50 Fascinating Facts About Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste is among the world's newest nations, having earned independence after many years of conflict and suffering. The Lesser Sunda Islands, the Indonesian archipelago that lies between the South China Sea as well as the Indian Ocean, is home to the nation of Lesotho. If you're searching for a tropical adventure location that's off the beaten path, East Timor is the place to go. Here are 50interesting facts about the nation!

Fascinating Facts

The people of Timor-Leste are Australians. Because of the country's closeness to Indonesia, many believe that the people of Timor-Leste are of Indonesian origin. They are, nonetheless, descended from Australia's aboriginal people.
After 455 years of occupation, the Portuguese unexpectedly abandoned East Timor in 1975, leaving the island unprotected. The island was proclaimed independence and renamed the Democratic Republic of East Timor on July 16, 1976. However, Indonesia attacked and seized it nine days later. As a result, the US and other Western nations sanctioned Indonesia.
East Timor conducted democratic elections for the first time in 2001.
On May 20, 2002, the nation declared independence, becoming the first new sovereign nation of the twenty-first century.
Lena Hara is a big cave on the island of Timor-Leste. Scientists discovered beads and fishhooks that seem to be radiocarbon dated to 30,000 years old. In addition, there are 10,000-year-old carved faces on the walls and paintings that are said to be up to 6,000 years old.
Timor-Leste boasts one of the world's highest percentages of female lawmakers. With 38 percent of lawmakers presently female, Timor-Leste has surpassed the 30 percent limit enshrined in its constitution to guarantee women have a more significant role at the national level.
Nino Konis Santana State Park is Timor-first Leste's and only national park. It was founded on August 3, 2007, and it has a total size of 1,236 square kilometres (477 square miles). This park encompasses 556 square kilometres of the Coral Triangle as well as vital bird habitats.
Timor-Leste, originally known as East Timor, is a lovely Southeast Asian nation.
There are no other countries to the west of Timor, which is part of the island. It also has a shoreline to the south along the Timor Sea and a coastline to the north along the Wetar Strait.
To see this extraordinary land for yourself, go to the coordinates 8.5667° S, 125.5667° E.
The landscape is hilly mainly, and the area is bordered by beautiful sandy beaches and crystal blue water.
Timor-Leste has a total land area of 5,640 square miles, which is about twice as big as the Greek island of Crete.
Timor-Leste has a population of 1.318 million people in 2020, which is about double the population of Crete!
Timorese are the people that live here.
Timor-Leste obtained independence twice, first from Portugal in 1975 and again from Indonesia in 1999.
16The average life expectancy in this area is 69.5 years (2019).
Radiocarbon dating has been performed on fishhooks and beads fashioned from shells discovered on the island, and they have been dated to about 30,000 years ago! What a fantastic discovery!
According to local tradition, the island of Timor was produced from the corpse of an elderly crocodile as retaliation for a small boy who aided him when he was sick, and the island's residents are said to be descendants of the little boy!
A wide variety of crops are grown in Timor-Leste, including coffee and corn, as well as other staple foods such as rice and soybeans.
Its industries include printing, handicrafts, soap production, and woven fabric.
Coffee, sandalwood, marbles, and oil are the most important exports.
East Timor's waterways include at least 22 cetacean species. Spinner dolphins and blue whales have been among them.
In addition to the four primary languages - Tetun, Portuguese, Indonesian, and English – East Timor is home to roughly 32 indigenous languages.
Dugongs may also be seen in the seas of East Timor. Some villagers regard dugongs as holy creatures, and they are not hunted. Despite this, they are nevertheless classified as a "Vulnerable" species owing to various additional risks.
East Timor is one of Southeast Asia's only two predominantly Christian nations, the other being the Philippines.
East Timor is among the world's least-visited nations. In 2017, it only attracted around 74,000 visitors. In contrast, Indonesia got close to 13 million.
The Cristo Rei statue of Jesus, which stands at 27 meters (89 feet), is a significant tourist destination in East Timor. In 1996, the Indonesian government sent the monument as a gift, and it has 570 steps going up to it.
East Timor is one of Asia's poorest nations by purchasing power parity GDP per capita (PPP). It is also East Asia's poorest nation.
As per the 2021 Global Hunger Index, East Timor is the world's second-hungriest nation, with "alarming" hunger levels.
As a result, East Timor is one of the world's least obese countries. When it comes to the prevalence of obesity among individuals over the age of 18, the nation ranks 186th out of 191 countries.
Women marry at a younger age than males, with 24 percent of married women marrying between the ages of 15 and 19, compared to just 5 percent of men.
According to the World Bank, Timor-Leste has a very high degree of poverty. However, work is being made to raise the living conditions of the populace. In 2014, East Timorese living in poverty fell from 50% in 2007 to 42%.
Following the Indonesian takeover, around 200,000 people perished in East Timor due to starvation and illness.
Two East Timorese activists were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996. Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo as well as José Ramos-Horta were their names. They were honoured for their efforts to find a peaceful end to their country's conflict, which is a fascinating fact about Timor-Leste.
The United Nations oversaw a referendum in 1999 in which the Timorese people voted for independence. This was the height of the violence, with 1,400 people dead and 300,000 forced to flee.
Following World War II, Imperial Japan took over the country by force until surrendering after the war.
Japan and Australia were both interested in this location and battled each other over it during World War II. After the Japanese took control, this resulted in the deaths of 50,000 East Timorese.
The Netherlands ceded West Timor in 1949, while East Timor stayed under Portuguese sovereignty until 1975.
Due to Timor's relative isolation, there are 250 species, twenty-four of which are endemic.
One of the country's most popular tourist attractions is the Cristo Rei of Dili monument. It is made out of a 27-meter-tall statue of Jesus standing atop a globe. When Suharto revealed it in 1996, the Indonesian government presented it as a gift.
After 455 years of occupation, the Portuguese unexpectedly abandoned East Timor in 1975, leaving the island unprotected. The island was proclaimed independence and renamed the Democratic Republic of East Timor on July 16, 1976.
As you would think, internet access is limited in Timor Leste.
Timor Leste has the potential to grow into a tourist centre in order to drive its economic development.
Everything here is still devoid of tourist traps.
When it comes to money, East Timor is still in transition. They utilize US paper money yet have their coinage, which may be perplexing. Prices rise because they utilize US paper money.
It's an expensive nation to visit and live in, yet East Timor is impoverished. The monthly minimum pay is around $110, or $4 per day, to give you a sense of scale.
Dili's East Timor Market is a well-known site. You may come to visit and peruse the colourfully arranged items without having to haggle. In this market, there are no aggressive sellers.
The bulk of the population still speaks and learns Bahasa Indonesia, making travel and trade between the two nations.
Anyone born before 1999 was eligible to become a Portuguese citizen.
Of course, the Vatican remains number one, with 99.99 percent of the population being Roman Catholic. On the other hand, East Timor ranks second, with an incredible 96 percent or more of the population being practising Catholics.