This paper presents the findings of the author's surveys investigating East Timorese tertiary students' attitudes toward national identity. Longitudinal survey data (Dili, 2002 and 2007) is presented, along with 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 that 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 'Is this the Asian Century?', the 17th Biennial Conference of the Asian Studies Association of Australia, Melbourne, Australia, 01-03 July 2008