Timor-Leste has a strong culture of hospitality and most socialising involves food.
A traditional Timorese lunch or dinner meal includes rice, meat or fish, beans and corn, and seasonal vegetables, with clever use of local spices, fresh herbs, tropical fruits and sometimes coconut milk, accompanied by extremely hot ai-manas (chili paste). Timor-Leste is rightly famous for its rich, dark and delicious coffee, grown organically in the hills. As you explore Timor-Leste it is interesting to sample the different regional coffees.
There is vibrancy and youthfulness about Timor-Leste. This is definitely part of its charm, which most who visit find very refreshing. Timorese in general are gregarious and they like to party. Usually that means joining together with family, friends and neighbours, sharing food and drink, music, dancing and sometimes fireworks. If passing by you are likely to be asked to join in. At the national level, in addition to important religious holidays such as – All Souls, All Saints, Christmas and Easter, most other public holidays celebrate Timor-Leste’s recent independence as a nation.
Timorese are very creative with their unique style and workmanship.
Their most famous handicrafts are tais (traditional hand woven fabrics), many of which are sought by serious collectors. Tais are produced in different colours and designs depending on the community where they are made. Tais can be bought as single pieces, and the fabric is also used to make modern garments, bags and even shoes