East Timor, a small country in Southeast Asia that is to be found on the eastern division of Timor an important land mass of the Indonesian archipelago, has been influenced by many ways of life that has brought about many changes to its cultural aspect.
You have the Portuguese with their cultural background, the Indonesian Malay tradition and of course the Roman Catholic doctrine method of faith. In recent times we have the UN with volunteers from different parts of the world pouring their cultures onto the population and their cultural activities of East Timor.
To be more précised you will find a great deal of other countries that have also influences bestowed on the culture of East Timor, in addition to the one’s mentioned above. The Dutch, the Japanese and the Australians have also played a part in the growing culture of the country. These countries that have invaded or reined East Timor at some time or the other have left their mark on the local culture and the society when they had departed from East Timor.
East Timor like Indonesia has a culture that has been greatly manipulated by Austronesian mythology, although the Roman Catholic influence is powerful, the inhabitants comprising mainly of Roman Catholic. The Portuguese were the ones who first introduced Catholicism to East Timor, where they began with a minority group and gradually grew to be the largest culture in the country.
East Timor has gone through hard times where poverty plays a big role in the cultural aspect of the population, where many are discovered to be sufferers as a result of poverty. The government has made a point to erase this poverty and in addition UNICEF is also playing an important role by providing resources to combat the same. Although East Timor is male dominated, the women too play an important part of the culture, some of them are also known to be the bread earners of the family.
In the early days the East Timorese were happy with their own culture, hiding away from outsiders. They enjoyed a healthy cultural life in spite of their hardships to cope with their occupations who were mainly farmers and fishermen. They tended for their needs on their own and did not depend on the outside world for anything and were aliens to the foreign cultures that later influenced their lifestyle.
Literature is a well known cultural activity that is spread in East Timor. One of the most popular authors of East Timor is Xanana Gusmao the president of independent East Timor that was known for his leadership for the Timorese resistance.
Music is another part of the East Timor culture, with basic Portuguese and Indonesian flavor the music is imported to form the national folk music fado and gamelan. Today the modern music is blended together that is mainly associated with the independence movement. The culture of East Timor is popular due to the warm welcoming people of East Timor.