The architecture of Rote is unique with many churches; the culture remains unchanged for centuries. Rote has many historical relies including fine antique Chinese porcelains, as well as ancient arts and traditions. Many prominent Indonesia nationalist leaders were born here. A popular music instrument Sasando, which is made of palm leaves. According to legend, this island got its name accidentally when a lost Portuguese sailor arrived and asked a farmer where he was. The surprised farmer, who could not speak Portuguese, introduced himself, “Rote”
The Rotenese depend on the lontar palm, fishing, sarong and jewellery making and seaweed farming for income. They celebrate and play the sasando, the Rotenese guitar. Always smiling and happy.