Part of Ottilie’s family history lies in the former Dutch East Indies. For several generations, her family on her mother’s side lived there as engineers, doctors, plantation managers, KNIL officers, and teachers.
She grew up in The Hague, where the Indies culture is quite engrained in daily life. Her grandmother and mother regularly cooked Indies food and used Malay words. Because of the traumatic experiences during and right after WWII, her grandmother would only sporadically tell anecdotes about the time she lived on Java, including the Japanese concentration camps they were imprisoned in. Unfortunately her grandfather didn’t survive the Burma Railway.
When living in San Francisco, Ottilie noticed how little is known about this part of history outside of the Netherlands, as most resources are in the Dutch language. She joined The Indo Project to help gather, organize and create resources in English to educate people around the world about Indo history and culture.
She has a MSc in Applied Math & Computer Science from Delft University of Technology and studied Bahasa Indonesia for two years at UC Berkeley. While living in San Francisco, she served on several PTA boards of her sons’ elementary and middle schools and received a Certificate of Honor of the City of San Francisco for her contribution to public education. Recently she worked on the online section of two Dutch education projects by Simone Berger about the Dutch East Indies.