[Timor-Leste] The sacred crocodile

Written by Cheryl Tay on . Posted in Cheryl Tay Blog | Blog Post of Cheryl Tay

Legend has it that a giant crocodile transformed itself into the island of Timor. Crocodiles hold a special place in the history, culture and oral traditions of Timor-Leste.


Look at the map of Timor-Leste – does it resemble the shape of a crocodile you think? 


Here’s how the story goes:


A young boy saw a small crocodile struggling to get from a lagoon to the sea. The boy picked the crocodile up and helped him. The crocodile was grateful and told the boy that if he ever needed help he should stand by the edge of the sea and call ‘crocodile!’


One day the boy needed to travel across the sea, so he called ‘Crocodile!’ he rode on the crocodile’s back. The crocodile took him on many journeys after that, but soon the crocodile’s instinct to eat the boy grew strong. The crocodile felt unhappy about this and asked the advice of many animals. They told him that he should not repay the boy’s kindness by eating him. The crocodile could not hurt his friend.


In time the crocodile grew very old. He told the boy that when he (the crocodile) died, he would change into a beautiful land where the boy and his children could live. The crocodile became the land of Timor.


[Source: http://www.tibarbeachretreat.com/about-timor-leste/]


During my recent trip to Timor-Leste, I managed to get quite near this crocodile that is being kept within fences at a police station in a quiet town in the highlands…


Ever wondered how the term ‘shedding crocodile tears’ came about?

575309_410921682275408_131620790205500_1223052_406656554_nFor more photos of Timor-Leste, view here.

Cheryl Tay

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Singapore’s only female full-time motoring and motorsports photojournalist. Independent automotive consultant and prominent local motorsports personality Cheryl Tay is uniquely passionate about all things cars and motorsports. She also has a strong passion to share her interest and knowledge, hence having a dream to become the ‘Oprah Winfrey of cars and motorsports’ and create a multimedia platform for her sharing. - A female in a male-dominated world, Cheryl Tay is Singapore’s only female full-time motoring journalist and motorsports blogger and she regularly writes for prominent titles in Singapore, Asia and internationally. (See full list of titles that Cheryl Tay writes for here.)

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