Indo Knowledge Library

We feature links of resources in both English and Dutch.
Dutch language sites can be translated via Google. Follow below instructions:

To translate an entire website using Google Translate, follow these steps and see Figure 1 for reference:

  1. Open a web browser and go to You don’t need a Google account to access it, because it’s free to all.
  2. In the text box on the left, type in the entire URL (including the http://) of the website you want to view.
  3. On the right, choose the language you want to see the website in.


A short story of the Indo Europeans of The Netherlands Indies

This timeline is an attempt to approach and expose the history of the Indo-Europeans from their own perspective. This so-called Indo-centric approach will do justice to “forgotten” or neglected facts not fitting in the regular Eurocentric view on foreign cultures. So, this timeline attempts writing history “from within” the Indo group.

With deep appreciation to Humphrey de la Croix for this timeline.

FAQs  / Definitions

Indos – Shortened term from Indo-European (Indo People) which means people of Indonesian and European lineage originating from the former Dutch East Indies.

  • 1st Generation – Indos born in the former Dutch East Indies before WWII who have family roots going back several generations. (1)(2)
  • 2nd Generation – Indos born after the start of WWII who experienced the transition of either repatriation to The Netherlands or emigration out of The Netherlands to other countries or both. (1)
  • 3rd Generation – Indos with one or both parents and/or grandparents who belong to the 1st and 2nd generation.
  • 4th Generation – Indos with one or both grandparents and/or great grandparents who belong to the 1st and 2nd generation.



(1) The above definitions, especially for the 1st and 2nd generations are based on experience and exposure.

(2) The 1st Generation is dying out at a rapid rate. They are witnesses to the Japanese Occupation ,the violent Bersiap period and Repatriation to The Netherlands. They have first-hand knowledge of what life was like growing up in the former Dutch East Indies.

Indo People

The Indo people or Indos, are Eurasian people living in or connected with Indonesia. In its narrowest sense, the term refers to people in the former Dutch East Indies who held European legal status but were of mixed Dutch and Indigenous Indonesian descent as well as their descendants today. In the broadest sense, an Indo is anyone of mixed European and Indonesian descent. Indos are associated with colonial culture of the former Dutch East Indies, a Dutch colony in Southeast Asia and a predecessor to modern Indonesia after its proclamation of independence shortly after World War II.[9][10][11][12] The term was used to describe people acknowledged to be of mixed Dutch and Indonesian descent, or it was a term used in the Dutch East Indies to apply to Europeans who had partial Asian ancestry.[12][13][14][15][16] The European ancestry of these people was predominantly Dutch, but also included Portuguese, British, French, Belgian, German and others.[17]

The term “Indo” is first recorded from 1898,[18] as an abbreviation of the Dutch term “Indo-Europeaan”. Other terms used at various times are Dutch IndonesiansEurasians,[19] Indo-EuropeansIndo-Dutch[12] and Dutch-Indos.[3][20][21][22][23]

Europeans and Eurasians in Sumatra, early 20th century. Tropenmuseum, part of the National Museum of World Cultures.


There were few public signs of the Indo culture. The most visible public sign of Indo Culture is the yearly event Pasar Malam Besar (the Great Night Market) in The Hague that currently continues under the name Tong Tong Fair.[116]  The second largest gathering of Indo Dutch diaspora outside of the Netherlands is at the annual Holland Festival in Los Angeles, USA.

Tong Tong Fair - The Hague. Largets EurAsian Festival in the world. Copyright TongTongFair.

Culinary Heritage

If you are wondering what Indo Dutch Food is, you are not alone. Internationally, little is known about this exotic cuisine. Many people still refer to it as Indonesian food. Not entirely wrong when you consider it originated in the same geographical area known as Indonesia. There are actually differences between Indonesian and Indo Dutch cuisine, even though they are intertwined on many levels. As some would say about this relationship, “It’s complicated!” The cuisine originated in the former Dutch East Indies and lives on in the Indo Dutch diaspora. Read more HERE.

Indo culinary culture has made an enduring impact on Dutch society. There is no other place outside Indonesia with such an abundance of Indonesian food available.[117] Indos played a pivotal role in introducing both Indonesian cuisine and Indo fusion cuisine to the Netherlands, making it so popular that some consider it an integral part of Dutch cuisine.

To read more about Indo Dutch food culture, click here.

Many dishes that originated in the former Dutch East Indies  have become commonplace in the Netherlands: nasi goreng (fried rice), pisang goreng (fried bananas), lumpia goreng (fried spring rolls), bami (fried noodles), satay (grilled skewered meat), satay sauce (peanut sauce), and sambal ulek (chilli paste).[118] Most towns in the Netherlands will have an Indies or Indonesian restaurant and toko (shop). Even most Chinese restaurants have added Indonesian dishes to their menu such as babi panggang (roasted pork), and many now call themselves Chinese Indies Restaurants.[117]

Arts, music & literature

Indo influence in Dutch society is also reflected in the arts, i.e. music[119][120] and literature.

An important champion of Indo culture was the writer Tjalie Robinson (1911–1974), who co-founded the Tong Tong Fair.[121][122] Louis Couperus‘ Of Old People, the Things that Pass (Van oude mensen, de dingen die voorbij gaan, 1906) is a well-known example of an older Indies narrative. Maria Dermoût is known as a nostalgic Indies writer. Marion Bloem‘s postmemory work evolves around an artistic exploration of Indo identity and culture, which puts her in the tradition of the Indo spokesman Tjalie Robinson.[81][123]

Tjalie Robinson alias for Jan Boon - intellectual & writer


Indorock 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 (traditional Portuguese-Indonesian fusion music). The genre was invented by Indo repatriates in the Netherlands after Indonesian independence on August 17, 1945, and became popular especially in Germany. Indorock is one of the earliest forms of “Eurorock”.[1] Its influence on Dutch popular music was immense.[2]

The Tielman Brothers was the first Dutch-Indonesian band to successfully venture into the international music scene in the 1950s. They were one of the pioneers of rock and roll in The Netherlands, and are credited with releasing the first Dutch rock and roll single, Rock Little Baby of Mine in 1958. The band became famous in Europe for playing a kind of rock and roll later called Indorock, a fusion of Indonesian and Western music with roots in Kroncong. At the height of their career, in the 1950s and early 1960s, the band was hailed as one of the greatest live-acts in Europe.


Kroncong (pronounced “kronchong”; Indonesian: Keroncong, Dutch: Krontjong) is the name of a ukulele-like instrument and an Indonesian musical style that typically makes use of the kroncong (the sound chrong-chrong-chrongcomes from this instrument, so the music is called kroncong). A kroncong orchestra or ensemble traditionally consists of a flute, a violin, at least one, but usually a pair of kroncongs, a cello in pizzicato style, string bass in pizzicato style, and a vocalist. Kroncong originated as an adaptation of a Portuguese musical tradition, brought by sailors to Indonesian port cities in the 16th century. By the late 19th century, kroncong reached popular music status throughout the Indonesian archipelago.[1]

Tielman Brothers - Indo Rock. Copyright Zeroto180

Virtual Dutch East Indies – a peak in the Indo-European society

The Dutch East Indies was once the largest colony in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. A society that is still remembered by many who have come to the Netherlands. Dutch Indies people, residents of various islands in the archipelago, Moluccans and Dutch who have lived and worked there. They are memories that fade or discolour over the years. All these different personal memories and views make the history of the Dutch East Indies, recorded on The stories are written, in photo and image, in sound and as animation.

Virtual Dutch East Indies - Pelita Foundation NL

Indos in Indonesia

Experiences of Indos who remained in Indonesia after independence. Video is in Dutch language.


Indo in Indonesia is about the experiences of Indos (as they call themselves) who were born in the former Dutch East Indies or who then lived there and remained in Indonesia after independence. They are usually of mixed Asian-European descent and have had European upbringing. How was this education? Could they choose to stay or leave and why did they stay? How did they reshape their lives after independence? More than 300,000 people left the archipelago between 1946 and 1964. A significant portion of these were indos. Indos also continued to live in Indonesia. Precisely by staying, they also migrated: from the Dutch East Indies to Indonesia. Everything around them changed. Their stories can be found on this site, divided into five themes.

The word Indo

The word Indo is used in modern Indonesia as short for Indonesia(n). The terms Indo or Indo people (Orang Indo) are used to describe people who acknowledged to be of mixed Dutch and Indonesian descent (or East Indies, during Dutch colonial time). Indo is not the “right” short form of Indonesia as equivalent how United States is shortened to be “The U.S.” as explained in this oped.

More Links


Amsterdam of Immigrants: Sharing the Motherland – Video

Asiatic Fleet USS Houston

Back to Linggajati – 27-min You Tube film about the historical meaning & impact of the Linggajati Agreement made between the Dutch & Indonesians

Batavia, Dutch East Indies – videos

Bersiap – Wikipedia

COFEPOW  Children (& Families) of Far East Prisoners of War

Concert live in Dutch East Indies

Cruiser Houston Survivors

Detailed description of the Dutch Empire

Dutch cultural heritage in Indonesia

Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), the Netherlands (1930s & 1940s) YouTube film

Dutch Filmakers – Retel Helmrichs – Raw Herring Film

East Indies Camp Archives Details of Japanese prison camps

Farewell to the Indies – Watch 7 1/2 minute film on How To Do Research – Digital Archives from the 1940s

Holland:  The Original Cool – Video

Hoover Institution Stanford University

Indo Resources – Dutch & English – ArcEngel

Indocentric Chimera 

Indos in pre-colonial history

Java FEPOW Club 1942

Jews have been in Indonesia for a very long time…

Living in Amsterdam – Video

Living witness confirms existence of camp for Jews in wartime Indonesia

My Indo World

National Library Singapore Digital archive of English language newspapers between 1831-2006

Pacific War Animated – See when & how Japan captured the countries in the Pacific WWII

Prisoners of War of the Japanese 1942-1945, Western Australia

Read about the “Killer of Dutch colonialism”- the amazing story of Max Havelaar

Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian & Caribbean Studies

Stuff Dutch People Like (16.6 million people can’t be wrong, right?)

The Indies Commemoration Center

The Story of Anda Kerkhoven

The Story of the Netherlands East Indies View the tour in English or Dutch.  Use your mouse to continuously press the arrows to “walk” through the museum.


Dutch News

NL Expat

Indonesian News

Indonesian Expat


Indische Genealogische Vereniging

National Archives in The Netherlands

National Library of The Netherlands

Netherlands East Indies Start Page  Main resource for Dutch language sites

Netherland Institute for War Documentation

View Missed TV programs in NL

Connecting with the Indos left behind. TIP does not have direct access to names of the people but you can contact the following organizations that are set up for the specific purpose of helping the Indos left behind in Indonesia.

Neys-van Hoogstraten Foundation

Stichting Adinda 

Stichting Halin 

Stichting Hulp 

Het Geheugen – History in pictures

Indisch is een gevoel – Indies is a feeling – The second and third generation of the Indo-Dutch people.

Javanese revolutionaries fighting for independence. Most are armed with bamboo spears; the few rifles are Japanese. Tropen Museum Amsterdam.

The Bersiap

Below are resources that will provide more information about the period in Indo history called The Bersiap. 


Extremists Run Amok Against Indische-Nederlanders.


Bersiap Wikipedia (English Version)

Indischekamparchieven-Bersiap (English)

Dutch Indonesian Community -“Bersiap”, Revisionism in Indonesian History Book(sic)?
Who is Responsible for the Bersiap – Jakarta Post Article

The Bersiap in Semarang (Do a search for the items below)
Children Seeking Refuge in Flight – Bersiap in Semarang
Posters from the Bersiap time 


Bersiap Wikipedia (Dutch Version)

Bersiap Archief van Tranen – Trail of Tears

A must see: Archief van Tranen (Dutch)

Comments on Archief van Tranen (Dutch)

Bersiap! Opstand in het paradijs. H.TH. Bussemaker, De Bersiap-periode op Java en Sumatra 1945-1946 (Zutphen, 2005);  De Indische School – Na de oorlog: van bersiap tot Linggadjati – Dr. H.TH. Bussemaker

Historisch Nieuwsblad -Het geweld van de Bersiap door Remco Raben (Excellent)

Kinderen op de vlucht


(Dutch) Soerabaja Surabaya, a Tropical Revolution in the Fall of 1945; film by Peter Hoogendijk; YouTube Trailer – An extremely violent revolution, followed by a fierce and bloody battle in the city of Surabaya, Java, right after WWII. This post colonial episode is entirely forgotten in the Western World, while it is proudly celebrated annually in Indonesia on Heroes Day. But while Indonesia honors its Pemuda-veterans, the events have severely traumatized thousands of (Indo) Dutch victims of the revolution. And for the British-Indian brigade that came in to help, Surabaya 1945 became a horrifying disaster. A Dutch woman finds out what shocking events happened right around her, 60 years ago, when she had to hide under a table, a 17 year old girl yet. She is confronted with three points of view: the Indonesian heroes, the Indo-Dutch victims, and the sons of the British general who got killed during a terrifying scene by an outrageous mob. The views of the persons involved in this tropical drama touch upon universal themes. www.soerabajasurabaya.n

Bevrijding Zonder Vrede – Deel 1

Bevrijding Zonder Vrede – Deel 2

Buitenkampers – 17-minute Preview of the film

Buitenkampers – Full version without English Subtitles

Everything about the KNIL