Portuguese Education under Indonesian Rule

Comportment, Elite Formation and Resistance in East Timor

in Social Sciences and Missions
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This essay suggests that the East Timorese experience of Indonesian occupation and its aftermath may be more fully understood by exploring the influence of missionary education in the late-colonial Portuguese period. Tracing this influence through the Indonesian period, it examines the case of a Jesuit-established school in which the language of instruction was Portuguese. In this setting, ‘comportment’ was a part of elite formation, taught and assimilated by association. The significance and problems of ‘comportment’ are addressed through this case by discussing its relation to a colonial idea of ‘civilisation’, and in the broader social context of colonial educational reforms and changes in East Timor’s society across the twentieth century.

Portuguese Education under Indonesian Rule

Comportment, Elite Formation and Resistance in East Timor

in Social Sciences and Missions




I. CristalisBitter Dawn: East Timor – A People’s Story LondonZed Books2002 p. 173.


B. Anderson‘East Timor and the paradox of nationalism’ in Arena Magazineno. 4 April – May 1993.


G. Pimenta de CastroTimor (Subsidios para a sua historia)Lisboa1944. pp. 202; 193n.1.


F. Figueiredo‘Timor (1910–1955) …’ p. 561.


E.A.C.M.S. Grade‘Timor 73 – Panorâmica de ensino’ in Revista Militarno. 25 1973 p. 220.


G. Pimenta de CastroTimor … p. 202.


E.A.C.M.S. Grade‘Timor 73 …’ p. 221.


E.A.C.M.S. Grade‘Timor 73 …’ p. 239.


A. Araújo 2012. Autobiografia de Abílio de Araújo Dato Siri Loe II Lisboa: Aletheia p. 62.


A. CoelhoDua kali merdeka: esei sejarah politik Timor LestePenerbit Djaman baroeYogyakarta2012 p. 72.


R. Archer‘Catholic Church in East Timor’ in East Timor at the Crossroads: the forging of a nation eds. P. Carey and G.C. Bentley Social Science Research Council Cassell 1995 p. 128; see also P.A. Smythe ‘The Heaviest Blow’ – The Catholic Church and the East Timor Issue Munster: Lit Verlag 2004 p. 45.


J. Felgueiras. and J. MartinsNossas Memórias … p. 123.


J. Felgueiras. and J. MartinsNossas Memórias … p. 89.


J. Felgueiras‘As Raízes da Resistência’ in CamõesJuly-Sept 2001 pp. 42–50.


J. BossyChristianity in the West 1400–1700 Oxford University Press2010 p. 120. Norbert Elias proposed that texts such as the Galateo determined acceptable norms of comportment including table manners which were intrinsic to state formation in Western Europe. ‘Courtesies’ in the form of ‘civilities’ and ultimately manners in society at large formed around restraints enforced by centralized states in their discouragement of arbitrary behaviour. N. Elias The Civilising Process: The History of Manners and State Formation and Civilisation Oxford: Blackwell 1994 pp. 276; 319; 451. Goody has claimed that Elias’ work is compromised by a non-comparative perspective that implies that ‘civilisation’ has diffused outwards from a Western European centre. J. Goody “The ‘Civilizing Process’ in Ghana” European Journal of Sociology Vol. 44:1 April 2003 pp. 61–73 p. 66.


J. Felgueiras 2001‘As Raízes da Resistência …’.


P. Carey‘Third-World Colonialism, the Geração Foun, and the Birth of a New Nation: Indonesia through East Timorese Eyes, 1975–1999’Indonesia 76 Oct. 2003 23–67 p. 80. Abilio Araújo and Nicolau Lobato also wrote against the views of prominent members of the colonial establishment in contributions to the military’s journal ‘A Provincia de Timor’ in 1969 about the significance of traditional marital exchange (Barlaque). A. Araújo 2012. Autobiografia … pp. 83–88.


J. Barros DuarteTimor Um Grito Pentaedro1988 p. 41.

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