinnamon, coffee, tobacco, cotton, and wax. Fruits and vegetables are grown in the gardens around the villages. Livestock and poultry are also raised, and there is some exploitation of mineral deposits. Large quantities of mother-of-pearl are obtained from the fisheries of the Flores Sea. Fishing appears to be relatively unimportant, although the people do have fish ponds from which they extract salt during the dry season. 

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MANGGARAI IN INDONESIA

Ata Manggarai

The Manggarai are located in the western portion of Flores Island in the province of Nusa Tenggara. They are close neighbours to the Bima and the Timorese.

 

Their language, which is also called Manggarai, is a member of the Austronesian language family and has 47 sub-dialects.

 

Little is known concerning the specific lifestyle and culture of the Manggarai; however, it is reasonably assumed that they are fairly typical of the other ethnic groups living in Nusa Tenggara.

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CULTURE & HERITAGE

Rites of Passage

A Manggarai village is often composed of small individual settlements. In the mountains, the people live on swiddens (land that has been cleared by "slash and burn" agriculture) for part of the year. After harvesting the crops, however, they return to their home village. Each village usually has its own mosque. The head of the mosque is responsible for all ceremonies, religious anniversaries, and the rites of the agricultural cycle. 

Manggarai descent is traced through both the males and females, and the circle of kinship is divided into various sub-groups. The centre, however, is the nuclear family, composed of a man, woman, and their children. If a Manggarai man wishes to marry, he sends an eloquent woman to the house of the prospective bride. Acting as his representative, she makes the marriage proposal for him in very descriptive language. A bride-price is then paid, dependent on the social status of the woman. After marriage, the young couple immediately establishes their own household.

Image by Swanson Chan

NATURE

Natural beauty of Flores

THE NATURE of Flores is magnificent and fragile. The island has pristine beaches, towering mountains and volcanoes, waterfalls, lush forests, mangroves and is the habitat of many species of birds, reptiles and mammals. Komodo National Park is home to the famous Komodo Dragon and is listed as a Natural World Wonder and a Unesco World Heritage site.

 

With its location in the Coral Triangle and proximity to the Wallace Line, Flores attracts divers from around the world to its world-renowned diving spots.

 

Currently, many organisations are working on Flores and in its surrounding marine areas to help preserve this precious ecosystem. You can help contribute to this cause by respecting the divers code of conduct and by bringing your own refillable water bottle and reusable bags to Flores. These small steps will help protect Flores’ coral and reduce the influx of plastic waste to the island.

ECOTOURISM COLLEGE - LABUAN BAJO

Politeknik eLBajo Commodus

As people say, “Nature is fine without tourism, but tourism is nothing without nature”. Politeknik eLBajo Commodus is endeavouring to ensure every graduate has the best chance for the future while conserving the natural beauty of Flores.

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DIVING IN FLORES

Just Bubbles

Scuba Diving around the Komodo islands is just a dream come true! Great variety of fishes, superb and untouched coral reefs, big fishes hunting actions, and pelagic fishes at every dive site will make your dives unforgettable.

 

The three major islands are Komodo, Rinca, and Padar. There are also about 26 small islands surrounding the area.

Divers will find a staggering amount of fish in these islands, and the diversity is unique, with over one thousand species of recorded fish and a coral-species count of 250.

 

The sites themselves are equally varied and on the same dive trip, you can swim through caves, descend large walls of coral, investigate rock formations, or float over pinnacles.

Image by Su San Lee

EVENTS & FESTIVAL

DECEMBER - FEBRUARY

REBA - THE ANNUAL HARVEST CEREMONY

The most important ceremony for Ngada district is Reba, an annually held thanksgiving celebration to show respect to God and the ancestors for being blessed with a good harvest and wealth.

Reba usually lasts for three days full of ceremonies and ritual activities which involve huge amounts of food crops and livestock that had been collected in advance.

APRIL

SEMANA SANTA & GOOD FRIDAY CELEBRATIONS IN LARANTUKA

Each year, the week before Easter Sunday, the town of Laratuka, East Flores solemnly celebrates the Holy Week, popularly known as "Semana Santa"

During this special week, the small town of Larantuka will be thronged with thousands of Catholic pilgrims from around Flores and Indonesia come to pray and participate in this one of a kind procession.

JUNE - JULY

TRADITIONAL BOXING ETU OR SAGI

The traditional boxing is one of Ngada and Nagekeo District's well-preserved cultural attractions passed for generations. The word "Sagi" or "Etu" in Soa language means to flight with boxing. The boxing festival spreads in some areas such as Soa and Riung Sub Districts.

AUGUST

KELIMUTU FESTIVAL & PATI KA DUA BAPU ATA MATA CEREMONY

 

14th August is marked sacred for the Lio People of Flores. It is a time to celebrate and to honour their ancestors.

Lio People believe the Kelimutu Crater Lake is the soul's final resting place. The place where we all return once our lives' journeys come to an end.

"Pati Ka Du'a Bapu Ata Mata" is the event where the Lio sacrifices various type of foods offering to the ancestors, showing their gratitude for the past year and hold prayers for blessings for the coming year.

NOVEMBER

PENTI CEREMONY AT WAE REBO

 

Penti is one of the major ceremonies in the Manggarai district. It is a thanksgiving celebration for the past year's harvest and an expression of hope for a prosperous, new agricultural year.

The event is filled with a series of ancient rituals that usually last for one full day and night.