Nativity scene hangover

This post goes out to all those Timorese youth who woke up under flashing lights in a manger this morning.

Those who have spent time in Dili in December, or who go by the name of Bishop Ricardo, will know what I am talking about. Timorese youth have long made nativity scenes into mini discos. Given the lack of nocturnal recreation in most of the country, it’s hardly a wonder people confuse that a hut with flashing lights with a happening night spot.

Unfortunately, either some kids have taken it to excess or a certain Bishop whose name is an anagram for killjoy has finally decided that these nativity nightclubs are the worst thing since Martin Luther.

Quoting a story that ran in the Tempo Semanal last week:

“Labele tuur no toba iha Prezepiu laran. Labele hemu tua la iha Prezepiu. Prezepiu la’os fatin atu halo problema no toka muzika fatin,” dehan iha nota Amo Bispo Ricardo ninian.

“Do not sit and sleep in the nativity scenes. Do not drink palm wine in the nativity scenes. They are not places to make trouble and play music,” read the note by Bishop Ricardo.

Tempo Semanal goes on to describe the heinous abuses, including those in my adoptive neighborhood Bemori

Hanesan prezepiu ida iha Audian Bemori entre Otel Audian ho Ailele hun ninian, jovens sira tau lampu piska-piska besik estatua prezepiu ho toka muzika furak hanesan diskoteka. Jovens sira balun tuur iha parte Estrada sorin hodi fihir deit.

Like the nativity seen in Audian Bemori between Hotel Audian and Ailelehun, where youth have put flashing lights near the nativity characters and play wild music like a discoteque. Some of the young people sit on the roadside just to stare [pick each other up?]

I remember presepios of yore, that were quite frugal and ingenious out of necessity. Like this one, made in a central location with plastic water bottles last year. Here is a low key presépio gathering during the day with what we can hope is the pre-disco generation.

Most are pimped out now, with imported figures and art, and tons of lights. See António Terra’s photos on Flickr.

This photo of a nativity scene on an UNTL roof caught my eye. Hope they were not drinking tua up there!

The photo above is by Flickr user Llauren from 2004, used with a Creative Commons License.


One thought on “Nativity scene hangover

  1. Pingback: Christmas in Dili « Notes from a small world

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