The Long Way Home -- LA Times on Dutch-Indonesians

Since the 1950's, tens of thousands Dutch-Indonesians emigrated to the United States from the Netherlands. The majority moved to Southern California and Los Angeles is now home to the largest Dutch Indo community, with some 100,000 people.

This weekend the Los Angeles Times writes about the Dutch-Indonesian community:

The California dream represented a myriad of personal and professional opportunities for the Indo diaspora. More than a few followed family and friends who had already arrived on the West Coast. Some traveled coach across America in bumpy railcars from the East Coast, tired of the same chilly climate they’d so disliked in the Netherlands. For a few, collecting fan cards of favorite actors and memorizing lyrics to big-band songbooks had made the Golden State a beacon since childhood. And for all practical purposes, it was a logical choice: The postwar economy boomed, jobs and housing were plentiful, schools were good and, much like in Indonesia, the weather was glorious year-round. They may have longed for home, but they knew they could belong here.

The article mentions the Indo Project, an English-language resource for Dutch-Indonesians in the U.S.:

Bianca Dias-Halpert, who was born in the Netherlands and raised in the U.S., has spearheaded the Indo Project, one of the few English-language cultural resources. “The Indo Project has been a work in progress since 2005,” she says. “There’s a wealth of information about us in Dutch, and the community in the Netherlands is well connected, but there’s almost nothing here. After a visit back to Holland, I saw how disconnected we were from our culture.”

LA Times: The Long Way Home.



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