When a country turns out to party
Dili Travel Blog› entry 37 of 86 › view all entries
August 30th, 2009 – by: goezi
10 years ago a ravaged population was given the chance to vote on their own future. Over 98% of them turned out to vote in the Referendum and the overwhelming majority meant Timor Leste would become the newest country on the globe just 4 days later.
The date of the vote was 30th August 1999. Ten years on and the people are much more positive about where they are heading and for the past couple of weeks we have all been busy trying to help them plan for a fantastic birthday for the nation.
VIPs from around the globe have come here to meet the leaders and share the excitement.
Mountain bikers who have participated in the Tour de Timor race still loiter in the hotels and cafes.
Journalists stand at every vantage point talking into microphones and their stories are up-beat.
In my opinion Timor Leste will be knocking on the door of Bali as a tropical paradise getaway within 10-15 years. The landscape, the people the weather -everything about this place is great. Once it's had a bit of a spruce up and the UN withdraws I hope the costs will drop to a reasonable level so the tourism industry can really pick up.
I'd live here if I could buy a little patch of ground but in the meantime I'm happy to be helping the people rebuild their home.
I popped down to the party for about an hour. Everyone was there but even with all those people I had a clear view of the stage because I'm a tall skinny bloke and not many Timorese reach any taller than my chin.
The entertainment was fairly traditional but was well received by the quiet crowd. Every pretty girl projected onto the big screen caused a volley of cheers from the appreciative audience and when a group of performers from Liquicia acted out a traditional wedding the crowd went wild as the would-be groom placed a necklace over his "bride's" head and gently touched her face.
The pair acted their shy newly-wed parts brilliantly and as they led the wedding party off the stage I wondered how many proposals would be made in the country tonight.
May the rest of the days in this young country be like a good marriage, full of happiness, friendship and love, with lots of success as far as produce goes!
Obrigado barak Timor Leste! Thank you very much.
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