East Timor State Facts


STATE STRUCTURE parliamentary-presidential republic
INTERNAL DIVISION The territory of East Timor is divided into 13 administrative regions.
SQUARE 15,007 km²
CLIMATE subequatorial monsoon
CURRENCY U.S. dollar
POPULATION 1.1 million
NATIONAL COMPOSITION Tetum (45%), mambai (15%), tokode (12%), bunak (11%), makasai (3%), etc.
RELIGION Catholics – 96.9%

State flag

According to the constitution of the Republic of Timor-Leste, the yellow triangle represents traces of colonialism in the history of the country. The black triangle means difficulties to be overcome. Red means the fight for freedom. The star is the guiding light, the white color of the star is the world.


National emblem

In the center of the coat of arms is an image of a Kalashnikov assault rifle.

EAST TIMOR National Emblem

East Timor

The mountainous country of Timor is located in Southeast Asia. It occupies the eastern half of the island of the same name and small adjacent islands in the north and east.

Mountain ranges that cross the country from the northwest to the southeast, in the east smoothly flow into a rocky plateau, and in the north they break off steeply near the coast. Plains stretch along the southern coast. The offshore zones, especially the bottom of the Timor Trench, are rich in oil and gas, which are among the largest in the world.

The climate in Timor is predominantly equatorial. It rains continuously from September to May. The average air temperature during the year is 25-27 degrees Celsius, the humidity is usually high. The dry season lasts from June to November. This is the best time to visit the country. However, it is worth remembering that the islands are located in a seismically active zone, earthquakes and tsunamis are not uncommon.

The nature of Timor is evergreen wet forests, savannahs with acacia groves and mangroves on the coast. Palm trees and bamboo forests alternate with thickets of fragrant alang-alang, which the locals call “the flower of all flowers.” Flocks of colorful birds fly from tree to tree, and you can often see cockatoo parrots. Deer and mountain goats live in mountainous areas, and babirusses, couscous and pythons live in forests. The most common animals on the island – cockatoo monkeys – are real beggars, they often beg for food from tourists.

During the Middle Ages Timor belonged in turn to Portugal, Great Britain, Holland and Japan. After the revolution of 1974, the decolonization of the Portuguese possessions began, it also touched Timor. However, in 1975, a military coup took place in the country, and for another 25 years it was occupied by Indonesia. After a referendum in 1999, East Timor gained full independence.

Timor people are distinguished by their smile, hospitality and a great sense of humor. Local residents treat Europeans with special sincerity and disinterested cordiality.

More than 97% of the population of East Timor profess Christianity, the church enjoys undeniable authority here.

An interesting fact: the Timorese are very proud of their Catholic status, emphasizing it in every possible way, and they like to repeat that they have overtaken Portugal in the number of statues of Christ per capita.

The country’s culture reflects the traditions of Roman Catholicism, Portugal and Malaysia.

The musical culture of Timor is often referred to as “Black Gorilla Music” and reflects local tribal customs and historical events. Music and dance are divided into four areas: you, tebeday, dance and kansaun. Each of them has its own ethnic and territorial characteristics. Dances are inextricably linked with music, which is performed on violins, bamboo flutes, cornet and waranga. In the central part of the island is the village of Oebelo, where you can hear the sounds of sasando, which is played only in this settlement and the immediate surroundings.

Literature, pottery and jewelry, woodcarving and weaving – this is an incomplete list of arts that develop on the island.

The literacy rate in the country is not very high: just over half of the population can read and write. The education system includes three years of preschool education, 12 years of schooling, nine years of which are compulsory and free for everyone, and three more years of paid general or vocational education. The main universities and scientific institutions are located in Dili, and most of the schools are located at Catholic missions.

The most popular sport is football.

East Timor is famous for its writers, the most prominent of which were Fernando Silvan, Francisco Borja da Costa and Xanana Gusmão. Among the figures of science, culture and philosophy are Maria Alise Branco, Paulo Quintau da Costa, Marsal de Andrade and Luis Cardoso.

Interesting fact: East Timor is the youngest country in the world.

People come to East Timor mainly for the dive safari. The conditions for the coral reef ecosystem are ideal here, the water is clear, visibility is excellent. Those who are interested in snorkeling (swimming with a breathing tube and fins) should visit the eco-resort Tua Koin. Fans of beach holidays and spa treatments will love the city of Baucau. The attention of fans of mountaineering and rafting will certainly be attracted by mountains and national parks. And to appreciate the local color, you need to visit small villages.

Thanks to the developed crafts, shopping here is very exciting. In the bazaars you can find exotic sculptures made of sandalwood. Weaving craft is represented by durable mats, reed napkins and handmade oriental carpets. Jeweled necklaces and colorful local fabrics are a good gift.

Interesting fact: According to one of the local legends, the island of Timor was a giant crocodile.

Timor-Leste, as the country is also called, is especially noted on the culinary atlas of the world. Most local dishes are based on rice, often eaten without spices and salt, and tinted with different colors with food coloring. In cooking, bamboo shoots, soy, mango, vanilla, coconut milk and poultry are widely used. The most popular national dishes are beef sate (meat strung on small wooden skewers and cooked on coals) and the tropical dessert leche flan (cream caramel with a tropical touch).

Interesting fact: The name of the country is a variant of the name “Timur”, which means “east” in Malay.

Most of the holidays in East Timor are associated with historical events. In April or May, at the end of the rainy season, the annual Carnival de Timor festival is held in the capital. It is accompanied by original music and dances, and the participants are dressed in the most interesting national costumes. Easter and Liberation Day are also celebrated in the country.


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