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Indo (Eurasian) Communities in Postcolonial Indonesia

Hewett, Rosalind

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During the 1940s and 1950s, around 200,000 Eurasians (Indos) of mixed European and Indonesian descent left Indonesia. In time, they formed distinct communities in The Netherlands, the United States, Australia and elsewhere. A smaller number of Indos who had chosen Indonesian citizenship or had been unable to leave remained in Indonesia. Until now, the fate of Indo communities who remained in Indonesia was largely unstudied. This thesis presents a transnational...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorHewett, Rosalind
dc.date.accessioned2017-05-11T01:37:34Z
dc.date.available2017-05-11T01:37:34Z
dc.identifier.otherb43751465
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/116879
dc.description.abstractDuring the 1940s and 1950s, around 200,000 Eurasians (Indos) of mixed European and Indonesian descent left Indonesia. In time, they formed distinct communities in The Netherlands, the United States, Australia and elsewhere. A smaller number of Indos who had chosen Indonesian citizenship or had been unable to leave remained in Indonesia. Until now, the fate of Indo communities who remained in Indonesia was largely unstudied. This thesis presents a transnational history of Indos in postcolonial Indonesia, framing their history as part of both Indonesian history and broader Indisch (Indies) Dutch history. It compares their circumstances with those of Indonesia‟s largest 'foreign minority', Chinese Indonesians. The thesis draws on Dutch archives, newspaper accounts and oral history interviews carried out in Java and North Sulawesi, Queensland and the Netherlands. Indos comprised a significant component of the European community in late colonial society, and many also held 'native' status. Young Indonesian independence fighters killed and tortured Indo and other families across Java in a loosely coordinated genocide during the Bersiap period in 1945-47. At least ten thousand Indos stayed in Indonesia after the transfer of sovereignty in 1949. During the New Order period (1966-1998), they faced significant pressures to assimilate, but were occasionally held up as a 'model minority' compared with Chinese Indonesians. Some took up work as actors and models, paving the way for the predominance of an 'Indo look' on Indonesian television in the 1990s. Younger Indos, usually the children of expatriates, capitalised on the tradition established by older generations, so that the term 'Indo' became synonymous with fame and stardom. From the mid-2000s, in response to popular historical understandings about ethnicity and race, Indos were more likely to be cast only as wealthy characters in Sinetron. After the fall of Suharto, in tandem with a rise in identity politics in the Netherlands, older Indos in Java began to meet regularly with other Dutch speakers. In the Minahasa region of North Sulawesi, these social gatherings were regular even during the Suharto period. Indos there married members of the local mestizo Borgo (formerly burger) community, so that the term 'Indo' became a synonym for 'Borgo'. This research reveals ways in which national contexts frame how the colonial and postcolonial past are remembered and represented in popular historical consciousness in a former colony and a former metropole among members of a group considered to transcend national boundaries. It also reveals how different Indo communities in Indonesia have interacted with shifting concepts of 'indigeneity' across historical periods, including 'native' (inlander) status, boemipoetera, pribumi and adat. The memories of Indonesian Indos diverge considerably from the memories of Dutch Indos, who often recall the colonial Indies as a paradise and postcolonial Indonesia as a violent and poverty stricken nation. The absence of historical frameworks in Indonesia for events like the Bersiap, along with the 'historical capital' that comes with recalling involvement in certain key events in the history of the nation, determine which memories are recalled and which memories are not voiced in both postcolonial contexts.
dc.language.isoen
dc.subjectEurasian
dc.subjectIndonesia
dc.subjectIndonesian history
dc.subjectChinese Indonesians
dc.subjectDutch-Indonesians
dc.subjectEuropeans Indonesia
dc.subjectRosalind Hewett
dc.subjectIndo
dc.subjectIndos
dc.subjectEurasians
dc.subjectMinahasa
dc.subjectManado
dc.subjectBorgo
dc.subjectforeign minority Indonesia
dc.subjectforeign minorities Indonesia
dc.subjecttransnational history
dc.subjectNetherlands Indies
dc.subjectmass violence Indonesia
dc.subjectmass violence
dc.subjectBersiap
dc.subjectpopular culture Indonesia
dc.subjectIndo-European
dc.subjectNorth Sulawesi
dc.subjectSinetron
dc.subjectburger
dc.subjectburgher
dc.subjectmemory Indonesia
dc.subjectindigeneity Indonesia
dc.subjectIndo (Eurasian) Communities in Postcolonial Indonesia
dc.subjectpostcolonial Indonesia
dc.subjectoral history Indonesia
dc.titleIndo (Eurasian) Communities in Postcolonial Indonesia
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorCribb, Robert
local.contributor.supervisorcontactrobert.cribb@anu.edu.au
dcterms.valid2017
local.description.notesthe author deposited 11/05/17
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued2016
local.contributor.affiliationDepartment of Pacific and Asian History
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d7396215b469
local.mintdoimint
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