By Rezkhy Ully & Chris Hall
Like much of Indonesia, Flores is steeped in history. Ende, a large city in the centre of Flores, has a particularly strong connection to Indonesian national history. It was the home of Indonesia's first president, Soekarno. He lived there between 1934 and 1938 in exile. Sent there by the Dutch colonial government because his political views were judged to be too dangerous to the Dutch East Indies.
While in exile, Soekarno would often sit and reflect under a Breadfruit Tree not far from his house. It is said that while under that tree he put together the idea of Pancasila, the five principles on which Indonesia was founded after independence was declared in 1945.
Ende traditional clothing
Traditional clothing and crafts are alive and well in Ende. Traditionally hand-woven fabrics, called tenun ikat, can be found in town at markets, called Mbongawani. And, if you are walking around town and you look like an obvious international tourist, tenun ikat sellers will often find you. The quality is wonderful and each pattern represents the local area, island or village where it came from. Many tenun ikat from in and around Ende use lots of black, brown and dark yellow colours in their patterns. The tenun ikat is used to make sarongs, scarves and sashes as well as small purses and bags. Tenun ikat clothes are used for celebrations such as weddings, however, many people throughout Flores still wear traditional tenun ikat sarongs on a daily basis.
Indonesia is well known for its linguistic diversity. Indonesian is the official language, however, out of a population of about 260 million, only about 23 million speak it as a native language. There are over 646 languages in Indonesia so the majority of Indonesians speak Indonesian as a second language. As is the case for the majority of people in the country, Indonesian is the second language for inhabitants of Ende. Generally, the first language of people in Ende is Endenese. If you want to make a good impression when you visit Ende, you should give their local lingo a go. To start with, "yes" is an interesting word. Yes is ho'o in Ende, unless you are responding to someone and then it is ha. Below are some more words and phrases to get you going in Ende.