Govt must take serious action to prevent counterfeit Tais from entering TL

Govt must take serious action to prevent counterfeit Tais from entering TL

Tais Timor-Leste (Image Tatoli/Francisco Sony)

DILI, 28 february 2022 (TATOLI) – The government of Timor-Leste must take serious action to prevent counterfeit Tais products from entering Timor-Leste.

Since the United Nations Cultural Agency (UNESCO) added the art of traditional Timorese weaving (Tais) to its Intangible Cultural Heritage List, many foreign businesses see it as a golden opportunity to make money by producing counterfeit Tais in other countries and bringing them into the country illegally.

Selling the counterfeit Tais at a low price makes it harder for local Tais weavers to sell their original products.

To prevent counterfeit products from entering the country, the Secretary of State for Arts and Culture (SEAC) has pledged to draft a legal framework with the relevant ministry to stop such products from pouring into the country.

Secretary of State for Arts and Culture (SSAC), Teófilo Caldas(Image Tatoli/Francisco Sony)

“Most of the counterfeit Tais are pouring into the country from Atambua, West Timor. Meanwhile, many of the Chinese stores in Dili, as well as in the municipalities are selling counterfeit Tais. We can’t just simply go and tell them to stop bringing in such products. So, a legal framework is needed to ban these products from being sold in the country. For instance, currently, we don’t have copyright law,” Secretary of State for Art and Culture, Teófilo Caldas told reporters at the 2022 Tais Festival, held at Novo Turismo hotel, in Dili, on monday.

He said, therefore, once the Copyright Law is approved at the National Parliament and promulgated by the President of the Republic, then the transaction of the counterfeit Tais could be prevented and controlled in Timor-Leste.”

“I have seen some Chinese stores in Hudi Laran Neighborhood, in Dili, selling counterfeit Tais fabric rolls. Thus, a legal framework is urgently needed to control this situation,” he said.

On the other hand, SEAK called on Timorese Tais wavers to improve the locally made Tais with high quality and sell it at low prices to attract local and international customers.

Tais is an iconic element of Timor-Leste’s cultural heritage. Tais are used for ceremonial adornment, signs of respect, and appreciation towards guests, friends, and relatives. Timorese people used Tais for home decoration, personal apparel, cultural and ritual ceremony, etc.

Tais has been woven in Timor-Leste for generations, and the designs and colorways used in Tais vary from district to district.

Related news:TL celebrates Tais as Intangible Cultural Heritage after gaining international recognition

Journalist: Filomeno Martins

Editor: Rafy Belo


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