Stone Hopping – A Tradition in North Sumatra Province, Indonesia
A vacation in Indonesia is worth a thousand experiences. It is because you can find numerous attractions in such beautiful country. Not to mention it offers unique cultures to learn and enjoy. In North Sumatra Province, there is a famous tradition called Stone Hopping. The locals call it “Lompat Batu”. To be exact, it is the signature culture of Nias. As the name suggests, people may jump off a stone without any equipment or tools. The height of the stone is 2 meters and the width is about 40 cm.
Stone Hopping is done by the young people only. What is the purpose? It is a symbol of maturity! Those who are able to jump off the stone are considered mature physically. Today, it has become a common culture in Nias and some parts of North Sumatra Province. Even tourists come to the location to watch it directly. After all, it is one of the best attractions in Indonesia. Apart from the jumping process, tourists also want to learn the history of it.
The History of Stone Hopping
The thing is Stone Hopping has been done for decades. According to local people, such tradition occurred due to numerous conflicts in Nias. There were lots of tribal wars, back then. The history has it. Each village had a fortress. Thus, it required great skills and stamina to jump off such stronghold. They created a pile of stones and used it for jumping and training. Today, the war is over. The locals keep doing such tradition as the symbol of maturity, especially for men.
Unfortunately, not all people in Nias conduct such tradition. It is because of the influence of modern culture. Tourists can only find it in some villages in Nias. Thus, it requires a little work to enjoy it directly. Apart from the symbol of maturity, the locals use it to build strong characteristics among young men. Hopefully, they are able to live in hardships without hassles. Not to mention it builds confident and pride. Those who are able to jump off the stone perfectly get a great respect in the neighborhood.
Stone Hopping is considered difficult and dangerous. That means it requires lots of practice and good skills. Not to mention it takes some time to be able to jump off the stone. Now wonder, the family may throw a party to show gratitude once their son is successful in dealing with such obstacle. For tourists, it is possible to watch such tradition directly. The locals may conduct it in a particular location in their village. Have no worries. A tour agency may arrange the schedule for you.
How to Get There
If you want to witness Stone Hopping, you must head to Nias. It is a small island, which belongs to North Sumatra Province. There are several methods in order to reach the island, actually.
By sea: From Medan, you can take a bus with the route to Sibolga. The trip takes about 9 hours. Once you reach the port, you should take a ferry to Nias Island. The voyage takes approximately 12 hours. It can be faster if you use a better boat.
By air: The fastest way to reach Nias is by an airplane. From Medan or other cities, you must head to Binaka Airport. It is located in Sitoli Mountain. Once you reach such airport, you can take public transportation and head to some villages in Nias. Make sure to have a schedule of stone hopping beforehand!