Departing from Java: Javanese Labour, Migration and Diaspora

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edited by Rosemarijn Hoefte and Peter Meel

From colonial times through to the present day, large numbers of Javanese have left their homes to settle in other parts of Indonesia or much further afield. Frequently this dispersion was forced, often with traumatic results. Today, Javanese communities are found as near to home as Kalimantan and as far away as Suriname and the Netherlands. Meanwhile, migrant workers from Java continue to seek short-term employment in places like Malaysia and Dubai.

This volume traces the different ways in which Javanese migrants and migrant communities are connected in their host society and with Java as a real or imagined authoritative source of norms, values and loyalties. It underlines the importance of diaspora as a process in order to understand the evolving notions of a Javanese homeland across time and space. Even though Java as the point of departure links the different contributions, their focus is more on the process of migration and experiences in destination countries. They examine historical developments and geographical variations in the migrants’ social and political positions, mechanisms of authority, and social relations with other migrants. The volume also examines how ethnicity, class, gender, religion and hierarchy have shaped and still inform the dynamics of diasporic communities.

"The literature on Indonesians who migrated to lands near and far over the past five centuries is sparse in comparison to voluminous studies on the Chinese, South Asian, Japanese, and Filipino emigration and diasporas. This valuable and pathbreaking collection provides the first systematic and global examination of the Javanese who moved temporarily or permanently, especially since 1900, emphasizing labour, migration, and diaspora. The excellent introduction and nine essays covering Javanese experiences in places as diverse as Sumatra, Suriname, New Caledonia, Saudi Arabia, and Hong Kong should interest specialists on Asian diasporas as well as on Indonesian history, culture, society, and economic issues.” – Craig A. Lockard, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

Rosemarijn Hoefte is Professor of the History of Suriname after 1873 at the University of Amsterdam and a senior researcher at KITLV / Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies in Leiden.

Peter Meel is director of research of the Leiden University Institute for History.

Publication year: 2018
302 pp / 229mm x 152mm
9 tables, 2 maps, 12 figures
ISBN: 978-87-7694-246-5, Paperback
ISBN: 978-87-7694-245-8, Hardback

NIAS Press