This paper examines some key intergenerational debates in Timor-Leste, using the findings of a survey investigating East Timorese tertiary students' attitudes toward national identity. Longitudinal survey data obtained by conducting the International Social Survey Programme 'National Identity' module (Dili, 2002 and 2007) is presented, along with some personal interviews with East Timorese political figures and young people. The findings suggest that a younger generation of East Timorese conceive of national identity in ways which partially contest the 'official' cultural affiliations of the nation-state, while strongly supporting other core narratives of national identity and history. In so doing, they highlight the difficult cultural legacies of consecutive colonial eras. The paper also highlights some significant changes in these youth attitudes since independence in 2002.
Seminar, speech or other presentation
Paper presented at the 5th European Association for South East Asian Studies (EuroSEAS) Conference, Naples, Italy, 12-14 September 2007