(Timor-Leste, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, República Democrática de Timor-Leste, Repúblika Demokrátika Timór-Leste)
- Location:Southeast Asia
- Capital: Dili
- Language(s): Tetum, Portuguese, English
- Population: 1,123,689
- Total Area: 14,874 sq km
- Currency: United States Dollar
- Curious Alcohol Fact: There are some alcoholic drinks prepared from fruits and you will find the taste refreshing.
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 0.86 liter
- Most Popular Drink(s): Coffee
One of the youngest nations in the world, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste occupies the eastern half of the island of Timor while Indonesia controls the other half. The islands of Kambing, Jaco and the enclave of Ambeno (located on the western half of the TimorIsland) are also part of the country. Once colonized by Portugal and later occupied by Indonesia shortly after it declared it independence from Portugal, East Timor would not regain its freedom until 1999 when Indonesia withdrew its forces from the territory with the United Nations acting as the overseer. The struggle for independence that took decades by the East Timorese is often a source of inspiration for other areas clamoring for self-rule and independence from occupying forces. The largest city in the country is Dili and is also the capital and the principal port.
Most of the Timorese reside in the capital city of Dili. The population also consists of numerous ethnic groups and these are the Tetum, Tukudede, Kemak, Maubara and Galoli. Other ethnic groups have mixed ancestry as they have Melanesian, Papuan and Polynesian blood. Those who have Portuguese and Timorese ancestors are referred to as mesticos. The current president of the republic, Jose Ramos-Horta is a mestico. Unlike the neighboring Indonesia, the predominant religion in East Timor is Christianity, with many of the citizens adhering to teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. However, like the neighboring Papua New Guinea, there are followers of the ancient traditional worship and spiritism. Apart from these groups, there are tiny populations of Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists. Portuguese and Tetum are spoken by many inhabitants of the country and these are the two official languages. There are some other languages that belong to the indigenous tribes and some of these are Mambai, Kawaimina and Tukudede. A citizen, Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo received the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize.
Just like I observed in Indonesia, the staple diet of the islanders is rice, and they will always garnish their rice-based meals with spices. In addition to rice, other meals are prepared from cassava, potatoes, corn and vegetables. You will also enjoy the variety of fruits in the country. If you want rich fruit salads, this is the ideal country for you. Owing partly to the country’s historical legacies, you will be able to enjoy Portuguese, Chinese and even Japanese meals. Dili has some of the finest restaurants and eateries in the region.
East Timor is a place that has a lot to offer you when it comes to what to drink. From fruit juices to local beers made from tree sap, the island has it all. There are bars and restaurants in Dili and other major cities where you can get a bottle of imported wine or classy beers. Coconut milk is also popular among the locals and as a tourist, you can always try this, you drink the juice directly from the fresh coconut!
Sports in East Timor
Although East Timor is a small nation, it has a vibrant sporting nature and the citizens of the country enjoy various games and physical activities. Major sports in the country include the following:
Interesting Facts About East Timor
- The nation was once part of Indonesia.
- East Timor is one of the youngest nations in the world having gained full independence in 2002.
- A bishop from the country was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996.
Story By World By Shotglass
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Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).
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