Lessons from the Malaysian Dutch Eurasians

While I was vacationing in Malaca I found out about the small Dutch Eurasian community. The Dutch was in Malaca for almost 200 years and these people are their descendants. Aside from their last names , the locals are said to still possess some unique  characteristics of their Dutch ancestors.

Unfortunately for me, time ran out and I never got to speak with anyone from this community (I’ve read about them in the museum). So, I was left wondering what these people were really like.

These Dutch Eurasians are organizing themselves so they can collectively study their past. An organization lead by one Malaysian Dutch Eurasian has started a website dedicated for the “minority and forgotten community of Dutch descendants living in Malaysia”.They want to find out more about their “rich historical past… unique and unrivaled heritage”.

And this is the challenge because they had lost much, including the language,  because the tie with “Netherlands are much further back in history”. This are bound to happen with small groups because the natural tendency for small ethnic minorities are too merged with popular and more dominant culture. This is the reason why conservation and study projects must be made.

They’ve already started interviewing Dutch Eurasian in Malaca and KL. I think its a great initiative. I wish them the best.

The reason that I think this is important is that these groups are studying a past that many of us would see bad. We forget about the importance of the cultural and historical aspects.  For many, the solution is to rid the Filipino of everything related to our hispano filipino past. That would be sure interesting if anyone can do that.

Just look at the opposition directed at the efforts in bringing back the Spanish language, which has been historically one of our official language. These issues gets too politicized. In the end, nothing gets done.

By the way, I don’t think the most Dutch Eurasian’s in Malaysia still speaks Dutch. The language has been lost for some reason but there still could be some of them that still speaks Dutch.

Advertisements

2 responses to “Lessons from the Malaysian Dutch Eurasians

  • siska oei

    I do believe some of them still speak dutch or they speak Indonesian with several words in dutch. What I would like to know is how has this affected the children of the Indo dutch who had to grow up in Holland or America after the war.
    My brothers and sisters they were born in Indonesia but grew up in Holland so they never got to experience living on the islands of Indonesia

    No place to call home! No I don’t belive Indonesia will ever be the place that my mom and dad knew when they grew up.
    nor will indonesians except us as being Indonesian’s because we fought against Indonesia and took the dutch side. But , it would have been nice if we had a place where we truly could feel like we belong.

    Now , all we can do is read about the past to understand our parents , our past and culture.

  • Elizabeth Medina

    I’ll never tire of insisting that to consider a part of your past “bad” and therefore to ban it, or erase it, is PSYCHOLOGICAL SUICIDE.

    Santayana: If you don’t understand the past, you will never be freed of it (paraphrase).

    I know it is not netiquette to plug one’s things, but anyone who wants to read how my own past healed me when I discovered it — I invite you to download for free the English version of Sampaguitas in the Andes in my website: http://www.elizabethmedina.cl > Writing > Sampaguitas in the Andes.

    Also, Filipinos ought to read a very important Indonesian author who wrote about the colonization of Java — a beautiful Trilogy —

    Pramoedya Ananta Toer

    He is a Rizal. You will be rivetted and deeply moved. You will learn about something important.

    Big Hug
    isabel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: