“Around the World in Analogue” is your bite-size guide to the most amazing travel destinations across the globe, as documented by the members of the Lomography community. Today, Lomographer James Pilbrow (@j_robertmeyland) traces the history of Timor-Leste through its varied terrain and landscapes.
In May I visited Timor-Leste for the second time in less than a year. I spent some time in Dili, its capital, went south to Ainaro District to climb Mt. Ramelau, the highest mountain in the country, and then east to Baucau, the second largest city. I was able to spend a lot of time with local people and reach some rather remote parts of the country, taking in the amazing vistas, the traditional Timorese and Portuguese colonial buildings, as well as the lingering remnants of the many conflicts that have marked this land over the last four decades.
Unlike Portugal’s other major colonial-era holdings in the region, Flores and Solor, Timor-Leste remained a Portuguese colony right up until 1975, and so despite being under Indonesian rule for a quarter century after that before its independence, it is culturally quite different to neighboring West Timor and the other surrounding Indonesian territories. Portuguese is one of its two official languages, although it is far from the most widely spoken, and its use in the nation’s Parliament and as the language schooling is taught in as opposed to the far more widely spoken Tetum, is not looked upon kindly by many among the younger generations.
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