Timorese are fiercely proud of their independence and very aware of how hard they’ve had to fight for it. They are also quite stoic in the face of adversity, something honed through decades of tragedy. In many ways the population has been awakened to the possibilities ahead and that can explain some of the frequent internal upheavals. Without a common enemy in the form of the Indonesians, all manner of factions are vying for their place in the new East Timor. Old scores are being settled and spheres of power and influence calved out. People are not hesitant to protest perceived wrongs and this has led to frequent clashes in Dill and elsewhere, especially in old Fretilin strongholds.
Despite the chaotic images shown in news reports, the Timorese are one of the friendliest people you will encounter. Normally polite in a simple way you’ll soon get hand fatigue from all the waving you’ll be doing. Language issues aside, the Timorese are gregarious; in a nation this small, everybody seems to have one degree of separation.
There is a long collective memory, but the Portuguese from colonial are fading from consciousness, as are the Japanese from the war. It’s much more complex regarding Indonesia: most adults in the country educated in Indonesian-run schools actually speak the language. And almost everybody had a loved one killed during the occupation, others married Indonesians sympathetic to the Timorese cause. Australia also poses a complex question. If any country could have stood for East Timor in 1975 but didn’t it was Australia. Fretilin and others still resent perceived Australian meddling in local affairs, yet Australia’s local importance, its leading role in trying to maintain peace from 1999 and the many Australians with a direct interest in, and friendship towards, East Timor make it a highly significant player.
Finally, many could learn lessons about stress reduction from the Timorese who don’t expect things to work very well and are very adept at patiently adapting to the myriad challenges faced daily.
Life is good today 🎶 feeling very accomplished this weekend after spending my Saturday getting a ton of content done. Have a good handful of other tasks to complete today which should set me up for a major step ahead with my content schedule! Looking forward to sharing all that we have been working on! After that, this 👆🏽