Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the Indos?

“Indo” is a shortened term for the Dutch word “Indo-Europeaan” (Indo-European) referring to people of Indonesian and European descent, originating from the former Dutch East Indies.

Originally, the term specifically denoted individuals in the former Dutch East Indies who had European legal status but were of mixed Dutch and Indigenous Indonesian descent, along with their descendants today. In a broader sense, anyone of mixed European and Indonesian heritage can be considered an Indo. Indos are closely linked with the colonial culture of the Dutch East Indies, which was a Dutch colony in Southeast Asia and a precursor to modern Indonesia following its independence shortly after World War II. The term “Indo” first appeared in 1898 as an abbreviation of the Dutch term “Indo-Europeaan.” Other terms used to describe this community include Dutch Indonesians, Eurasians, Indo-Europeans, Indo-Dutch, and Dutch-Indos. The European ancestry of Indos is primarily Dutch, but it also encompasses Portuguese, British, French, Belgian, German, and other European backgrounds. For more detailed information, you can visit the Indo People Wikipedia Page.

What is the History of the Indos?

Timeline Tracing the Indo-European Narrative in the Dutch East Indies

This timeline aims to present the history of Indo-Europeans from their unique perspective, offering an alternative to the predominant Eurocentric viewpoints. Adopting an Indo-centric approach allows for the inclusion of often overlooked or marginalized aspects of their story. With gratitude to Humphrey de la Croix for this timeline.


How Do You Define the Different Generations of Indos?

Understanding the generational classifications of Indos:

  • 1st Generation: Indos born in the Dutch East Indies before WWII.
  • 2nd Generation: Indos born after WWII, experiencing transitions like repatriation to the Netherlands or emigration.
  • 3rd Generation: Indos with parent(s) and/or grandparents from the 1st and 2nd generations.
  • 4th Generation: Indos with grandparent(s) and/or great-grandparent(s) from the 1st and 2nd generations.

Please note:

  • The definitions, particularly for the 1st and 2nd generations, are based on lived experiences.
  • The 1st Generation is rapidly diminishing, carrying invaluable firsthand knowledge of life in the former Dutch East Indies during critical historical periods.

What Happened to the Indos Who Stayed in the Republic of Indonesia?

In post-independence Indonesia, Indos faced challenges under Sukarno’s government, including restricted access to government jobs and the prohibition of Dutch language usage. The subsequent Suharto regime intensified assimilation efforts, pressuring Indos to conform to Indonesian norms. Despite these challenges, some Indos achieved prominence, yet public discussions on ethnicity were stifled. In the post-Suharto era, Indos began reevaluating their heritage amidst a more open social environment. Today, Indonesian Indos navigate a complex identity, distinct from the Indo diaspora, within Indonesian society. Read more details on the website of Indisch Historisch.