Buka, la hetan

I am tired of reading malais writing about Timor. Baruk loos.

(The only regular Timorese blogger is Angela Carrascalão, who spent a lot of her life here in Portugal and is treated like a malai in her own country.)

I know there are Timorese with internet access, with digital cameras. I’ve seen you all, at the few free internet points around town: World Bank and Instituto Camões. UNTIL and Xanana Reading Room both offer accessible internet for privileged Timorese. And those with office jobs have access.

So why are all of the blogs written by Timorese either by PD or Fretilin hacks?

Hau husu, please, Timorese people you need to let the world know about yourselves. Tenki fo hatene ba mundu kona-ba imi nia hanoin, imi nia moris. 

I know you are using your precious web time to contact friends and family. But please, we need diaries, we need opinions, images, feelings.

You are letting a bunch of Timorese zealots and misfit malais (myself included) define your country.


3 thoughts on “Buka, la hetan

  1. You’re dead (sorry) right. Also my lament. And I see you’re
    a great netter, to boot. But it’s all so scattered, you may
    be missing a few. I’m trying (too) hard (in my view) to
    help remedy this problem to the extent possible (not a
    great extent possible right now, I suspect) through my
    list at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/east-timor-studies.
    Could you possibly join and look around the archives?
    Or can we exchange emails so we can exchange notes?
    Won’t be many Timorese using WordPress to read your
    message, but they will see it on my list. As well
    as nearly all of Return to Rai Ketak (yet to be matched).
    All good wishes. – John johnmacdougall@comcast.net
    (among others)

  2. In the first instance I would like to congratulate and thank you for your work here through Rai Ketak. I enjoy the views and the information I receive through Mr.Macdougall’s east-timor studies site. I write to you now as an act of solidarity and support.
    I had travelled throughout Timor Leste in both a professional capacity and as a visitor/tourist over the years, my last visit was in 2004 – 2006, a stay which allowed me to follow the political developement of the country in which I was born, and at the same time blessed me with the opportunity to learn more of the diversity of the people of the interior and the central-south coast. I noticed that there are marked varying degrees of hospitality/exceptance when one travels from east-west and north-south. For exmple when one asks a farmer (Toos nain) off-hand “rai ida ne’e se nian?” the response would be either: “rai ne’e hau nian”; or “rai ne’e ita’nian”. I won’t go into which part of the country claimed that the land was “ours” and which replied with “mine” so as not to become embroiled with the business of lorosae/loromonu. Needless to say though that most people in Dili could learn alot more of the virtues gained from rai nain. Another interesting observation is the use of the description “malae”. Some parts of the country refer to anyone not born in Timor as Malai; where others refer to anyone who is not of their ethnicity as malai. Having seen this just encourages me to advertise the wonderful blend of diversity and tradition one can savour when jouneying through the beautiful “Land of the crocodile”. It is those which cannot and refuse to understand the diverse culture and traditions that then claim to be discriminated against. One must accept that in some parts you may be Malai, and other’s you may be “tio”or “tia” or “maun” or “mana”. Offense is taken if your ignorance and arrogance superimposes itself on your intelligence. Maluk, belun sira, “laiha ema ida moris mesak iha rai nia laran hodi loron naruk”. Nai Maromak fo tulun ba ita. Lian fuan nebe hau hakerek iha leten ne’e hau nia hanoin diet. Obrigado barak.

  3. Thank you for both of the positive comments. To johnmacdougall, I just joined the East Timor Studies list, in spite of my list-phobia. It’s definitely an excellent resource, and I’m glad to see it’s so widely used. I’ve added an email address in the About section, because I definitely wanted to start more of a dialogue. Look forward to hearing from you.

    Mauduamaudua, it seems that the “malai” comment when directed at Dili-based Timorese who left during the Indonesian occupation is particularly offensive/potent. (Especially for people who result from the “miracle of miscegenation” like Angela Carrascalão.) Thanks for your insights into the variety of meanings for the use of the word “malai” and varying degrees of national feeling across Timor. I think the use of the word “malai” could be a doctoral thesis, I hope somebody has the heart to take this on, perhaps somebody who is both a “malai” and Timorese?

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