The Unique Indo Culture

Indo culture is a unique blend of Indonesian traditions, European (mainly Dutch) influences, and a shared history of colonialism. This mix is evident in their language (Bahasa Indonesia with Dutch loanwords), respect for elders, and a focus on community harmony. Indo cuisine might feature European spices alongside Indonesian staples, while their music might incorporate Western instruments into traditional styles.

Despite facing challenges of diaspora and modernization, Indo culture remains a vibrant testament to its rich heritage.
Many of them live in the Netherlands, USA, and Australia. Their culture is a reflection of the unique history and heritage of a mix of Dutch, Indonesian, and other cultures. They have a rich tradition of language, food, music, and art.

The primary public representation of Indo Culture is the Tong Tong Fair, formerly known as Pasar Malam Besar (Great Night Market), held annually in The Hague, Netherlands. The second-largest gathering of the Indo Dutch diaspora outside the Netherlands is at the annual Holland Festival in Los Angeles, USA.


Check out this list of well-known Dutch Indo artists in various cultural fields like arts, music, literature, film, sports.


Many people of Dutch East Indies descent continue to incorporate Malay vocabulary into their everyday conversations, reflecting the enduring influence of their cultural heritage.

  • Petjo(k) – Wikipedia; Dutch-based creole language that originated among the Indos, people of mixed Dutch and Indonesian ancestry in the former Dutch East Indies.


Considered one of the oldest fusion cuisines ‘avant la lettre.’ Indigenous and Dutch ingredients and cooking techniques blended together, influencing each other which resulted in new dishes and food traditions.


Music, including kroncong and Indo rock, is crucial to Indo culture, serving as a means to preserve their heritage, express emotions, and reinforce their unique identity within a diverse society.

  • Kroncong (Krontjong) – Wikipedia; The guitar was imported to the East Indies by Portuguese explorers in the 16th century. Saudade and Fado, traditional Portuguese singing styles played with guitar accompaniment, later became Kroncong music.
  • Indo Rock – Wikipedia; It is a musical genre that originated in the 1950s in the Netherlands. It is a fusion of Indonesian and Western music, with roots in Kroncong.
  • Indo Rock Gallery – Alphabetical list of Dutch Indo bands


  • Tjalie Robinson – Wikipedia; He is considered to be the author of unique Indo literature. He became the most influential post war Indo activist of his generation and the most important promoter of Indo culture anywhere.
  • Marion Bloem – Wiikipedia: Much of Bloem’s work evolves around an artistic and sincere exploration of Indo identity and culture, which makes her one of the foremost 2nd generation Indo authors and puts her in the tradition of the legendary Tjalie Robinson
  • Louis Couperus – Wikipedia; He is a significant author for Indo culture because his works delve into the Indo-European identity and colonialism in the Dutch East Indies, offering valuable insights into the community’s history and culture.
  • Maria Dermoût – Wikipedia; She was an Indo-European novelist, considered one of the greats of Dutch literature and as such an important proponent of Dutch Indies literature.
  • Multatuli – Wikipedia; Pen name of Eduard Douwes Dekker was a Dutch writer best known for his satirical novel Max Havelaar (1860), which denounced the abuses of colonialism in the Dutch East Indies.
  • Dutch Indies Literature – Wikipedia


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Podcast The Indo Project - Echoes of the Archipelago

5 – Expression of Indoism in Art

In this fifth episode, we explore the Indo community’s diverse artistic endeavors. From traditional paintings to modern installations, we uncover how Indoism influences and inspires artists to showcase their heritage and identity through their work. Guests: Talia Fernandez, Jennifer Ripassa, and Annastasia Nalapraya. Host: Gerald van Wilgen. Presented by: The Indo Project. Produced by: Gerald…

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