This research was conducted after the law (No. 22/1999) on regional government had been in force for more than five years, where one of the central issues in the â€˜regional autonomy eraâ€™ is identity. Alor, a regency in East Nusa Tenggara Province with its 16 000 islands, is a region that is conscious of its identity; it is distinct from Timor, as well as from other regions in West Nusa Tenggara and from other areas in Indonesia. Nevertheless the question remains whether Alor is able to sustain its cultural identity in an area that is inhabited by a range of ethnic groups speaking 18 different local languages (SIL International 2001)
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