The purpose of this essay is twofold. First, we explore the extent to which certain practices in urban East Timor perceived as traditional may be associated to different ways of negotiating individual and collective identities while uncovering dilemmas of nation building and state formation. To this effect, we take into account specific variations of current practices in marriage negotiations in Dili, considering their structural role in forging local sociality. Based on repeated field trips, we contend that different discourses about "tradition" can be related to different ways in which one is positioned vis-à-vis the multiple symbolic elements available in current East-Timorese public spaces. As these different meanings of "tradition" also challenge public policies, their application may uncover different ideas about what a nation ought to be. Second, we ponder on the extent to which our specific focus is due to our background as Brazilian anthropologists, built around our dialogue with certain anthropological lines of analysis in Brazil, particularly those related to interethnic friction and the place of indigenous peoples in the national imagination, as well as those dedicated to such themes as cultural diversity, citizenship, and public policies in urban Brazil.
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
|Event||Communicating New Research on Timor-Leste - Dili, East Timor|
Duration: 1 Jan 2012 → …
|Conference||Communicating New Research on Timor-Leste|
|Period||1/01/12 → …|