This article is a preliminary attempt to examine the construction of identity among the Dawanese, in Timor, Indonesia. The identity construction here is conceptualised as an on-going process of meaning-making through which individuals and groups define who they are and how they live their lives. This meaning-making process characterises also the life-journey of an individual or a people. This article suggests that the identity of Dawanese is constructed based upon the local binary concept of Kase-Meto. Using such a concept, the Dawanese unavoidably develop a way of seeing oneself through the window of an imagined other. In order to reform or even change the way of identity construction that is very closely attached to the binary concept of Kase-Meto, I argue for radical efforts to weaken the polarisation of Kase-Meto on one hand, and to make use of this concept as an opportunity for positive developments, on the other hand, through the development of a more effective educational system.
|Translated title of the contribution||From 'Hit Tahun' to 'Al-ala Kit': Identity Construction among the Dawanese in Timor|
|Pages (from-to)||8 - 15|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Interdisciplinary Journal of NTT Development Studies|
|Publication status||Published - May 2009|