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"Between two worlds". Dutch Eurasians in transition from the 'Indies' to the Netherlands: 1930-1965

Lugten, Maaike M.C. (1985) "Between two worlds". Dutch Eurasians in transition from the 'Indies' to the Netherlands: 1930-1965. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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The Dutch Eurasians from the Netherlands East Indies constitute the largest migrant group in the Netherlands. After the cessation of Dutch colonial rule in Indonesia in December 1949, approximately 400,000 Eurasians emigrated to the Netherlands, which at that time had a population of approximately 10 million. The great majority arrived during the 1950s.

This thesis will describe the social origins of the Dutch Eurasian community; it will analyse the community's position in the former Netherlands Indies; it will explore some of the reasons why so many members of this community decided to emigrate from Indonesia to the Netherlands and finally, will assess the community's integration into Dutch society.

This thesis concludes that the Dutch Eurasian community had its origins in the contact between Europeans, Indonesians and Chinese. It argues that in colonial society the Eurasians occupied an intermediate position between the Dutch rulers and the Indonesian ruled, but that in the 1930s the Eurasians drew closer to the Dutch and became increasingly distanced from the Indonesian people. During the Japanese occupation and the Indonesian revolution (1942- 1949) a political bond developed between the Dutch and the Eurasians, which determined the Eurasians' fate at the end of the Indonesian revolution, making it both necessary and possible for them to emigrate to the Netherlands.

The thesis further concludes that the Eurasians have been successfully integrated into Dutch society. Stratification within the Eurasian community has been greatly reduced and the community’s relationship with the Dutch has come to be based on a high degree of equality. But this does not mean that no problems remain. The thesis questions the extent to which integration has been satisfactory to the Eurasians themselves, and argues that culturally, the older members of the community continue to hover "between two worlds".

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Inquiry
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Van der Kraan, Alphons
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