Sunday, March 30, 2008

"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)

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