Please meet and welcome Josina Hillsland, our new TIP Liaison in the Netherlands who will keep us updated (among other things) about the Indische Kwestie and other matters related to the Indo community in the Netherlands:
My name is Josina. I’m a second-generation Indo. I live in the heart of the Netherlands.
My grandfather was an absolute, more than 6 feet tall, Belanda Besar Putih from Amsterdam who joined the KNIL. My grandmother was the daughter of an Indonesian woman and a very wealthy German Indo man. My grandparents had 6 children born between 1930 and 1941. My father was their youngest child. Because my Grandfather was transferred by the KNIL a lot, all their children were born on different Islands. My father was born in Jakarta just before the war and that’s where they had to stay until they were forced to move to the Netherlands in 1958.
I know very little about my family history. I still have so many questions. I hope to find some answers in the collective Dutch Indo history.
I also hope  that we will give the third and further generations some knowledge about their Dutch Indo identity. Because the first generation was/is very traumatized they could/can not talk about the Dutch Indo times. Their only comfort was always the food.
The second generation has to tell the stories and save the Dutch Indo identity, i.e. tell further generations that in their mixed blood is a culture that they should know about. Even though most Dutch Indos do not look like Indos anymore, the culture still rushes through their veins. They are entitled to know their family stories, the two wars in the Dutch Indies must be written about in history books, backpay must be paid.
They were kicked out of their Motherland and were not welcome in their Fatherland. They had no choice, they had to leave Indonesia. Leave all their possessions, only taking one suitcase you could carry, getting transferred to wherever the government wanted you to go, getting ripped off by pension holders, paying back the government and all that so called “help”, and knowing that the government still owed you three and a half years of payment.
We have to educate but in a way that inspires. In a way that people want to read and know about. Not judging the past, but learning from it.
I hope I can pass on some knowledge. My daughter is very Dutch Indo minded and that makes me very proud.
Josina Hillsland


  1. Hi Josina Hillsland,
    Already a couple month ago I made the suggestion to another person of the Indo Project for the possibility to have somebody in the Netherlands to represents all the Indo’s in America and if needed in other countries.
    At that time, not knowing you, I had another name in my mind. From out of your position I hope you will listen to all the Indo’s in the USA. Let me introduce myself first. I am Ronny Geenen from California and a first generation (1936) from West Sumatra, Padang. I do not know if you have deepened your thoughts about the IHC (Indisch Herinnerinscentrum) in The Hague yet. I collected already more then 200 pages of information about the subject. Base on all the info I will bring up some of my ideas in a article. Let me know if you are interested? What is your email?

    • Hello Ronny,

      We’d love to know more about your article! Sending a copy or a draft to the private emails you have for some of the Indo board members would be ideal. We realize that you and your website offer a lot of information on the subject of Indos and want to applaud you for all that you do for our community. I’ll mention it again here for the people who are not aware of it.

  2. The meaning of words

    “mixed blood” is a much used expression in indo-speak. It derives from a misconcept, pseudo-scientific use of race, influenced by the Gobinau, see his book “Essay on the inequality of human race “. De Gobineau had an substantial influence on national-socialist or fascist theories on Race of the 3rd Reich see for example the Nuremberg Race Laws (1935) that institutionalized many of the racial theories developed by Nazi ideology.

    It is rather peculiar that Indo’s, brought up in a colonial racial society use this racial, white supremacist term, that sounds more common in KKK- film.

    Morover “Dutch Indo identity” is of the same thing twice (tautology) for Indo is a mixture of Dutch and Indonesian

    I only want to say that especially indo’s ought to be aware of significance and origin of the words they use, taking into account the colonial mind set.

    • Thanks for your input, Peter. What would you suggest as a better term or word to describe Indos? We are continually evolving and The Indo Project knowledge base is expanding as well. I’m curious as to what is a more appropriate word to describe us?

      • I must apologize that I did not react before, I was forgotten it and I am not a regular visitor of The Indo project as well.

        Indo is someone who has its origin in the Netherlands Indies, whose ancestors are from Dutch and Indonesian origin and has shared history.

        The roots of the “Indo” goes back to the colonial time, where the Eurasians (Indo-Europeanen) had their own culture as marginal persons in a society of exclusion. The ancestors are from Dutch and Indonesian origin. Indo’s have a shared history: Netherlands Indies : Tempo Doeloe – decolonization period (1945-1950) -Emigration.

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