MATARAM – May 3rd, 2024 – University of Agder (UNRAM) and University of Agder, Norway, came together once again to host the much-anticipated Generale Lecture series, focusing on “Building Interreligious Harmony and Tolerance in Lombok.” Held on May 3rd, 2024, this event marked a significant milestone in fostering dialogue and understanding among diverse communities.

Distinguished keynote speakers Prof. Erni Budiwanti from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (BRIN) and Dr. Saipul Hamdi, lecturer from the Sociology Study Program at the University of Mataram, delivered captivating presentations. Prof. Budiwanti delved into the complexities of Balinese identity in the “Island of Thousand Mosques,” shedding light on the intricate relationship between religion and culture in Lombok. Dr. Hamdi, on the other hand, provided valuable insights into the mapping of social conflicts in Lombok, highlighting the challenges and opportunities for promoting social cohesion in the region.

Before the Generale Lecture, participants had the privilege of experiencing the rich Islamic culture of Lombok firsthand by joining Jum’ah prayers at the Islamic Center Hubbul Wathan. This immersive experience allowed attendees to gain a deeper understanding of Islam in Lombok and fostered meaningful connections among international buddies from the University of Mataram.

The Generale Lecture was opened by Prof. Dahlanuddin, who expressed his gratitude and highlighted the importance of hosting such events annually. He emphasized the role of dialogue and understanding in promoting peace and harmony in diverse societies.

Expressing gratitude for the warm hospitality, Prof. Levi Geir Eidhamar, representing the University of Agder, extended sincere thanks to UNRAM for their continued partnership. Prof. Eidhamar took the opportunity to sign Memoranda of Agreement (MoA) with UNRAM’s Faculty of Teacher Training and Education, as well as the Faculty of Law, Social, and Political Science, reaffirming the commitment to future collaboration and academic exchange between the two institutions.

This event served as a platform for fostering cross-cultural dialogue, strengthening academic partnerships, and promoting interreligious understanding. UNRAM and the University of Agder remain committed to organizing similar initiatives in the future to promote tolerance and cooperation among diverse communities.