The uniqueness of Flores lies in its amazing wealth of cultures, languages, and history. One of the explanations for these local varieties lies in the island’s mountainous nature: it hindered the access to the interior areas and made communication between individual communities difficult, thus preserving a huge range of long-standing local peculiarities.
Flores is inhabited by 1.8 million people who roughly belong to the major ethno-linguistic entities of Manggarai, Ngada, Nagekeo, Ende and Lio, Sikka and Lamaholot. These groups can be further divided into many sub-entities with their own cultural features and dialects.
Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia), the official language, is used in the context of education, business, and formal affairs. However, everyday conversations in Flores are still carried out in the countless local languages and dialects, which all belong to the so-called Austro-Polynesian language family.