Indo Knowledge Library

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Aligned with the timeline provided, we’ve curated our content into five informative pillar pages and a helpful FAQ section. These serve as ideal starting points for exploring the history and culture of the former Dutch East Indies and its people.

In addition to the online resources, we have compiled a Goodreads booklist about the Dutch East Indies and Indo history and culture.

And we present to you our latest Podcast series, providing a platform for discussions and reflections on the triumphs and struggles of migration and cultural preservation.

Timeline

  • Pre-Colonial Era (16th, 17th, 18th century)
    • Indigenous kingdoms and trade networks
    • VOC: Dutch East India Company
  • Colonial Era (19th, 20th century)
    • Dutch East Indies
    • WWII: Japanese Occupation
    • Bersiap: Indonesian Freedom Fighters
  • Post-Colonial Era
    • Indonesian Revolution (1945-1948)
    • Republic of Indonesia
    • Diaspora: Dutch and Indo Exodus, migration/repatriation to the Netherlands and beyond

This history has led to the emergence of a unique Indo culture, sometimes accompanied by trauma that can impact subsequent generations and society.

PLEASE NOTE: In publications by The Indo Project Inc., we use the following terms with specific meanings:

  • Indo: Refers to individuals of mixed European and indigenous heritage from the former Dutch East Indies, and their descendants. [More info]
  • “Indisch”: Dutch term representing a broader cultural and historical context associated with the Dutch East Indies. [More info]
  • Dutch East Indies: Denotes the territory administered by the Dutch during colonial rule, encompassing present-day Indonesia.
  • Indonesia: Refers to the nation that emerged after colonial rule.

Online Resources

FAQ

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.

WWII

The Dutch East Indies were occupied by Japan from 1942 to 1945. The Japanese quickly defeated the weakened Dutch colonial forces, amidst the turmoil of war in Europe, and imposed a harsh regime that exploited the region’s resources and forced labor.

Bersiap

Bersiap is the term used by the Dutch to describe the violent and chaotic phase of Indonesia’s revolutionary period that unfolded in the aftermath of World War II.

Diaspora

Due to the violent Bersiap period following World War II, a large-scale exodus of Indo-Europeans, who were seen as being aligned with Dutch colonial rule, began in Indonesia.

Culture

Indo culture is a unique blend of Indonesian traditions, European (mainly Dutch) influences, and a shared history of colonialism.

Trauma

In the Indo community, transgenerational trauma can be a significant factor. The Bersiap violence and displacement likely left deep scars on the first generation who experienced it directly. Even if unspoken, these experiences can be passed down through families.