APSN Banner

Timor Aid documenting Timor's culture

Dili Weekly - May 21, 2018

Estevao Nuno – Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Timor Aid aims to preserve Timor's culture through book documentation to inform Timorese in the future about their culture.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Timor Aid, Florentino Sarmento said besides promoting the original culture of Timor, Timor Aid also attempted to regenerate cultures that are becoming extinct.

"When other countries refer to these things [books], then people will know that we are from Timor," he said in Dili.

He said every municipality has its own culture that needs to be promoted starting within the country and internationally.

He said the original culture of Timor-Leste "is in danger of extinction because schools do not teach culture and our youth learns other subjects, such as music and technologies which makes them forget our own culture," he said.

He said Timor Aid's mission is to preserve Timorese culture through documentation and archival to preserve history and then make it available to new generations of Timorese.

On the other hand, a student Tourism and Travel, Inacio da Silva Amaral acknowledged that the new generation is forgetting the culture and focusses more on modern culture.

He said culture is the country's identity and that is why they have developed the MICE program to remind the youth about their cultural heritage.

"We combine it also. There two types: original culture and culture with modern feel to show other countries that Timorese can also organize its own events," he said.

"We use our own culture such as Tais and other elements and then present them to the representatives from all municipalities in Timor."

He also has concerns that culture is being lost in Timor-Leste in favour of modern culture.

"Today's youths try to adopt modern culture from other countries but we ask all youths to maintain our culture, uphold our country by fixing the quality of Timor's culture," he said.

On the other hand, the President of the Youth Council from Dili Municipality, Manecas Lobo dos Santos asked the youths as the new generation, to take active part in preserving Timor's culture like tais weaving.

"Preserve our traditional activities and do not over modernize it and so we don't lose it," he said.

He said in rural areas some communities continue to maintain our culture such as weaving baskets and Tais weaving, but the worse thing is that young women who live in urban areas do not know about these practices.

"The young women are not interested in promoting our culture," he said.

Source: http://www.thediliweekly.com/en/news/15574-timor-aid-documenting-timor-s-culture