DALIA iha "quarteto" LIAN NIA NONOK  

quinta-feira, 4 de março de 2010


(By Father José Câncio C. Gomes)


Along the passage of time everything is flowing toward its end. This movement is either a change of dimension (growth) or a change of position (place). It is also a process either natural or historical. Such a change is natural if it´s done by nature without any human intervention, and historical if it is the results of human acts. The natural and historical events have certain impact for the future. Human being is an integral part of this change. I pretend to tackle only the historical events and phenomena of human acts. Talking about history is dealing with humans, who make events happen in the society and create new things in the world. History is identified with all kinds of recorded information about the past, good or bad and happy or sad news. It´s also the compiled memories of human experiences expressed in various ways and forms. This information is transmitted either in oral form or written form. However, most of the ancient events were handed down through arts, such as buildings and constructions including carved objects, and myths, or tales, which need interpretation. Humans have essential role in these events. Endowed with intelligence they could change the world into a civilized reality and create things new and amazing. They are capable to portray and narrate events of the past to the next generations. At the same time history also contains the destruction/damages and violence caused by humans. All things that come out of a human being are a reflection of his intelligence either rational or emotional.

The so called history includes exactly everything handed down from the past. Thus we may understand that history implies culture, it is not merely written information about what happened then but also dealing with philosophy of life of the people in the certain periods of time. It tackles human civilization either in its formation and development or in its ruin. In my own definition, it is a journey of a community of people passing through the condition of light and darkness, of good and bad, with certain complex philosophy of life and culture.

Thus history is not only whatever is conveyed in written form but also including all non literary forms. Various kinds of carved objects upon the rocks and in any buildings reveal events occurred in the past serving as information about certain people in the certain periods. There is one fundamental question about human and history: Did human make history or vice versa? This challenging question divides us into two groups. One group affirms that it´s human who made the history. And other group affirms otherwise that history formed human. Both opinions are right depending on how we contextualize our own reason. However, we may also have an integral perspective, which could explain and accumulate both opinions. It is a mental process of understanding the truth.

Human person is the subject of history due to his intelligence and will, including his capacity to transmit what else he has known and made (done), or even acquired in the mind, in many kinds of record to the next generations. He left behind his memoirs and knowledge, even his skills, through multiple forms like arts, constructions/buildings, and written formulas in books or scrolls. This transmission can be both either something good or bad. Thus we remember good/happy memories and bad/sad memories. This experience in return has impacts for the future or influences the people throughout the next coming generations. He (human being) left his ideas which later on had inspired those who came after him. With this perspective we may conclude that human being is the maker of history by virtues of his intelligence, will and memory, even capable to transform what is in the mind into reality. Thus history is the transmission of all products of the mental process of human being.

If we look at the perspective of cause and effect, human being is also the object of history. He is formed by his own past, his own experience, and the circumstances where he had grown up. His character and personality are depended on his historical background. This past experience forms his way of life, his perception, his mental attitude, his manner of acting and reacting, his vision and his motion. The patterns of life of every human person are coming from his own family background and the society where he had lived and grown-up, especially at the early stages of his growth. His childhood experience becomes a determinant factor for his life. This causes deep impact on him throughout his life. Thus the character of a human person is formed by a vast combination of complex factors left in the mind. Those experiences are like footprints carved in the stones of our being or on the soil of our lives, even as scars imprinted in our minds and bodies. So it can be either long lasting remembered or blown away by the winds at once or after some times.

This work is a compilation of memoirs reflected on the bitter and miraculous experiences of so many young Timorese during the periods hiding in those caves along the mountain-valleys, and in the deep forest-jungle, without any humanitarian assistance since 1975 up to 1980. It seems like a heavy burden loaded on their shoulders in the early stage of their formation. Experience of tremendous shocks wounded numerous people deeply. Thus it had left scars in the mind and body. That horrible experience looks like a hole which had paralyzed so many young people then. The struggle to unload and to heal, or to untie, those childhood issues, nailed upon the bodies and recorded in the minds, is a very challenging and a long lasting effort. This narrative is just a personal testimony or a first-hand witness with other accurate information from the common experiences.

In this literary work, I just want to leave some personal memories of those challenging experiences, which imply all the suffering young Timorese at those painful moments. They are full of pains and yet enlightening as well. There were so many unexplainable episodes of life in our struggle to survive. I would like to describe those fatal experiences limited only from the beginning of the conflicts among political parties in 1975 with the Indonesian military invasion in the same year, when we left our home town, up to the moment when we were caught by that foreign troops (battalions 744/745) back to our home-town and extending to the year 1980. These are also a collective memoirs recorded in my mind that I pretend to leave for those who know nothing or less about the black history of 1975 to 1980 in East Timor. Everyone has his own version to tell the history, I too have my own version to do so, based on my personal witness and experience of many events sharing with my family, some relatives, and the crowd refugees at those moments. I also try to be introspective and extroversive in telling the history. Therefore, I don´t have any intention to play down anyone else, neither the Indonesian People nor my fellow Timorese People. I just describe things according to the eyewitness and personal memories, including impressions, of a young boy under ten as I was then.

To be continued….

ÉVORA, 02/02/2010

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