Friday, April 1, 2016

Dimensaun Relasional iha Sosiedade Tradisional Timor-Leste

Josh Trindade

Introdusaun
Elementu importante ida iha sosiedade tradisional Timor-Leste mak dimensaun relasional kompleksu nebe goma sosiedade hamutuk. Dimensaun relasional ida ne’e ne’ebe kesi sosiedade tradisional Timor-Leste importante ba reprodusaun no rekonstituisaun ba sosiedade, antes durante no depois okupasaun kolonial.

Iha artigu ida ne’e, hau esplora dimensaun relasional sira focus liu ba area diskusaun tolu. Dahuluk, hau isplika kona ba relasaun entre mundu real (the real world) ou mundu ema moris nian ho mundu ispiritual no entidade divinu sira. Daruak, relasaun entre ema no natureza no importansia husi rekursu naturais sira hanesan rai, bee, ai-laran, mota, lagua, no foho sira ba subreviventi komunidade Timoroan sira nian. Ikus liu, oinsa relasaun entre ema organiza no maneja iha sosiedade ‘tradisional’ Timoroan nian. Atu isplika ida ne’e, hau sei espesifikamente loke importansia husi relasaun entre feton-nan, maun-alin no alin-maun, no bin-alin.


 Saida Mak Dimensaun Relasional?

Iha Teoria Kapital Social (Social Capital Theory), ‘dimesaun relasional’ mak rekursu (hanesan fiar malu no reciprosidade) ne’ebe defini no afeta qualidade rede sosial ida. Kapital sosial halo husi ‘obrigasaun sosial’ ou ‘koneksaun’ ne’ebe nakfilak ba benifisiu ekonomiku koletivu ou individual ou forma seluk husi kapital (Bourdieu 1986). Husi nosaun ida ne’e iha ulun, artigu ida ne’e koko atu komprende oinsa sosiedade tradisional Timoroan nian bele maneija relasaun sosial la ho ajuda husi instituisaun especialijada sira hanesan forsa armadas, polisia no judisial sira ne’ebe adekuadu.

Sosiedade tradisional sira seluk mos barak mak karakteriza ho dimensaun relasional ne’ebe kesi sosiedade Timoroan hamutuk. Buat ne’ebe signifikante husi tipo relasaun oioin debate ona iha mundu academia maibe barak mak komprende sala no halo interpretasun ne’ebe la los husi poder kolonial sira ne’ebe buka atu hamamar koesaun sosial no solidaridade husi sosiedade ‘tradiosional’ sira no ema rai-nain sira atu nune’e sira bele fahe no ukun (divide and rule).

Ai-rin Toten (Totem Poles) no Dimensaun Relasional iha Timor-Leste

Ai-toten, mak airin ida hodi tara toten ou imagen toten makerek tan ba. Toten mak objetu natural ida ne’ebe sosiedade partikular ida fiar katak nia iha signifikante ispiritual no sira adopta nudar sira nia emblema. Iha Timor-Leste, dimensaun relasional simbolikamente representa husi ai-rin toten ne’ebe ita bele hetan iha Timor laran tomak husi grupu linguistika oioin, Nudar ijmplu, ai-rin toten iha Tetun Terik sira bolu ho naran Sarin, iha lian Mambae sira bolu Ai-Tidin la Gernora, iha lian Makasae mak Ate Sika Porkili, no Neueti sira bolu Kaibira. Timoroan nia ai-toten, halo husi ai ka fatuk, balu iha makerek oioin ne’ebe furak no balu lae. Ai-toten sira ne’e iha balu iha sanak tolu, lima ou hitu. Toten nia sanak sira ne’e representa dimensaun relasional. Nudar ijemplu, numeru knua ou eskada sira ne’ebe ema nia klamar sei liu iha mundu seluk wainhira mate ona.

Ai-Tidin la Gernora ou Ai-Rin Tara-Bandu husi ema Mambae sira iha ninia sanak tolu. Sanak rua ba liman karuk no liman los, sanak seluk hatudu ba lalehan. Sanak husi ai-toten sira ne’e simbolikamente representa dimensaun relasional espesifiku sira. Ai-toten kuda ba rai no ida ne representa relasaun entre ema ho rai ou meio-ambiente. Timoroan sira fiar katak rai mak fo moris, no nia iha karakteristiku feminine ida asosiadu ho inan. Tamba ne’e mak Timoroan sira bolu rai Timor nudar rai-inan ida. Rai no meio-ambiente Timoroan sira fiar hanesan inan ida ne’ebe fo susu ba kosok-oan hodi moris (Trindade 2012),

Sanak ida ne’ebe hatudu ba lalehan representa ligasaun entre ema ho mundu divinidade ou mundu ispiritu nian. Nudar sosiedade dualistiku ida, Timoroan nia divinismu fiar ba entidade dualismu ida mak maromak-feto, entidade femininu nebe representa fertilidade no kria-nain, no loro entidade mane nebe simboliza ideia forsa, protesaun no siguransa (Trindade 2012).

Sanak rua seluk ba liman los no karuk representa relasaun entre ema ho ema. Hanesan isplikasaun tuir mai, relasaun Timoroan nia kompleksu tebes ho tatedek oioin, maibe ita bele simplifikamente bele fahe ba kategoria relsaun femininu (umane) no relasaun maskulinu (fetosan) iha mundu dualismu nia laran. Relasaun femininu ou umane, mak relasaun ne’ebe hare husi familia ou knua feto (inan) nia pontu de vistu no relasaun maskulinu ou fetosan mak relasaun ne’ebe hare husi mane (aman) nia pontu de vistu. Tuir Trindade (2012, 18) nota katak, “depende ba okasaun, familia ou individual ida bele sai hanesan umane ba feto hotu-hotu ne’ebe kaben sai husi uma, no sai hanesan fetosan ba mane hotu-hotu ne’ebe kaben feto tama mai iha knual alaran iha ligasaun fetosan-umane.”

Tenke nota katak relasaun iha dimensaun dualistiku ida ne’e, mundu maskulinu politkalmente superior maibe ritualmente inferior ba mundu femininu. Nune’e mundu feminine ritualmente superior no politikalmente inferior ba mundu maskulinu. Ida ne’e tamba, Timoroan sira, iha sira nia fiar katak mundu feminine mak fo moris, nia sai nudar moris nia hun, no nia mak hahoris. Mundu maskulinu sai husi femininu hanesan inan ida hahoris bebe oan. Femininu mak abut husi moris no maskulinu mak proteje hun husi moris ida ne’e (Trindade 2012, 22). Relasaun no aliansa asimetrikal kompleksu ida ne’e kesi membru sosiedade sira hamutuk hodi resisiti presaun internal no eksternal iha tempu funu, konflitu, lia mate – lia moris no miseria moris sira seluk. Nudar ijemplu, husi aspeitu sira temi iha leten, natureza no entidade divinu sira konsidera kaer valor femininu no ema konsidera kaer valor maskulinua. Iha relasaun entre ema komplikadu oituan se mak kaer valor maskulinu no feminine tamba depende ba okasaun. Iha okasaun ida, familia ida, knua ida ou individual id abele kaer valor feminine maibe iha situasaun seluk nia bele kaer fali valor maskulinu.

Jeralmente, dimensaun relasional sosiedade Timoroan nian bele sumariza iha diagrama hanesan tuir mai (husi ego individual ou knua ida nian)

Diagrama 1: Dimensaun Relasional iha Timor-Leste

Husi diagrama 1, ita bele hare katak ema individual ida ou knua ida iha ligasaun vertikal ho natureza (rai no meio-ambiente) iha okos no entidade divinu sira iha leten, no horizontalmente liga ho ema seluk iha liman los (fetosan) no liman karuk (umane). Atu garantia dame no tranquilidade iha sosiedade nia laran, ema ida-idak tenke servisu hodi kuidadu balansu entre ema ho natureza, ema ho entidade divinu no ema ho ema iha liman los no karuk. Kuidadu balansu bebeik entre aspeitu femininu no maskulinu laos deit importante, maibe esensial atu ba sobrevineti ba komunidade tomak. Wainhira balansu entre aspeitu sira ne’e laiha, ida ne’e sei tau ema individual, familia ou komunidade tomak iha risku nia laran. Sira bele hetan moras, malisan, babeur, kastigu ou miseria oioin iha sira nia moris. Resilensia Timoroan nian depende ba konseitu ida ne’e.

La hanesan ho ai-toten Mambae sira nian ho sanak tolu, ai-toten Tokodede sira nian husi Liquica nian iha sanak hamutuk lima representa knua lima ne’ebe forma komunidade iha fatin refere. Ai-toten ema Naueti nian iha Viqueque, no Baikeno iha Oecussi iha sanak hitu ne’ebe representa knua hitu ou maun alin nain hitu ou representa dalan hitu ne’ebe ema lao tuir iha mundu seluk wainhira mate ona.

Timoroan sira nian ai-toten, babain hamrik besik uma-lulik ou besik fatin lulik sira ou fatin sira ne’ebe ema halo tara-bandu ba ou hemu ran ruma. Ai-toten sira ne’e uza hodi tara afertorio ba ispiritu beiala sira nian ou ba entidade divinu sira iha leten as ba. Tamba ne’e ita sei hare ofertorio sira sei tara iha ai-toten nia leten wainhira iha ceremonia sau-batar, tara-bandu no hemu-ran.

Relasaun Entre Ema ho Entidade Divinu Sira

Hanesan isplika ona iha leten, divinidade Timoroan nian iha karasterisku dualismu (maskulinu no femininu) iha sistema fiar Timoroan nian.

Iha sosiedade Tetun Terik sira, Maromak mak hanesan inan ou feminine ho valor fertilidade ne’ebe responsabliza ba dame, prosperiedade no trankuilidade, no Loro, mak aman ou maskulinu representa valor sira hanesan siguransa, protesaun no forsa. Maromak mak superior ba Loro tamba nia maka moris nia hun, ida ne’ebe fo moris ou hahoris, nune’e nia mak kria-nain. Ita labele konfundi Maromak nativu Timoroan oan nian ho Maromak ne’ebe iha Igreija Katolika nia laran, tamba Maromak Igreija nian mak Maromak Mane ou Aman Maromak (God the father, Deus, Zeus, etc).

Etimolojikamente, termus Maromak mai husi lian Tetun Terik, mak naroman, nakfilak ba mak roman no ho lian badak temi deit Maromak. Ba ema Tetun Terik sira, Maromak mak inan ba Maromak-Oan ne’ebe hela iha mundu ispiritu nian no nia oan, Maromak-oan mak feto ida ou mane ida maibe representa entidade feto ne’ebe maka sai ukun nain aas liu iha Wehali, centru ritual rai Timor nian. Naran seluk husi Maromak-oan nudar ukun nain mak Liurai-Feto (Therik 2004) no ema ne’ebe eksekuta orden husi Liurai-Feto mak Liurai-mane. Iha ne’e ita hare katak, Liurai-feto ou Maromak-oan kaer autoridade (ritual) no Liurai-Mane ne’ebe eksekuta orden husi Liurai-Feto mak kaer poder (politika). Nune’e iha sistema dualistiku, Liurai-Feto, Maromak-oan mak femininu ho autoridade-ritual, no Liurai-Mane, mak maskulinu kaer poder-politika.

Konseitu dualistiku entidade divinu sira hanesan Maromak nebe feminine (Hicks 1984) no Loro ne’ebe maskulinu bele hetan iha lingua seluk iha Timor-Leste ho forma seluk. Hanesan ijemplu, ema Naueti sira refere ba sira nia entidade divinu ho naran Wu’lara mai husi lia-fuan wula (fulan, mak femininu, ida ne’ebe malirin, nonok) no ‘lara (loron, mak maskulinu, ida ne’ebe manas, baruilhu). Konseitu hanesan mos ita bele hetan iha lian Makasae ho naran uru-watu, mai husi uru (fulan, mak femininu, ida ne’ebe malirin, nonok) no watu (loron, mak maskulinu, ida ne’ebe manas, baruilhu). Ho lian Fataluku iha Lautem, sira bolu Uru-Watsu (uru = fulan, Watsu = loron).

Tuir kedas Maromak no Loro mak ispiritu avo sira nia. Sira mos importante iha Timoroan nia sistema fiar no tenke trata sira ho respeitu. Falta respeitu ba ispiritu avo sira nia sei hetan kastigu ou babeur. Nune’e wainhira ema ne’ebe sei moris laos deit fo respeitu ba avo sira nia ispiritu, maibe mos ba Maromak no mahein sira natureza nian hanesan be’e nain, rai-nain, fatuk-nain, no seluk-seluk tain. Mantein relasaun entre ema moris no entidade divinu sira, ispiritu avo sira nian no mahein natureza sira nian iha mundu nakukun importante tebes hodi garante moris diak, dame no hakmatek ba ema ne’ebe moris iha mundu real, mundu naroman. Relasaun ida ne’e mantein liu husi ceremonia no ritual sira hanesan sau batar, sau hare, visita rate matebian sira hodi tau aifunan no bua-malus, halo ofertorio iha fatin lulik sira, nsst. Wainhira ritual sira ne'e la halo tuir, Timoroan sira fiar katak sira sei hetan kastigu oioin hanesan failha kuilheta, moras, konflitu no miseria oioin iha sira nia moris lorloron.

Durante ukun kolonial Portuguese no Indonesia nian, autoridade kolonial sira konsidera sistema fiar tradisional Timoroan nian iha posisaun inferior ba fiar relijiaun monoteistiku sira hanesan Kristaun Katolika ou Islam. Kolonialista sira hare ema rai-nain ou Timoroan sira hanesan ema ne’ebe ninia maromak laiha ou selvajen ‘la-civilizado’. Maibe durante Portuguese nia ukun iha tinan 450 nia laran, sira konsege deit fo sarani 30% Timoroan no restu mantein sira nia fiar tradisional. Iha tempu okupasaun Indonesia durante tinan 24 nia laran numeru sarani Katolika sa’e husi 30% iha 1975 ba liu 95% iha 1999 (Garrison 2005, 5; Kohen 2000, 20-21).

Relasaun Entre Ema ho Natureza

Natureza iha kontekstu ida ne’e, natureza refere ba meio-ambiente no rekursu naturais hotu-hotu hanesan bee, aihun, ailaran, rai, bee lihun, foho, ne’ebe importante ba subrevivente komunidade sira nian.

Maioria populasaun Timor Leste moris ho vida agrikultor no sira kuda rasik hahan sira ne’ebe sira han. Ba sosiedade agrikultor sira, sira tauk liu mak infertilidade (la buras ou la produtivu) no konseitu fertilidade (buras) ou maromak-feto hanesan centro ba moris sosial no ritual lorloron nian.

Iha Timoroan sira nia hanoin no fiar, natureza ne’e rasik konsidera hanesan entidade ida ne’ebe moris no rekursu naturais oioin iha ninia mahein rasik, hanesan Bee-Nain, Rai-Nain, Ai-Nain, Fatuk-Nain, nsst. Timoroan sira mos fiar katak kuidadu natureza ou meio ambiente importante ba reprodusaun sosiedade no jerasaun sira iha futuru. Natureza no ninia rekursu sira hanesan impresta tutan husi beiala sira no sei husik hela ba jerasaun sira ne’ebe seidauk moris. Nune’e, jerasaun agora laos na’in ba natureza no ninia rekursu sira. Ho hanoin ida ne’e sira tenke kuidadu rekursu naturais sira ho diak atu bele fo tutan ba oan no bei-oan sira iha futuru. Wainhira ita kuidadu natureza ho diak, nia mos sei kuidadu ita nia moris. Timoroan sira bele desenvolve relasaun diak ho sira nia natureza liu husi ceremonia no ritual sira ne’ebe oferese ba ‘ispiritu sira’ no mahein sira. Nudar ijemplu, antes atu kuda batar sira halo ceremonia ki’ik-oan ida. Sira oho animal ruma, manu ou fahi hodi oferese ba ispiritu ou rai-nain, no ba maromak fertilidade nian (fertility godess) atu nune’e sira bele hetan kuilheta diak. Nune’e antes silu batar, babain ema halo ceremonia sau-batar hodi halo midar batar atu nune’e batar ne’ebe konsidera lulik sai midar ou sau. Ho ida ne’e ema bele ona han batar. Ceremonia sau-batar hanesan ceremonia ida hodi fo agredese ba rain-nain no maromak fertilidade nian tamba fo ona resultadu diak iha tempu kulheta agora no husu atu iha tempu oin mai sira sei hetan nafatin buras diak iha sira nia tos. Ceremonia hanesan mos halo ba bee-lihun sira iha tasi ninin wainhira iha tempu bai-loron komunidade sira ne’ebe hela besik ba kaer ikan. Babain bee-nain sira halo uluk ritual ruma hodi husu lisensa ba mahein bee nian atu nune’e sira bele kaer ikan iha bee lihun ida ne’e.

Nune’e mos wainhira hari’i Uma Lulik ida, importante mos fo respeitu ba rai no aihun sira, nomos ba material sira seluk ne’ebe uza hodi hari’i Uma Lulik. Tamba wainhira hari’i Uma Lulik ida, ita sei tesi ai no foti material sira seluk iha fatin ne’ebe uma atu hari’i ba. Ai no material sira seluk ne’ebe uja hodi hari’i Uma Lulik konsidera hanesan lulik tamba iha moris ki’ik-oan oioin ne’ebe ita labele hare ho matan tamba kiik liu (organismu kiik sira), ne’ebe moris ho ai-hun sira no material sira ne’ebe ita foti hodi hari'i uma. Timoroan sira komprende katak, wainhira tesi ai no foti material sira ne’e, ita disturbia moris ki’ik oan sira ne’e. Tamba ne’e presija halo ritual hodi agradese ba animal ki’ik oan sira ne’e, atu nune’e prosesu hari’i uma labele hamosu fali moras ruma ou miseria seluk iha ema nia moris.

Relasaun Entre Ema ho Ema

Relasaun ema ho ema mak relsaun ne’ebe delikadu liu iha dimensuan relasional sosiedade tradisional Timoroan nian. Relasaun ida ne’e laos deit importante, maibe mos dalas oioin (multilayered) no relasaun ida ne’e fo siguransa ba individual ou familia sira iha laran. Relasaun ida ne’e mos manda interasaun sociais entre eindividual, familia, knua ou sosiedade. Relasaun entre ema ho ema bele katogoriza ba aspeitu femininu no maskulinu no ida ne’e defini posisaun superior no inferior entre ida ho seluk iha sosiedade nia laran. 


Diagrama 2: Relasaun entre ema ho ema iha sosiedade tradisional Timor-Leste

Esensia husi relasaun entre ema ho ema iha sosiedade Timoroan nia bele simplifika ba iha kategoria importante tolu deit, mak hanesan relasaun entre maun-alin, feton-nan, no bin-alin (hare diagrama 2 iha leten). Kategorizasaun ida ne’e aplika ba etno-lingustika tomak iha Timor-Leste, iha sosiedade patrilineal no matrilineal mos.  

Relasaun entre feton ho nan ou fetosan-umane – relasaun ida ne’e baseia ba kaben no bele kesi familia rua ou knua rua. Fetosan mak familia ou knua husi feton (feto) ne’ebe kaben sai no umane mak familia ou knua husi nan ne’ebe hela metin iha uma moris fatin. Relasaun ida ne’e importante tebes iha sosiedade patrilineal no matrilineal; wainhira relasaun fetosan-umane establese ona, familia ou knua rua troka sasan bebeik iha lia-mate no lia-moris hodi fotifika relasaun ida ne’e husi jerasaun ba jerasaun. Iha relasaun ida ne’e, umane mak ritualmente superior no politakemente inferior ba iha fatosan. Nune’e umane representa karakteristiku femininu ne’ebe fo moris ba fetosan nudar maskulinu ne’ebe simu moris liu husi feto ne’ebe mai husi umane nia uma kain.

Durante periodo kolonial, kolonial sira komprende sala no halo interpretasaun ne’ebe sala kona ba relasaun entre fetosan-umane no pratika barlaki. Ema kolonial sira, Indonesia no Portugal interpreta katak barlaki hanesan aktividade ekonomiku ida involve fa’an no sosa feto (Niner 2012; Hicks 2012). Ho interpretasaun ne’ebe kleuk, sira koko atu tau pratika kultural Timoroan nia iha fatin inferior no tau valor kultural ne’ebe importa husi sira nia rai iha fatin superior. Intrepretasaun ne’ebe sala husi kolonial sira kona ba pratika barlaki bele hare iha resultadu peskija husi Niner (2012, 138), ne’ebe nia nota katak:

“Desde inisiu tinan 1960, sira [kolonial] fo sala ba barlaki nudar meios ida hodi ha-atan feto no iha tempu seidauk kleur liu ba sita nudar kausa central ba vilensia domestika ne’ebe ass [iha Timor-Leste]. Kondenasaun ida ne’e han malu ho kritiku husi feminist global ne’ebe dehan katak pratika kaben tradisional hanesan mekanismu ida hodi kontrola no eksploitasaun feto husi mane”.[1]

Lahanesan ho autoridade kolonial sira no aktivista jeneru kontemporariu sira ne’ebe hare relasaun fetosan-umane no barlaki hanesan aktu ida ba eksploitasaun no ha-atan feto no kausa ba violensia deomestika (UNFPA, 2005), ba Hohe no Ospina (2001, 26):

“Umane, familia ou knua ne’ebe fo feto asosiadu ho valor fertilidade. Nune’e keta hanoin katak feto, hanesan individual ida, maka fob a familia seluk, maibe valor fertilidade mak oferese a sira nia fetosan. Iha familia fetosan, feto-foun sei hahoris moris foun tan iha ninia oan sira no oan sira ne’e bele fo tutan ba sira nia fetosan. Tamba ne’e ita koalia kona ba ‘sulin moris nian’ husi umane sira ba fetosan oioin. Tamba ‘moris’ mak valor importante liu iha sosiedade, manutensaun ba sistema ida ne’e importante tebes. Iha moris lorloron, relsaun entre fetosan no umane sempre hanoin hetan ou mosu. Dala ruma iha konversa lorloron, ema la bolu ema seluk nia naran, maibe sira temi mak sira nia relasaun ho ema ne’e. Lina relasaun sira ne’e hanesan parte bo’ot ida husi kosmos sosial, ho umane mak iha fatin superior. Vantagen husi sistema ne’e mak bele inklui familia barak liutan, no ida ne’e kontriui ba establsementu relsasaun dame iha teritorio luan liu tan.”[2]

Relasaun entre maun - alin ou alin – maun – relasaun ida ne’e importante no forte tebes iha sosiedade patrilineal sira iha Timor-Leste tamba sira mak sai nudar base ba hodi forma knua ida. Maun-alin laos deit refere ba maun-alin husi inan-aman ida deit, maibe termus ne’e mos uja hodi refere ba mane tomak iha knua ida. Iha sistema dualismu, maun mak kaer valor femininu no alin mak kaer valor maskulinu. Iha sosiedade Tetun Terik sira, relasaun ne’ebe kria entre mane nain rua ne’ebe laos husi familia ida liu husi hemu-ran mak hanaran alin-maun.

Relasaun entre bin – alin – Relasan entre bin ho alin importante tebes iha sosiedade matrilineal sira tamba sira mak forma base ba knua ida. Ho lian seluk iha sosiedade matrilineal sira mai husi bin-alin sira ne’ebe hela hamutuk iha knua ida wainhira sira maun ou alin mane kaben sai. Sosiedade matrilineal tolu iha Timor Leste, mak hanesan Bunak, Tetun Terik Fehan no Galolen. Sira koompostu kuaze 12% husi total populasaun Timor-Leste (Niner 2012, 144). Grupu matrilineal sira la iha sistema barlaki ida ne’ebe kompleksu hanesan sistema barlaki iha grupu patrilineal. Bainhira sira nia oan mane kaben sai, sira simbolikamente fo deit aituka-bemanas ba feto nia familia.

Konklusaun

Dimensaun relasional ne’ebe karakteriza interasaun entre ema ho entidade divinu, ema ho natureza, no ema ho ema importante tebes ba sosiedade Timoroan iha tempu uluk no agora.

Relsaun sira ne’e mos fasilita rede resistensia Timoroan nian hodi luta kontra okupasaun husi rai liur. Iha tempu agora, dimensaun relasional sira sei moris no validu iha moris lorloron. Nudar ijemplu, iha teritorio tomak, komunidade sira halao ceremonia no ritual oioin hanesan hari’i fali Uma Lulik sira no kontinua halao lia-mate no lia – moris ho objetivu atu halo fali koneksaun ho entidade divinu sira, ho rai ou natureza no entre sira. Ida ne’e importante iha kontekstu independensia tamba durante okupasaun kolonial period rua dimensaun relasional sira hanesan isplika ona iha leten sai mamar tiha no ida ne’e bele sai ameasa ida ba nasaun.

Kompresaun lokal sira ne’e loloos tenke inklui iha kurikulo eskola atu nune’e jerasaun foun sir abele aprende matenek no konseitu lokal sira ne’ebe mai husi beiala sira. Importante mos ba instituisaun akademiku sira no Governu Timor-Leste atu halo investigasaun ou peskija klean liutan ba asuntu ida ne’e.

Tamba importansia husi relasaun sira ne’e, ukun-nain sira ne’ebe halo politika atu konta mos no konsidera kontekstu lokal hodi hari’i Timor-Leste ne’ebe diak liutan tamba importante tebes ba Timoroan sira hodi kontinua valoriza no preserva sira nia kultura no identidade rasik.

References:

Bourdieu, Pierre 1986. "The forms of capital." Cultural theory: An anthology, 2011. 81-93.

Garrison, Randall, “Who should harvest the fruits of victory? Constitution Building in Timor-Leste.” Paper prepared for IDEA’s Democracy and Conflict Management Programme Stockholm, Sweden, 2005

Hicks, David 1984, ‘A maternal religion, the role of women’ in tetum myth and ritual, Special Report no. 22, Monograph series on Southeast Asia, DeKalb Center fo Southeast Asian Studies, Northern Illionis University.

_____ 2012, ‘Barlake: Compatibility, resilience and adaptation: The Barlake of Timor-Leste’ [online]. Local-Global: Identity, Security, Community, Vol. 11, 2012: 124-137

Kohen, Arnold S 2000, The Catholic Church and The Independence of East Timor, Bulletin a/Concerned Asian Scholars, Vol. 32, Nos. 1 and 2 (2000): 19-22

Niner, Sara 2012, ‘Between Earth and Heaven: The politics of gender’, The Politics of Timor-Leste: Democratic Consolidation after Intervention, Editors M. Leach and D. Kingsbury, Ithaca, NY: Cornell Southeast Asia Program, pp. 239—258

Therik, Tom 2004, Wehali: The Female Land – Tradition of a Timorese Ritual Center, Pandanus Books, Canberra.

Trindade, Josh 2012, ‘Lulik: The Core of Timorese Values’, in Peskiza foun kona ba / Novas investigações sobre / New Research on / Penelitian Baru mengenai Timor-Leste ", Edited by Michael Leach, Nuno Canas Mendes, Antero B. da Silva, Bob Boughton and Alarico da Costa Ximenes, Hawthorn: Swinburne Press, 2012. (Digital version at: http://tlstudies.org/pdfs/TLSA%20Conf%202011/chp_58.pdf)




[1] Tradusaun husi Hakerek-Nain husi versaun Ingles
[2] Tradusaun husi Hakerek-Nain husi versaun Ingles



[Artigu ida ne'e apresenta ona iha 5th Timor-Leste Studies Association (TLSA) conference Liceu Campus, National University of Timor-Lorosa’e, Dili, Timor-Leste, 9 – 10 July 2015]

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Relational Dimensions within Timor-Leste Customary Society

Josh Trindade

[paper presented at 5th Timor-Leste Studies Association (TLSA) conference Liceu Campus, National University of Timor-Lorosa’e, Dili, Timor-Leste, 9 – 10 July 2015]

Introduction

One of the key features of Timorese customary society are the complex relational dimensions that glue the society together. The relational dimensions that underpin East Timorese customary society have been critical to the reproduction and reconstitution of society, before during and after colonial occupation.

In this paper, I explore these relational dimensions focusing on three areas of discussion. First, I describe the relationship between the people (the ‘real’ world) and the world of the spirits and divine entities. Second, the relationship between people and nature and the importance of natural resources such as land, water, forests, rivers, lakes and mountains for the survival of East Timorese communities. Finally, how relations between people are organized and managed within ‘traditional’ East Timorese society. For this purpose I will specifically unravel the significance of brother-sister alliance (feton-nan), brother-brother alliance (maun-alin and alin-maun) and sister-sister alliance (bin-alin).


 What are relational dimensions?

In Social Capital Theory, ‘relational dimensions’ are resources (such as trust and reciprocity) that define and affect the quality of a social network. Social capital is made up of ‘social obligations’ or ‘connections’ which can be converted into collective or individual economic benefits or other forms of capital (Bourdieu 1986). Different social sciences emphasize different aspects of social capital but they share the idea "that social networks have value". With this notion in mind, this paper sets out to understand how East Timorese customary society has managed social relations without recourse to specialized institutions such as the armed forces, the police, or judiciary.

Many other traditional societies are characterized by the same relational dimensions that underpin East Timorese society. The significance of different types of relationships have been debated within academia but they are often misunderstood or misinterpreted by those external actors or powers who seek to weaken the social cohesion and solidarity of ‘traditional’ societies and indigenous peoples. The colonial strategy of ‘divide et impera’ (divide and conquer) is well documented across the globe.

Totem Poles and Relational Dimensions in Timor-Leste

In Timor-Leste, relational dimensions are symbolically represented in totem poles found across the island and common to all ethno-language groups. For example, in Tetun Terik the totem pole is called Sarin, in Mambae it is Ai-Tidin la Gernora, in Makasae Ate Sika Porkili, and Kaibira in Naueti. A totem pole is a pole upon which totems are hung or on which the image of totems are carved. A totem is a natural object or animal which is believed to have spiritual meaning by a particular society and used by them as their emblem to represent them. Timorese totem poles are made out of wood or stones, some are beautifully carved and some are not. These totem poles either have three branches, five branches or seven branches. The branches of the poles represent a relational dimension. For example, the number of clans or the stages of afterlife journeys.

The Ai-Tidin la Gernora, (ai-rin tara bandu in Tetun), the pole ‘to hang the law’ of the Mambae people has three branches. Two branches pointing one to left and another to the right, and the third branch pointing upward towards the sky. The branches of this pole represent specific relational dimensions. The pole is planted into the earth, representing the relationship between people and nature or the environment. The earth, soil or land is believed to give life, has feminine characteristics that associate it with motherhood. This is the reason why Timorese refer to the land of Timor as rain-inan (motherland). Land or nature is perceived as a mother because land, earth or soil nourishes people like a mother nurturing her baby [Trindade 2012].

The branch pointed towards the sky represents the relationship between people and the divine entities. As a dualistic society, Timorese divinities have dual elements of the feminine-fertility goddess of creation called maromak and the masculine-god of strength, security and protection called the loro [Trindade 2012]. This branch also represents the underworld, the world of the dead or the spirits of the ancestors.

The two branches to the left and right represent the relationship between people and people. Timorese relationships are complex and multilayered but it can be simply categorized into the dualistic realm of the masculine and feminine. The branches of the totem pole to the left and right symbolize these masculine and feminine aspects. For example, when a woman from one clan marries out, the wife-giving clan is called ‘wife-givers’ (umane; Tetun). The clan into which the woman is married is called the ‘wife-takers’ (fetosan; Tetun). In other words, every individual or clan in Timorese society is simultaneously wife-giver in relation to clans into which women of the clan have married out and wife-taker in relation to clans from which women have married into their own clan.

It should be noted here that in relation to these dualistic dimensions, the masculine world is politically superior and ritually inferior to the feminine world. Consequently, the feminine world is ritually superior and politically inferior to the political world. These complex asymmetrical relationships and alliances bond society together to resist internal and external pressures in the time of war, conflict, life or death rites and other misfortunes. For example, between people, nature and divine entity, people are considered to carry masculine values while the divine entities and nature are considered to carry feminine values. In people to people relationships, it is more delicate to determine who carries feminine values or masculine values

Generally, the relational dimensions of East Timorese society can be summarized in the following diagram (from the ego of an individual or a clan).

Diagram 1: Timor Leste relational dimensions

From diagram 1, we can see that each individual or clan is vertically connected to the nature or land below and the divine entities above, and horizontally to other people. To ensure peace and tranquility in the society, each individual must work to ensure balance between the nature/earth and the sky and between Wife-Givers (Umane) and Wife-Takers (Fetosan). Keeping the balance between masculine and feminine values continuously is not only important but essential for the survival of the entire community. Timorese resilience depends on this concept.

Unlike the three branched totem of the Mambae people, the Tokodede of Liquica have a five branched totem pole. The five branches of the pole represent the five clans that historically made up the local community in the area. The totem poles of the Naueti of Viqueque and Baikeno of Oecusse are comprised of seven branches. Representing seven clans or seven stages of the journeys afterlife.

Timorese totem poles commonly stand near the sacred house (uma lulik) or in sacred places where rituals or blood oaths take place. The poles are normally used to hang offerings to spirits of the ancestors or the divine entities. Therefore, one will see that during sau batar (corn harvest) ritual, hemu-ran (blood oath) or tara-bandu ceremonies, the pole stands in a place considered sacred or important to place and hang offerings to the ancestors and the divine entities.

People and the Divine Entities

As described above, the dualistic nature of the divine is characteristic of East Timorese belief systems.

Within Tetun Terik societies, Maromak is the fertility goddess responsible for peace, prosperity and tranquility, while Loro, the masculine god is the symbol of security, strength and protection. Maromak is superior to the Loro because it is viewed as the source of life, the creator. One should not confuse the feminine indigenous understanding of Maromak with the christianised masculine version of ‘Aman Maromak (god the father). 

Etymologically the term Maromak is derived from the Tetun Terik of mak naroman (the enlighten one) which became mak roman and finally maromak. For the Tetun Terik speaking people, maromak refers to the mother of the maromak oan (the child of maromak) who resides in the underworld. The marmak oan is the highest ruler of Wehali, the ritual center of Timor Island, East and West (Therik 2004).  

The concept of dualistic divine entities of feminine maromak (Hicks 1984) and masculine loro is found in some form or other in all language groups in Timor-Leste. For example, the Naueti people refer to their divine entities as wu’lara, derived from wula (moon, the feminine) and ‘lara (the sun, the masculine). The same concept also exists among Makasae speakers where they refer to their divine entities as uru-watu (uru = moon, and watu = sun). Similarly, the Fataluku people of Lautem refer to their creator as uru-watsu (uru=moon, watsu=sun).
Second to the divine entities are the spirits of the ancestor. They are also important within Timorese belief systems and must be treated with respect. If neglected, ancestral spirits can bring misfortune to the living.

During Portuguese and Indonesian colonial periods, the colonial authorities considered Timorese customary beliefs as inferior to monotheistic religions such as Christianity and Islam. The ‘natives’ were viewed as godless or ‘uncivilized’ savages. During 450 years of Portuguese occupation, however, only managed to convert 30% of the Timorese population to Catholicism and it was the 24 years of brutal Indonesian occupation managed to convert more than 95%. In another words, 24 years Indonesian occupation converted more Timorese to Catholicism than the Portuguese did in 450 years (Garrison 2005, 5). 

People and Nature Relationship

Nature in this context refers to the environment and natural resources such as water, trees, forests, land, rivers, lagoons, mountain/hills that are important for the survival of the community.

The majority of the population of Timor Leste are near subsistence farmers and foragers. For many agricultural societies, infertility is feared and the concept of a fertility goddess (or other divine entity such as maromak) is a central part of everyday social and ritual life.

Nature itself is considered to be a living entity and various natural resources are guarded by a spirit, such as bee-nain (water spirit), rai-nain (land spirit), ai-nain (tree-guardian), etc. Timorese believe that looking after the environment is important for the reproduction of society and future generations. Nature and its resources are not ‘owned’ but borrowed from the forefathers to be passed down to the unborn in the future. If you take care of nature, it will take good care of you in return. People are able to develop relations with nature through the mediation of nature ‘spirits’ or guardians.

The relationship with nature is mediated through different rituals and ceremonies. For example, before planting seeds in a field, people carry out a small ceremony. They give an offering to the spirit of the land and to the fertility goddess in exchange for a good harvest. The sau batar (making the corn sweet) ceremony is conducted right before corn harvest to show gratitude to the spirits of the land, the spirits of the ancestors and to the fertility goddess for the blessings received during the farming season.

During the building of an Uma Lulik (sacred house) it is also important to show gratitude to the land and the trees/wood and other materials locally gathered for the building. The building of Uma Luliks involves cutting down  trees and harvesting other materials. Before the materials are collected rituals are conducted to show respect to the land and the plants and to apologize to other forms of life that will be disrupted during this process. It is thought that a failure to follow this process will cause infertility to the clan or entire community in the form of disease and other misfortune. 

People and People Relationship

People to people relationships are the most delicate relationships within customary Timorese society. This relationship is not only important but also multilayered and it provides security to individuals or families within it. It also dictates social interactions between individuals and clans. The relationship can be categorized into masculine and feminine aspects in which it defines the position of superiority and inferiority over one another within the clans.


Diagram 2: People to people relationships within Timor-Leste customary society

The essence of Timorese relationships can be simplified in three main categories of brother-sister relationship, brother-brother relationship and sister-sister relationship (see diagram 2 above). This categorization can be applied to all ethno-linguistic groups in Timor-Leste and can be found in both patrilineal and matrilineal societies. 

The Fetosa – Umane (Brother – Sister) Relationship – is based on marriage and it can unite two families or clans. The Fetosan is the family or clan of the sister who married out or the Wife-Taker and the Umane is the family or clan of the brother who stays in the house of origin or the Wife-Giver. This relationship is crucial in patrilineal society; once this relationship is established, the two clans will constantly exchange goods to cement it and it will last for many generations. Umane is ritually superior and politically inferior to Fetosan.

During colonial periods, the relationship between Wife-Givers and Wife-Takers and the practice of gift exchange during marriage or barlaki has been misinterpreted and misunderstood. In the colonial context, this can been seen as attempt to weaken Timorese unity, their relationships and affinities because strong unity among the colonized disadvantaged colonial interests. Therefore, colonizers interpreted Timorese barlaki practice as an act of selling and buying women in economic sense (Niner, 2012; Hicks 2012). This misinterpretation of Timorese marriage practice and barlaki is best summarized by Niner (2012, 138) as follows:
“As early as the 1960s they [barlaki] have been blamed for the subjugation of women and more recently cited as central a cause of high levels of domestic violence. This condemnation fits into broad global feminist critiques of traditional marriage practices as mechanisms for the control and exploitation of women by men”.

Unlike the colonial authorities and some contemporary gender activists who view fetosan-umane relationship and marriage gift exchange as an act of exploitation and subjugation of women and the cause of domestic violence (UNFPA, 2005), for Hohe and Ospina (2001, 26):
“The Wife Giver is often associated with the value of fertility. It is not perceived that the woman, as an individual person, is passed on to another family, but that the value of fertility is supplied to one’s Wife Taker. In the Wife Taker family, the new woman produces new life again in her children and this new life is then passed on to one’s own Wife Taker. Thus, we speak of a ‘flow of life’ that flows from the Wife Givers to their various Wife Takers. As ‘life’ and therefore reproduction is one of the most important values to society, the maintenance of the system is incredibly important. In daily life the relationships of Wife Givers and Wife Takers are always remembered. Often in conversations, people do not call an absent person by name, but they use the term for Wife Giver (uma mane) or Wife Taker (feto san) according to their relationship towards the person. These relationships order a big part of the social cosmos, with the Wife Giver always seen as superior. The advantage of this system is that it can combine a large number of families and hence, contribute to the establishment of peaceful relationships in a wide territory”

The Maun – Alin (Brother to Brother) relationship – Maun is the older brother and alin is the younger one. This relationship is strong among patrilineal society, and it forms the basis for the clan. Maun-alin refers not only to the blood brothers, but it is also used to describe all male line in the clan. Blood brothers may be refered to as maun-alin rasik (direct brother), while cousins may refered to as just maun-alin. In Tetun Terik society, a brother alliance which is created through a blood oath (hemu ran) is referred to as alin-maun.

The Bin – Alin (Sister to Sister) relationship – Sister to Sister relationships areparticularly important within matrilineal societiesand make up about 12% of Timor-Leste population. The three matrilineal ethno -linguistic groups of Timor Leste are the Bunak, Tetun Terik Fehan and Galolen (Niner 2012, 144). Matrilineal groups do not have the same complex marriage exchanges found among patrineal groups. The goods exchanged between out-marrying and in-marrying son clans are called aituka-bemanas and are more symbolic than material in nature.

Conclusion

The relational dimensions that characterise interactions between people and divine entities, people and nature and people to people relations are critical to Timorese society past and present.

These relationships also facilitated Timorese resistance networks to fight against foreign occupations. In contemporary settings, these relational dimensions are still alive and valid among the Timorese people. Across the country communities are involved in conducting rituals and ceremonies such as rebuilding scared houses (uma lulik) and death and life rites (lia mate-lia moris) with the objective of reconnecting with the divine entities, the land (nature) and with each other. This is particularly important in the context of independence as conflict and violence during subsequent colonial periods undermined certain relational dimensions.

This local understanding should be included in school curriculum so that local concepts and knowledge can be passed down to the younger generation in Timor-Leste. It is also essential for the academics and the Government of Timor-Leste to research this issue further. 

Given the importance of these relationships, policy makers should take into account and consider the local context in building a better Timor-Leste because it is important for the Timorese to continue to value their culture as their heritage and identity.

References:

Bourdieu, Pierre 1986. "The forms of capital." Cultural theory: An anthology, 2011. 81-93.

Garrison, Randall, “Who should harvest the fruits of victory? Constitution Building in Timor-Leste.” Paper prepared for IDEA’s Democracy and Conflict Management Programme Stockholm, Sweden, 2005

Hicks, David 1984, ‘A maternal religion, the role of women’ in tetum myth and ritual, Special Report no. 22, Monograph series on Southeast Asia, DeKalb Center fo Southeast Asian Studies, Northern Illionis University.

_____ 2012, ‘Barlake: Compatibility, resilience and adaptation: The Barlake of Timor-Leste’ [online]. Local-Global: Identity, Security, Community, Vol. 11, 2012: 124-137

Niner, Sara 2012, ‘Between Earth and Heaven: The politics of gender’, The Politics of Timor-Leste: Democratic Consolidation after Intervention, Editors M. Leach and D. Kingsbury, Ithaca, NY: Cornell Southeast Asia Program, pp. 239—258

Therik, Tom 2004, Wehali: The Female Land – Tradition of a Timorese Ritual Center, Pandanus Books, Canberra.

Trindade, Josh 2012, ‘Lulik: The Core of Timorese Values’, in Peskiza foun kona ba / Novas investigações sobre / New Research on / Penelitian Baru mengenai Timor-Leste ", Edited by Michael Leach, Nuno Canas Mendes, Antero B. da Silva, Bob Boughton and Alarico da Costa Ximenes, Hawthorn: Swinburne Press, 2012. (Digital version at: http://tlstudies.org/pdfs/TLSA%20Conf%202011/chp_58.pdf)


Thursday, July 25, 2013

“Matak-Malirin, Tempu Rai-Diak no Halerik”: Expressions of what Timorese longed-for, fought-for and died-for[1]

Josh Trindade

Introduction

In this article, I will talk about three simple Timorese expressions namely matak-malirin, tempu rai-diak and halerik.I am interested in exploring these expressions, because Timorese use them to express what they are looking for in life. This article will discuss about the meaning and the use of matak-mailirin in life by the Timorese and its distribution among them.  The article will then explore the idea of tempurai-diak (the tranquil time), a time in the past where people lived in peace and tranquility with no shortage of food. The article will further discuss about halerik, the singing or chanting of the suffering.

 Matak-malirin

Matak-malirin is derived from TetunTerik language, matak = the green and malirin = cool.The term itself can be found in all language groups in Timor-Leste. Generally, people refer to it as bua-malus (betel leaves and areca nuts or betel nut). In Naueti language for example, people refer to matak-malirin as wai-malu (wai= water, the cool one, malu = betel leaves, the green one). In Idate language it is called mama.

Matak-malirin in this article refers to ‘the green and the cool’, which metaphorically represent the idea of peace, prosperity, good health and protection from bad luck and other misfortune or misery in life. In this case, the green (matak) represents the idea of good harvest where food isplentiful. Meanwhile ‘cool’ (malirin) represents the idea of peace in the society. In this context malirin (cool) has connection to the calmness or coolness of water in a pond. When there is malirin means there is no manas (hot) or violence. Timorese used the term malirin to refer to a calm or peaceful situation while they use manas (hot) to refer to a violent situation.

Acording to Vroklage (1953) matak-malirin (matak= newly green or sprouting, malirin= cool), referring to good health and productive life energy or life force of human beings, plants and animals. Water is the matak inan malirin inan (the mother of the greenness, the mother of coolness), that is, the mother of good health and productive life force or life energy (cited in Kehi and Palmer 2012, 447)

The ultimate goal of Timorese rituals is to receive matak-malirin which distributed at the end of the event in the forms of betel-nut (bua-malus), corn, rice and meat. For example, at the end of corn harvest ritual, each family who participated in the ceremony will receive betel-nut, corn and meat.



The above picture is taken during an Uma Lulik (sacred house) inauguration from Naueti language group in Uatolari, Viqueque district. There are rice, meat, betel nut and water. This is the matak-malirin in the real form. The meat (beef and pork), rice, green betel leaves represent the idea of prosperity, while the water in the pot symbolizes peace and tranquility in the society. It is the values of peace and prosperity that matak-malirin emphasized.

When people receive matak-malirin, they believe that they will have better harvest in the coming season; better health and they will be protected from bad luck in their life. The distribution of matak-malirin follows the rules set by the lulik where it is given out by ritual power holder to political power holder and it flows from the insider to the outsider.

Matak-malirin receiver is ritually in inferior position to the giver but politically superior (see Trindade 2012). For example, matak-malirin is always distributed by the wife-giver (umane) to the wife-taker (fetosan), not the other way around. It is because the women who married out from the wife-giver house represent the continuation of life to the receiving house. Wife-giver therefore is the source of life. This is the reason why they are ritually superior to the wife-taker and have the right to distribute matak-malirin.


(Photo: Matak-malirin from wife-giver to wife taker)

Matak-malirin can only be distributed when the giver and the receiver are in harmonious relationship. This can be seen as a conflict resolution mechanism, because the distribution of matak-malirin required peaceful relationship; therefore existing conflict must be resolved.

Timorese resistance fighters, during the war against the Indonesians, kept matak-malirin in the form of betel nut and used them as ritual protection during the Indonesian occupation. Today, we still know veteran organization called Bua-malus or betel nut.

For those who live modern life in Dili, they have different expectations to those who live in rural areas when they receive matak-malirin during a ritual. They no longer hope to get better harvest in their farm, but they are hoping to have nice job in air conditioner office, or a nice car to drive, nice house, etc.

For the State of Timor-Leste, the idea of matak-malirin for the nation and its people, described in the Program for the fifth Constitutional Government 2012 – 2017 Legislature as follows[2]:





Tempu Rai-Diak(The Tranquil Time)

When people are blessed matak-malirin, they believe they are living in tempu rai-diak. Tempu rai-diak refers to a time in distantpast whenpeople lived in peace, agriculture was good and there was no shortage of food. It generally refers to the time of the ancestors prior to the European arrival.

Tempu rai-diak is also used to differentiate between the two colonial periods in Timor-Leste by the elderly, where during Indonesian occupation people referred to Portuguese colonial period as tempu rai-diak as opposed to the current Indonesian occupation at that time. This is because during the Portuguese colonial period, the Portuguese were ruling the country indirectly through local Liurais; and compare to Portuguese time, Indonesia time was more catastrophic.

One can imagine that, those who lived during Portuguese colonial period used tempu rai-diak to refer to the pre-European arrival times. The tranquil time when there was peace, no shortage of food, war or violence. The elderly described that, during tranquil time, people freely go to their farms without fear.

Tempu rai-diak also known as tempu beiala (the time of the ancestors), BaboSoares (2003) described that:

“[…] life in the beialaperiod is portrayed as peaceful, calm and governed by the rules of ukun(lit., rule, regulate) and bandu(lit., forbidden) or customary law. Emphasis is placed on the point that in the time of the ancestors’ life was peaceful, calm and bountiful. There was no shortage of food and the people lived a good life. This is the kind of life later interrupted by the invasion of outsiders. In public conversations, people refer back to the period of beiala as the time of rai diak (lit., earth/soil good) or peaceful times without making a reference to the opposite period, raia at (lit., earth/soil bad) or bad times. The colonial period is generally referred to as the time of war, famine and so on”. (p. 89)

It makes sense why beiala period is referred to as tempu rai-diak. Back in Beiala time, the population of Timor was a lot less than what it is today. That means competition for food, land and other natural resources was not as intense as it is today. Peace and tranquility can easily be created and maintained when natural resources are abundant.

Tempu rai-diak, does not mean there is ‘zero violence’ in the society or it refers to a society where violence does not exist, rather it emphasized the certainty in the society where a stable social order existed. As an example, during the Indonesian occupation, they referred to the Portuguese time as tempu rai-diak. Portuguese time does not mean a time of zero violence- there were wars among tribes within Timor-Leste. People were traded in exchange for gun powder (ammunition) during this time of war. But why is it that the Portuguese time is referred to as the time of tranquility? The difference perhaps lies within the consequence of the war itself, where during the Indonesian occupation the catastrophe of the regime was more severe in comparison with during the Portuguese time.

According to the elderly, the tempu rai-diak was disrupted by the presence of the colonialists. Babo Soares(2003) described that:

“the past, uluk, or beial ania tempo (lit., time of the ancestors) is distinguished from the time of struggle. For a much older generation, beiala nia tempo refers to the period before the arrival of the Europeans. Interpretation of the European period varies from one place to another in East Timor since the occupation and settlement began gradually through different periods in different places. The assumption among old generation Timorese is pointed at the ‘presence’ and influence of Europeans in the period where their forbears had lived. It was a time when the traditional social and political structure was intact and untouched by outside influences”. (p. 86)

Tempu rai-diak is an imagination of a time that existed in the past. Recalling the past can also serve as a tool to revive memories and to remind people, not only of the life of the ancestors but also of the facts of social life in the past. Undeniably, perceptions reconstruct society’s consciousness of the past and help it to understand the past’s relevance to the present (Fox 1979 cited in Babos Soares 2004, 87).

Perceptions of the past are used to reconstruct societies’ histories, their social structures, and their relations with the past. While perceptions are the result of thought and reflection, they are also the result of an interpretation of both oral and written history. Both historiography and oral history present a moral validation to contemporary institutions or political interests and can serve as a basis for the creation of new values (Marr and Reid 1979).

One interesting thing I found is that, the generation of today, especially those who born and grew up during 70’s cannot make reference to tempu rai-diak because they were born and raised during the conflict. For them, the tranquil time exists at present in the tempu ukun-an (Independence time).

 Halerik

When the Timorese sense that they are not blessed with matak-malirin or are not living in tempu rai-diak they will do halerik. Halerik is the singing or the chanting of the suffering. It is used to seek external assistance and it represents the voice of the powerless (ema kbi’it laek) to the powerful (ema bo’ot). Normally, halerik is voiced out by women, children or elderly when they have problem. Halerik speaks out the truth and describes the social, economic and political problems. If we watch TVTL news, it is common in Timor-Leste to hear people say “rona netik ami nia halerik” (please listen to our halerik).

This chanting of the suffering or halerik ca expressed as a song, a poetry, crying (during funeral), or dahur.It also sung in the church during the mass. In song for example, we can see the famous Timorese halerik in the “E Foho Ramelau”(E mount Ramelau) song where it said: ‘tansa Timoroan atan ba bebeik, tansa Timoroan terus ba bebeik’ (why are Timorese still enslaved, why do Timorese still suffer). When people sing the song and repeat this expression over and over, it gives them strengths to fight for better future.

There are differences between halerik during Indonesian time and after independence. During Indonesian occupation halerik focused on the fight for freedom or self-determination (ukun rasik an), the end of violence (terus) caused by the Indonesians, and the economic burden (susar) caused by war and displacements.

After independence, the tone of halerik has changed. Today’s halerik revolved around basic needs of the ema kbi’it laek sira (the powerless). Example of today’s halerik can be found in newspaper headlines as follows:

  • Kondotor Sira Halerik Kona Ba Kondisaun Liuron Ba Parte Leste,(The drivers complain [halerik] about the road condition to the Eastern part of the country), (Tempo Semanal, 06 May 2013)
  • Komunidade Manufahi Halerik Estrada Aitutu-Same (Community in Manufahi complain [halerik] about road condition between Aitutu-Same), (STL, 05 February 2008)·      
  • Komunidade Palaban halerik ba bee moos (Community in Palaban halerik for drinkable water), (Dili Weekly, 01 June 2012)


Conclusion

Matak-malirin represent the idea of peace and prosperity that Timorese looking for in their life. When Timorese face difficulties in their life, they are looking to achieve matak-malirin and live in tempu rai-diak. When people feel that, they are not blessed with matak-malirin and live in tempurai-diak, they express it through halerik.

 References:

Babo-Soares, Dionisio (2003). Branching from the Trunk: East Timorese Perceptions of Nationalism in Transition. PhD Thesis, Australian National University

Kehi, Baltazar and Palmer, Lisa (2012). Hamatakhalirin: The cosmological and socio-ecological  roles of water in Koba Lima, Timor. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde Vol. 168, no. 4 (2012), pp. 445-471

Trindade, Josh (2012). Lulik: The Core of Timorese Values. Paper presented at 3rd TLSA Conference, 15 July 2011. Liceu Campus, Universidade Nasional Timor-Leste

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[1] Paper presented at 4th Timor-Leste Study Association Conference, 16 July 2013, Liceu Campus, Universidade Nasional Timor-Leste

[2] Presidency of the Council of Ministers (2012). Program for the fifth Constitutional Government 2012 – 2017 Legislature (p.7)