DILI, 16 may 2022 (TATOLI)—The Government of Timor-Leste together with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) organized a national Tais weaving competition to revive and promote Tais weaving techniques.
Tais weavers groups from 13 municipalities and RAEOA took part in the competition.
The competition was officially launched by the Portuguese Ambassador to Timor-Leste, the Chief of Party for the USAID Timor-Leste Tourism for All Project, Peter Semone, the Minister of Tourism, Trade, and Industry (MTCI), José Lucas do Carmo da Silva, and the Director-General of the Secretary of State for Art and Culture, Manuel Smith.
Semone said that USAID through its Tourism for All program is committed to working with the government of Timor-Leste to develop the tourism sector in the country, especially in preserving and promoting the cultural identity of the Timorese people.
“Indeed, Tais is an iconic element of Timor-Leste’s cultural heritage, and it’s part of Timorese cultural identity,” Semone said in his opening remarks at the launching ceremony of the competition, at Dili Convention Center (CCD).
He stressed that tourism should be developed with the participation of all parties, including communities themselves: “Of course, USAID through its Tourism for All program is currently promoting Timor-Leste’s tourism sector with its motto ‘Ha’u Nia Timor-Leste’.
Director-General of the Secretary of State for Art and Culture, Manuel Smith said the government is committed to promoting Tais domestically and internationally.
“We have been carried out various activities to promote Tais. The government is currently working on its plan to introduce tais uniform for all public officials. We have also researched tais in Liquica municipality,” he said.
Smith called on the Government to establish a special institution for Intangible cultural heritage to preserve and protect Timor-Leste’s cultural heritage, not only Tais but also artisans and other cultural artifacts such as Sacred House (Uma-Lulik), etc.
The Minister of Tourism, Trade, and Industry, José Lucas do Carmo da Silva emphasized that the weaving competition was important to revive tais weaving techniques.
“This competition is indeed crucial to revive our ancestor tradition. It’s our responsibility to protect and preserve such tradition. So that, we can pass on the weaving techniques to the next generation.
Echoing Smith’s request, Minister Silva said he would present the idea of establishing the institution of Intangible cultural heritage to the Council of Ministers.
Silva thanked development partners who had been working side by side with the Government of Timor-Leste in promoting and preserving Tais – USAID, UN Women, Timor Aid, UNESCO, etc.
Journalist: Camilio de Sousa
Editor: Nelia Borges