Labuan Bajo is one of the most popular and most favorite tourist destinations in Indonesia. This city is located at the western tip of Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara, and is the gateway to visiting Komodo National Park. However, apart from its enchanting natural beauty, Labuan Bajo culture is also unique and interesting. Various tribes and ethnicities live side by side here, such as Manggarai, Bajo, Flores, Bugis, Bima, and others. They have different customs, languages, and traditions, but still maintain harmony and tolerance.
The name Labuan Bajo itself is taken from the large number of Bajo tribes that live on the coast.
They (the Bajo people) have long lived in the areas of Kampung Ujung, Kampung Cempa, Kampung Tengah, and Kampung Air, and some on the coast of Pede Beach and Gorontalo.
Over time, the name Labuan Bajo became the name of the village, then changed to the capital of West Manggarai Regency, NTT, and was finally used as the name of one of the sub-districts in the city.
The residents of the city of Labuan Bajo currently consist of various ethnicities, religions, and races. But it is still dominated by the Manggarai tribe, or the original tribe that owns the city, which is currently dubbed one of the Super Priority Tourism Destinations (DPSP) by the Indonesian government.
Even though it is dominated by the indigenous Manggarai tribe, you will still meet residents of the Bajo, Bugs, Makassar, and Bima tribes, also known as the sea tribe, who have long lived in the coastal area of Labuan Bajo city and its surroundings.
In addition, there were Ende, Bajawa, Sumba, Timorese, and Javanese tribes who later came and settled in the city, which is now called a tourist paradise.
If you are planning to travel to Labuan Bajo, there are several things you need to know about the culture so as not to experience culture shock. Culture shock is a feeling of discomfort or confusion that a person experiences when they are in a cultural environment that is different from their origin.
Culture shock can cause stress, misunderstandings, or conflict if not handled properly. Therefore, it is important to learn about and respect the local culture before visiting a place.
The following are several things about Labuan Bajo culture that might surprise or confuse you when traveling to Labuan Bajo, according to Pesona Indonesia:
A Loud Voice doesn’t Mean You’re Angry
On average, Labuan Bajo culture shows that residents of Labuan Bajo and Flores are generally famous for their loud voices when they speak. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you’re angry anymore; it’s just that your voice is loud. But his heart is soft.
Don’t believe it? Just try it yourself; you’ll be smiling. This loud sound may be an influence of the Manggarai language, which has many consonant sounds and short vowels. So, don’t get me wrong if you hear people talking in high or loud tones because it’s an usual Labuan Bajo culture.
Warung = Kiosk
Secondly about Labuan Bajo culture, when you say WARUNG, it means a place to eat (warteg), not a place to buy basic necessities. Don’t be surprised if you ask about WARUNG, and you will be directed to a place to eat.
So, if you want to ask people from Labuan Bajo and Flores about stalls (places selling basic necessities), you should use the word Kiosk. This is because the word warung comes from Javanese, which means a place to eat. Meanwhile, the word kiosk comes from Dutch, which means small shop. It’s an interesting Labuan Bajo culture right?
There’s no Sorry
Hey, be patient first. That doesn’t mean you don’t want to apologize. In Labuan Bajo culture and also Flores in general, we apologize with the words DON’T BE ANGRY or NEKA RABO (Manggarai language). Don’t worry, it’s the same thing! This is because local culture prioritizes respectful and polite attitudes over formal words.
So, if you make a mistake or offend someone else, just say, Don’t be angry or reckless in a low and friendly tone. It’s just an usual Labuan Bajo culture.
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