Sunday, March 30, 2008

The First Edition of Lia Dadolin

Lia Dadolin is a journal produced and published by the Manse Nsae Research Center. The first edition of Lia Dadolin has been just launched. Lia Dadolin publishes articles in both English and Indonesian.

The name of this journal, Lia Dadolin, was first introduced by Rev. Stanis Bessin SVD and Rev. Gregor Neonbasu SVD. Rev. Bessin is one of the former Provincial Superiors of the Divine Word Missionaries, Timor Province in Indonesia. He himself has a deep love of the Timorese cultures. Rev. Neonbasu has a Doctorate in Anthropology from the Australian National University. He has actively written and published articles and books particularly on Timor and her cultures. Currently, he is the Director of the Manse Nsae Research Center.

Every name has a meaning. Lia Dadolin, is a phrase in Tetun, one of the languages in Timor. This phrase consists of two words: Lia and Dadolin. Lia means word, voice, message, fruit and sound. The word Dadolin originates from the words dolin-dolin which means “to go, to proclaim, to extend, to pass on”. The prefix da is later attached to dolin-dolin in which the word Dadolin is formed. Dadolin literally means “something that happens so many times” or “something that happens continuously”. The term Lia Dadolin, therefore, addresses the continuous process of proclaiming the Word of God till the Word lives in the heart of mankind and in the mind of those who listen to it.

In this first edition of Lia Dadolin, experts from various backgrounds discuss themes such as leadership, spirituality and theology, human resources and education in East Nusa Tenggara, economic development in the context of Timor and the basic principles for developing the right rule of law based upon the Indonesian experience. Since this is the first edition, Rev. Fr. Felix Kosat SVD, the Provincial Superior of SVD Timor Province has a privilege to introduce the journal. Following this introduction, the Director of the Center, Dr Gregor Neonbasu SVD wrote an article in which he introduces the Manse Nsae Research Center, its vision and mission, commitment and strategic steps towards the social and cultural studies in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.****

"Don't Be Angry With Me"

Marriage in Timor is a family affair. Since it is a family affair, marriage is not simply organised by a man and a woman. Instead, it is organised by two families. Therefore, even though marriage is between a man and a woman, in Timorese view, in marriage, two families (not only two people) become one.

The title of this simple song is "Kais Muto'an kau" which means "Don't be angry with me". It is basically a plea of a young man for his parents' forgiveness. Why does he ask for forgiveness? He has chosen a woman to be a soul mate. However, it seems that his father and mother are not in favour of his choice. He insists that his choice is based upon a profound love. For this reason, he considers his choice as the best he can take.

The song does not describe the response of his parents. However, it is quite common, particularly among the Dawanese, that men normally ask for their parents' forgiveness if they feel that they have chosen their soul mates before consulting their parents. Normally this request opens the way for a man's parents and family to start negotiating with the woman's family. Following this logic, it could be argued that a plea for forgiveness of a young man to his parents before marriage is not simply an act of obedience. Moreover, it is an unwritten ceremony in which a man receives his parents' blessing to enter a new stage of life.***

(Written by G. Faimau)

Manse Nsae Research Center

The Manse Nsae Research Center has been set up by the Divine Word Missionaries, Timor Province in Indonesia, in responding to the needs of social and cultural studies in the context of Indonesia in general and East Nusa Tenggara in particular. The name of this center, Manse Nsae, is taken from Uab Meto, one of the Timorese languages, which means the rising sun.

The Manse Nsae Research Center is located in Kupang, the capital city of East Nusa Tenggara in Indonesia. This center also produces the "Lia Dadolin" journal and the serial book of "Agenda Budaya Pulau Timor", both edited by Dr Gregor Neonbasu SVD.

Having this center is indeed urgent as far as the study of East Nusa Tenggara cultures is concerned. Based upon its mission, this center is committed to study the richness of cultures in East Nusa Tenggara. Moreover, the Manse Nsae Research Center aims to be a place and forum for social and cultural reflections through interdisciplinary seminars, conferences, discussions and publications. For this purpose, this center develops as well a strategic networking with various research centers such as Anthropos Institute, Candraditya, Aditya Wacana, STFK Ledalero, UNIKA Widya Mandira and publishing houses such as Gramedia and Grasindo, Kanisius and Nusa Indah.

Leading experts on the East Nusa Tenggara studies in the fields of anthropology, sociology, missiology, theology and ethnology have also been consulted for the development of the center. Prof James J. Fox (Australian National University, Australia), Prof Jozef Glinka SVD (Airlangga University, Indonesia), Prof Joachim Piepke SVD (Anthropos Institute, Germany), Dr Ennio Mantovanni SVD (Anthropos Institute, Germany), Dr Andrew McWilliam (Australian National University, Australia), Dr Guido Tisera SVD (Rome) and Dr Susanne Rodemeier (Passau University, Germany) are among them. Publication is also one of the center's aims. Therefore, some leading experts in the media studies and publication such as Dr Daniel Dhakidae (Kompas, Indonesia), Frans M. Parera (Gramedia, Jakarta) and Rikard Bangun (Kompas, Jakarta) have participated as well in pioneering this center.