Chinese Indonesians Reassessed

History, Religion and Belonging

Edited by Siew-Min Sai, Chang-Yau Hoon

© 2012 – Routledge

226 pages | 18 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2014-07-04
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About the Book

The Chinese in Indonesia form a significant minority of about three percent of the population, and have played a disproportionately important role in the country. Given that Chinese Indonesians are not seen as indigenous to the country and are consistently defined against Indonesian nationalism, most studies on the community concentrate on examining their ambivalent position as Indonesia's perennial "internal outsider." Chinese Indonesians Reassessed argues for the need to dislodge this narrow nationalistic approach and adopt fresh perspectives which acknowledge the full complexity of ethnic relations within the country. The focus of the book extends beyond Java to explore the historical development of Chinese Indonesian communities in more peripheral areas of Indonesia, such as Medan, the Riau Islands and West Kalimantan. It reveals the diverse religious practices of Chinese Indonesians, which are by no means confined to "Chinese" religions, and celebration of "Chinese" ethnic events. Presenting a rich array of historical and contemporary case studies, the book goes beyond national stereotypes to demonstrate how Chinese Indonesians interact with different spaces and environments to establish new Chinese Indonesian identities which are complex and multi-faceted. The book engages with a larger global literature concerned with diasporic Chinese identities and practices and offers sophisticated and empirically grounded insights on the commodification of ethnic cultures and religions.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Chinese Indonesians Reassessed: A Critical Review Siew-Min Sai and Chang-Yau Hoon 1. The Tiong Hoa Hwee Koan School: A Transborder Project of Modernity in Batavia, c.1900s Didi Kwartanada 2. The Nanyang Diasporic Imaginary: Chinese School Teachers in a Transborder Setting in the Dutch East Indies Siew-Min Sai 3. Chineseness, Belonging and Cosmopolitan Subjectivities in Post-Suharto Independent Films Charlotte Setijadi-Dunn 4. Materializing Racial Formation: the Social Lives of Confiscated Chinese Properties in North Sumatra Yen-ling Tsai 5. The Translocal Subject between China and Indonesia: The Case of the Pemangkat Chinese of West Kalimantan Hui Yew-Foong 6. The Chinese of Karimun: Citizenship and Belonging at Indonesia’s Margins Lenore Lyons and Michele Ford 7. The Spirit-mediums of Singkawang: Performing Peoplehood of West Kalimantan Margaret Chan 8. "By Race, I am Chinese; and by Grace, I am Christian:" Negotiating Chineseness and Christianity in Indonesia Chang-Yau Hoon 9. Expressing Chineseness, Marketing Islam: Hybrid Performance of Chinese Muslim Preachers Hew Wai-Weng 10. A Controversy Surrounding Chinese-Indonesian Muslims’ Practice of Imlek Salat in Central Java Syuan-yuan Chiou

About the Editors

Siew-Min Sai is Assistant Professor in the History Department at the National University of Singapore.

Chang-Yau Hoon is Assistant Professor of Asian Studies at Singapore Management University.

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary Southeast Asia Series

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of Southeast Asia.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOC008000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General