Prejudice and Discrimination of the Chinese in Indonesia
Indonesia is made up of many different smaller ethnic groups. Most of these smaller groups are indigenous people of the Indonesian islands, “Javanese 40.6%, Sundanese 15%, Madurese 3.3%, Minangkabau 2.7%, Betawi 2.4%, Bugis 2.4%, Banten 2%, Banjar 1.7%, other or unspecified 29.9%.” (2000 census) Chinese people born in China and Chinese people born in Indonesia make up 2-3 percent of Indonesia’s total population. Although some Chinese people in Indonesia are still considered only by their Chinese heritage, others have assimilated and are considered Chinese Indonesian by marrying local Indonesian people or gaining Indonesian citizenship. (cite) The difference between race and ethnicity is the biggest issue when it comes to the identity of Chinese Indonesians. Discrimination and prejudice have been present against Chinese in Indonesia since the 17th century, when the first Chinese people immigrated. Although there has been time of peace, there has been much unrest. Great introduction The history of the Chinese in Indonesia began in the 17th century. They immigrated to South East Asia in hopes of better economic opportunities. The Dutch ruled Indonesia at that time and did not encourage assimilation. The “divide and rule” plan was a three level system that separated local Indonesian people, Dutch and East Asian groups (which included both Chinese born in China as well as Chinese born in Indonesia). This allowed the Chinese to establish trade as their main occupation but did not require Indonesian citizenship. The Chinese also worked on fields and in mines. “People’s dissatisfaction with the Dutch was often directed against the Chinese, who were regarded as their allies”(Knorr, 2009, page number) This occupation made some Chinese business people wealthy, but along with the anti-assimilation ideas of the Dutch, made the indigenous Indonesian people jealous and violent during times of economic and...
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