Dutch Affairs / Dutch East Indies / English / Film / History / Indonesia / Living in NL

Voor Altijd

Voor altijd (Forever) is a short documentary about descendants of people of Dutch former colonies. It was released two days ago. In this documentary there are one Indisch/Indo, one Indonesian, one Moluccan and one Javanese from Suriname. To understand it better, here is a brief  information about the history background of all four persons who are in Voor Altijd.

The Indisch/Indo
The Indisch or Indo people are Eurasians originally from The Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). There are approximately one and a half million Indo/Indisch people living in The Netherlands. Read more about who and what is an Indo/Indisch.

The Indonesian
In the sixties and seventies a number of Indonesians fleed their country due to political climate and settled here. The parents of the Indonesian woman in this short film moved to The Netherlands temporarily but they stayed with as result, she grew up and lives here now.

The Moluccan
These string of islands known as The Moluccas (Bahasa Indonesia Maluku, Dutch Molukken) boasts an abundance of spices. Dutches, Spanish, Portuguese and British were there to exploit the spice trade. Dutch occupied The Moluccas the longest. When Indonesia became a republic from The Netherlands, The Moluccans wanted to gain their independence but it was not possible. So Dutch government offered the Moluccans to temporarily move to The Netherlands. From there and a couple of years later the Moluccans would be able to set their own country. However this failed, sadly. There is an official government of RMS (Republik Maluku Selatan, Republic of the South Moluccas ) in exile in The Netherlands but there is no land. The Moluccan in this documentary is the second/third generation of The Moluccans in The Netherlands.

The Javanese Suriname
In August 1890 almost 33.000 Javanese were shipped from Java to Paramaribo, Suriname. They worked as slave in the sugar cane plantation. Some returned to their homeland but the rest stayed there. Suriname was Dutch colony until its independence in 1975. Since then many Suriname moved to The Netherlands. As did the parents of the Javanese Suriname in this documentary.

This documentary is interesting because it shows in short the common customs between these four persons with yet subtle cultural differences. My husband is an Indo, I recognize much of it here. I hope you find this interesting as well.

23 thoughts on “Voor Altijd

  1. Thanks for sharing the video, Mbak Lorraine! I have always been fascinated by cultural heritage. I personally believe that our cultural identity is shaped by the people who raised us and our surrounding.
    I noticed the three people in the video have so many similarities in the way they conduct themselves. Most of them smile a lot, except the Mollucan. Perhaps he has different personality, I am not sure🙂
    My DH’s descendant is German, and his family is rather reserve. Does your husband observe any of his Indo culture, if you don’t mind sharing?

    • You are welcome Sastri. Would you mind to elaborate what you mean by ‘Does your husband observe any of his Indo culture, if you don’t mind sharing?’ ? Give me an example then I try to answer this question.

        • Oh yes of course. The Indos here are attached to food, language, smell, custom and even the superstitions as well🙂

        • Thanks Mbak for the respond. Mbak Lorraine, do you think there is difference in the degree of cultural influence if Indo people were raised by Indonesian mothers versus by foreign mothers. Given that most of the child rearing usually done by the mothers. I met an American lady who is married to an Indonesian man. She speaks Indonesian fluently because she was living in Indonesia for a few years, but their kids do not speak Indonesian. Perhaps it was their choice, I don’t know. Too bad but I didn’t get the chance to ask many other things. I am rather curious. Have you ever encountered any Indo people that were raised by foreign mothers? Sorry for the lengthy respond, you don’t have to attend to it🙂

        • It might be the choice of the foreign mothers but don’t forget that the Indonesian fathers let it happen. Perhaps it is well-considered choice with reasons we don’t know about. Just like me being amazed of how many Indonesian children with Indonesian parents living in Indonesia but they speak in English and do not speak Bahasa Indonesia at all.

  2. It is, indeed, interesting. Once I met a Surinam girl here (she was not a Javanese descendant btw) but she was able to count, a little bit, in Javanese, hehe😀 .

  3. Terimakasih Mbak Yo untuk share tentang film dokumenter ini. Pasti menarik sekali melihat perkembangan budaya dan kemiripan-kemiripan yang ada di antara mereka.

    • Iya Dan. Makanan, ritual dan bahasa orang Jawa Surinam ya sama aja sama Jawa di Indonesia. Ok, untuk bahasa mereka versi ngokonya.

  4. Menarik sekali mbak yo, di kluarga besar bapak saya juga ada yg keturunan bukan indo tapi arab dan mbah saya ini (krn paman dr bapak jadi saya manggilnya mbah) tinggalnya di pesisir jawatimur, mungkin keturunannya dulu berlayar& akhirnya menetap di pesisir.

  5. Bangga rasanya melihat saudara-saudara dengan keterikatan daerah yang sama dengan negeri tempat saya hidup sekarang. Terlepas dari apa dan bagaimana latar belakang sejarah kita dan mereka, dan di mana kita berada sekarang, toh kita tetap saudara ya? Aaah saya mesti nonton ini dokumenter, bagus banget buat memperkaya informasi. Terima kasih Mbak!

  6. Mbak Yo, terima kasih sekali karena sudah berbagi film dokumenter ini. Aku terharuuuu lihatnya. Bagian terakhir malah bikin berkaca-kaca pas bilang makan nasi goreng Oma, juga yang Indonesia ga boleh keluar rumah dengan perut kosong *ingat Ibu. Mbak, di Haagse Markt, ada dua toko Suriname langgananku beli cabe dan dondong, salah satunya yang jual sukun. Aku kalo sama mereka pakai bahasa Jawa kromo. Awalnya aku pakai bahasa Belanda sama mereka, trus suatu hari mereka dengar aku ngobrol jawa sama temanku, akhirnya sampai sekarang kalau ketemu bapak-bapak yang jual itu selalu pakai bahasa Jawa haha lumayan sering dikasih diskon Mbak kalau beli cabe.

  7. Film dokumenter yg sangat menarik ya.. ah, jadi semakin bertambah nih pengetahuan sy
    Terima kasih mbak Yoyen👍🏻👍🏻😃

  8. Thank you Yoyen for the film, Jadi sekarang lebih tau dengan heritage orang2 Belanda yang related to Indonesia. Ada satu orang Suriname di kantor dan dia kaget pas gua bilang dari Indonesia dia cerita suka masak makanan Indonesia banget, pedahal dia bukan orang dari Indonesia, dia suka masak bami goreng, nasi goreng, sate, masak dengan kecap manis dan sambal, etc.

  9. Aku waktu itu dikasih video ini sama temen. Nonton sampe berkali-kali saking merasa relatable sampe terharu sendiri. Emang aneh rasanya, kenapa ngerasa relatable sama kebudayaan yang dirasain orang yang bukan di Indonesia, tapi entah kenapa nonton ini berasa inget rumah. Mungkin karena aku dibesarkan di keluarga Manado yang kurang lebih customs-nya sama dengan kebudayaan Indo.

    Anyway itu si narasumber Indo, aslinya ganteng loh mbak. Aku sampe penasaran pergi ke tokonya, ada di Rotterdam. Terus nyobain ikan pepes buatan dia. Enak pula rasanya, mirip banget sama pepes ikan yang di Indonesia!

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