ELI5 why after over 300 years of dutch rule, contrary to other former colonies, Indonesia neither has significant leftovers of dutch culture nor is the dutch language spoken anywhere.

  1. An extra tidbit on the Dutch in Japan: the reason they were allowed stay when other Christians were kicked out was because the Japanese made any Christians doing business destroy Christian religious icons to prove they were "loyal" to the Japanese emperor. Fortunately for the Dutch protestants, they already considered the iconography to be blasphemy, so had no problem destroying it, unlike the Catholic Portuguese.

  2. I learned the gist of this story by reading the book shogun by James clavell. It's such a great story, worth a read.

  3. They didn't bring any missionaries over like every other country and helped against the Christian rebellion last I remember. So it was little more than please" let us stay were nice ". And it worked out well because they basically got monopoly on foreign trade and were given that island to do business.

  4. This is almost pedantic of me, but I’d ask you pay attention to your use of pronouns. In the last paragraph you switch up the sentence’s subject resulting in the meaning of “they” to be unclear. One sentence they means Japan, and the next they means the Dutch. I’m sure it makes sense in your head, but your thoughts have more context than your words convey to the reader.

  5. Yup, pretty much the same in South Africa. The Dutch were here to establish a trade and supplies station. They tried to have amicable relations with the locals and even outlawed enslavement of the indigini. When the English arrived 150 years later, with their greed to conquer the whole world, the shit started, and the decendants of the Dutch - the Afrikaners - resisted British expansionism in two consecutive wars. (The Afrikaners evenually adopted a lot of the English racial superiority attitudes, ergo apartheid). In New York/Nieu Amsterdam, the Dutch era was supposedly also known for its racial tolerance and progressive governance.

  6. Well for the most part yeah, only in the 19th century did we give it a go, but it turned out the Indonesians weren't very fond of learning the culture and language of the nation that was actively discriminating and exploiting them. But it definitely happened, the real reason is mostly that many colonised areas had a stream of migrants like South or North America from Europe which of course retained their cultural background. The Netherlands had no such population size, so Indonesians culture was mostly the same as there were almost only Indonesians living there. A good example is India, which really didn't take much of English culture as not many British lived there

  7. I think you mean 400 years. The Dutch arrived around the early 1600’s. In 1868 was the Meiji revolution where japan openly accepted western culture and influence

  8. This is also the case in Murica after the civil war. That’s how we ended up with 1000 statues and buildings, schools, and military bases named after Confederate politicians and military members.

  9. I don’t think it was "given". During the Edo period (correct me if I’m wrong) they were only allowed trades once a year.

  10. I remember an account from a dude who intentionally marooned himself on Japan during their isolation. He was forced to step on a clay image of the Virgin Mary before entering a building to testify to some officials as to his reason for being there. The implication was that not doing so would have sealed his death sentence.

  11. Now i read up a bit on Dejima and i want a period videogame thats a bit like the Yakuza games but set in Nagasaki during the 19th century in the port

  12. I like how this explanation is basically the Dutch going around “duuude we just wanna smoke your spices” and the rest of the world being like “duuude take a seat man and join the party” and everyone lives in harmony.

  13. Can we talk about the fact that they just named it 'exit island', I mean it makes sense but come on, add some pizzazz

  14. The Portuguese influenced Japanese food. Tempura for example is a modified fried green bean recipe the Portuguese introduced

  15. There’s a great book “The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet” that features a Dutch clerk on Dejima during this period and it was the first I learned of it!

  16. There’s a great book “The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet” that features a Dutch clerk on Dejima during this period and it was the first I learned of it!

  17. It is also worth noting in the second to last category, even if Europeans, however small the population did settle there, they were unsurprisingly disliked by the majority of the population when independence came.

  18. India’s not a great example though because England does have an enormous influence on Indian Culture, language, and law.

  19. In Indonesia specifically, it’s not like the Dutch didn’t have a lasting impact. It’s just that the impact they left is less cultural than most other former European colonies.

  20. It should also be noted that the Dutch weren't really the group that did the colonizing. It was rather the Dutch East India Company that did most of the traveling. For them it wasn't about setting up colonies, but rather setting up trading hubs to generate revenue.

  21. It never occurred to me that the native population of the Caribbean weren’t in fact African. Wow..

  22. The German colonial possessions always cracked me up and made me think they were doing it just to play catch-up. They got the shit no one else wanted and then strutted around like a rooster bragging about their colonies. The French and English were all looking all like bemused older brothers after their younger brother’s first family trip to the whorehouse.

  23. Honestly I never knew what made European colonialism so special. One of these points is what EVERY strong country did in human history from the Aztec Empire (look it up they did some horrible shit to their neighbours) through the Ottomans to the Qing Empire. Europeans were only different is that they had large ships so they could go farther.

  24. Compared with Great Britain and France's pattern of colonization, the Dutch established outposts, plantations, and ports in the East Indies with little energy devoted to the territory further inland from their stops between China, Batavia, Moluccas and the Netherlands.

  25. From what I've heard about Brazil, the Portuguese started out in "extractive resources grabbing" mode and took a while to move into a more permanent settler state with intermarriage, but also had slavery on a massive scale. The Brazilian musician Henrique Eisenmann had an interesting take on it in his

  26. There are dutch influence on Indonesian cuisine as well. We eat Kaastengels on Eid and we put hagelslag on our toast.

  27. There's lots and lots of Indonesian people here and you can indeed find Indonesian food pretty much everywhere. Everybody has sambal in their fridge. My very old, very white, pretty sheltered, grandma who lives in a small town is pretty okay at making peanut sauce and nasi goreng.

  28. My dutch mother cooked a mean Nasi Goreng! My dutch step-father worked in Indonesia for some years and had a collection of Batik shirts that he wore constantly. He taught me how to say hello, goodbye and thank you in Indonesian, which came in useful when I was visited Surabaya and Jakarata as part of my Naval service. Also, a little dutch can get you a long way as well.

  29. French fries with Indonesian peanut sauce and mayonaise, with a side of coated and deep fried Nasi Goreng is the peak of culinary fusion.

  30. There are a couple of important points here. First, the Dutch were expelled through a brutal war by the people who lived in Indonesia, and anyone who was allies with the Dutch (e.g. those Indonesians with mixed heritage, often referred to as Indos) were sent packing with them. The bad blood between the Dutch and the Indonesians was reason enough to make sure that there would be little to no remnants of Dutch culture left, and the Dutch speaking Indonesian population was essentially pushed out of Indonesia. They mostly reside in the Netherlands now.

  31. British infamously did the exact opposite in India, to divide and rule. By dividing up the Hindus and Muslims they’d fight between themselves and never be a challenge for the British. The freedom fighters of India had therefore tried to unite people.

  32. I just talk about this with my cousin the other day, like how such massive archipelago can unite and became 1 country, it's 5 big island and thousand of little one, hell even Bali and Lombok has 4-5 millions people, that's is more people than a lot of small country. 'Thanks' to the Dutch I guess.

  33. Thank you for this summary. I hope this comment works it way to the top. Indonesian history is complicated, and usually misunderstood.

  34. The Indonesian legal system was developed by the Dutch, the existence of Christianity there was almost entirely the Dutch, the use of a Latin alphabet. Although there are linguistic influences, it seems that there was no push for the locals to learn Dutch until the government took over from the Dutch East India Company, around 1800.

  35. It is also the country with the largest Muslim population which surprised me given how far it is from the epicenter of Islam. I’m sure there is a good reason but I’m too tired to read up.

  36. Went to Bali for my honeymoon. Heineken was really the only imported beer besides Bintang. I figured that was some sort of old colonial connection.

  37. Mostly based on keeping the population ignorant. When they did push for an 'empathic' approach and started rudimentary schools unrest grew with a Muslim, communist and nationalistic push in respectively 1910, 1920 and 1930's.

  38. A Dutch professor once made a good point nobody seems to have mentioned yet. In Indonesia it was the practice that the peasants spoke a different language than the rulers. So when the Dutch East India Company took over, they where advised that they shouldn't teach the locals their language otherwise they would see the new Dutch overlords as equals. The Dutch only held a relatively small portion of today's Indonesia till the 19th century, when they expanded it to the rest of the islands. Only after that, in the late 19th and 20th century the Dutch were teaching their language to the local population, but only in small numbers and not long enough to stay a strong part of Indonesian culture. In other colonies of the Dutch the language did in fact survived in a way, bear in mind that the standardisation of Dutch only began in the 19th century and was discussed over a lot, so mainly dialects stayed. Examples are Suriname and the Caribbean islands of the former Dutch Antilles where Dutch is still spoken and South Africa where Afrikaans is a breakaway Dutch dialect. Dutch also existed in New York state until the 19th century and there are also a lot of smaller dialects who stayed around for a while in other regions of the world but eventually disappeared.

  39. Maybe not different languages, but rather, at least in Javanese, it had some kind of caste, mainly 2, Ngoko and Krama, young people talk to older and parents, employee talk to employer using Krama, and vice versa, parent talk to their kids using Ngoko language, etc, Sometimes they similar, most other times, it's like different languages. And since Bahasa became official language, more and more people barely practice it anymore, hell my Krama is very bad too, due to lack of practice

  40. On point 3, it's worth noting that the Dutch didn't just neglect to teach Dutch culture and language to Indonesians, they purposefully banned Indonesians from learning Dutch. Partly to keep Indonesians from gaining access to Western education, and partly because they thought Indonesians were not civilized enough to learn Dutch language and culture. However, Indonesians of higher ranks, like children of local politicians, were allowed to study at schools that catered to Dutch children, to enforce the political alliance with local leaders.

  41. We were never there to impose our culture or our religion, we were there to make money, as others have said.

  42. I grew up in Indonesia and I was taught that the reason British influences are more apparent in India than Dutch influences in Indonesia is that the Dutch didn't appoint locals to administrative positions. The Dutch had Dutch people working in all administrative levels even the low ones. What I mean is the British appointed Indians to many different positions and made them civil servants/involved in municipal work etc. That was why when the Dutch left, the Indonesians had to learn a lot from scratch and did not prosper as well as India did when the British left. That's what I was taught, not sure if it's true but it sounds feasible to me.

  43. I dont think this is true, if anything the Dutch were a lot more hands off for most of their rule of Indonesia. They only controlled some trading ports and strongholds in Indonesia directly while letting most of the country rule itself as long as the Dutch made a nice profit until the end of the 19th century - early 20th century when they properly took over the country. That lasted for some 40 years only, and Indonesia had a huge population so that was to short a period to really make a mark on language and culture, and afterward it was rooted out thoroughly.

  44. Indonesia consists in over 10,000 islands.. it must be a nightmare to administer for a central government. Even by today’s standards

  45. Same with the Spanish and the Philippines. Although Filipinos did get some Spanish words and surnames over the years.

  46. The main island is just Sumatera, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Flores, Maluku and Papua. The rest are too small and has a low population.

  47. Hey OP, everyone is going on about Japan (for some reason), but you mentioned significant leftovers of Dutch culture or the language.

  48. i've spoken indonesian for 19 years but i didn't know those words until today lmao. they sound like the words you'll ever find in a dictionary. taxes is 'pajak' and toilet is either 'kamar kecil' or simply 'toilet'

  49. oooh that's why it's called toilet or MCK in Indonesian, mandi cuci kakhus (baths, wash, toilet)

  50. Some of the better choices would be words like kantor, vermak, meises, makelar, etc. Also the suffixes! Indonesian tends to use Dutch sounding suffixes such as Universitas vs english sounding suffixes (as used by the malay) such as Universiti.

  51. Instead of promoting dutch language, they promoted Indonesian language (based on Malay) for communication between at least 10 major language speakers in Indonesia (from total 727 local languages).

  52. The Dutch did not promote the Indonesian language, quite the opposite. The language was promoted by nationalists opposing the Dutch (who later engaged in guerrilla warfare against them during WW2.

  53. it's more efficient and cheaper for dutch/voc employees to learn malay rather than teaching 100+ million people to speak dutch

  54. Hey a weird question I'm qualified for. My family is mixed Indonesian and Dutch but we look passably "white". This is the primary reason why we speak Dutch. The Dutch did want to interact with the local population in Indonesia but not too much. They wanted intermediaries from mixed families, and being 1/4 Dutch got my family the job. My great grandmother spoke Dutch to the Dutch plantation owners and traders, and Her native languages to everyone else. The civil war in Indonesia was very culturally divided and very brutal, and everyone who spoke Dutch/Indonesian was essentially stuck in the middle.

  55. The Dutch people in the Netherlands became so cynical and bitter after WWII and the Indonesian war of independence. It's a shame your family were the target of it.

  56. There are still parts of Jakarta that have the decaying remains of traditional Dutch houses fronted by now rubbish filled canals

  57. Some older Indonesians speak Dutch. There are some Dutch influences in architecture, food and culture. But colonialism has manifested in different ways among different people in different times. I’m not sure what you mean by ‘significant leftovers’. The Dutch, like all colonial powers stole labour and resources, destabilised indigenous cultures and were resisted, in that struggle Indonesia developed a national identity

  58. I’ve travelled to a number of small Indonesian islands where almost everyone spoke both Dutch and BI fluently and several people claimed to be Dutch despite never having left Indonesia or having Dutch ancestry.

  59. And wasn’t a lot of Indonesian law written in Dutch for a long time? My grandparents were both Indonesian attorneys who were young adults by the time independence was declared and they and all their friends spoke and wrote Dutch fluently and used it day to day. We’ve still got a lot of their law books. All in Dutch.

  60. I’ve always found this dynamic interesting. The Chinese Indonesian population is wealthy because of their relationship to colonial rule (which explains my family’s weirdly colonial-sympathetic views) but also are now politically repressed and have been the target of violent discrimination post-independence.

  61. They run a business less than a political initiative. Their business model was that it's expensive to set up administration and truly colonize the place so they did that as little as possible.

  62. My family is Dutch Indonesian. Batavia which is now Jakarta still has a lot of architectural influence from the Dutch. The Dutch colonial rule in Indonesia wasn't the same as say the British colonies, where they essentially suppressed the local culture nationally. The Dutch and the Dutch East India Company were there to trade and make profit and a lot of outlying territories were largely independent. Hence why places like Bali don't show any of their influence. The Dutch language was never forced on the native population, some hypothesise this also helped to enforce the ruling class of Dutch with an elite status, however the Babus or nannies were required to learn it. Still they greatly influenced things like Indonesia's current legal system which was adopted when they declared independence, and also public infrastructure like roads and rail. Coffee was introduced by the Dutch along with other crops like tea, sugar and rubber which is still to this day one of Indonesia's larger exports. So there is still evidence of the Dutch colonial rule, it's just not as glaringly obvious as some other countries.

  63. That's not true. There are many Dutch words in the Indonesian language. Office and ashtray come to mind immediately. There are still classic Indonesian Dutch cultural mixes in the food scene like Rijstafel. Jakarta has preserved a lot of it's Dutch history. I only lived there for a year but it was obvious back in the 80s.

  64. For some reason, I really wanted to see how GPT-3 answered this, so… here’s what AI thinks is the answer to your question:

  65. bruh this answer is functionally equivalent to any of the other off the cuff unresearched comments here. like if you had zero knowledge of dutch colonial rule this would seem human made and wouldnt be too different to any of the other answers, and its 'accurate' enough for a cursory glance at a reddit comment. fucking scary.

  66. What sets us apart is how we acted, the Netherlands being small we had no vast military nor did we tap into other nations for military strength. So when we got to Indonesia as a nation we would talk to the local chiefs and force them to act on behalf of us. If you refused you would be killed but most wouldn't since they would maintain their position.

  67. There actually is quite a few words in Indonesian which are the same in Germanic languages which I assume is because of their occupation - things like turkey, the word for iron (as in to iron clothes) the number zero, the word for towel and many more I’m sure. Was very surprised to hear these words in Swedish.

  68. On the brighter side, when the English left colonies, they left bureaucracies. When the Dutch left, they left breweries. Thanks 🍻.

  69. Mainly, because Netherland is only interested in taking Indonesian natural resources without giving anything back.

  70. The spanish occupied the netherlands for 200 years, there's only some food traces left but nobody speaks a word spanish nor it is found in our spoken language. The french occupied us for about 20 years and there is so much more food in our culture that is french now but french isn't the primary language, my theory is that a country with a strong history and/or language it will survive beyond overlord rule

  71. Not really, the Spanish occupied what is now the Netherlands for about 100 years, and 80 of those we were at war with them. Before we were at war, they mostly did the same we did in Indonesia: extract value but let the locals rule themselves. When the Spanish then tried to leave their mark on the Netherlands, the war erupted.

  72. Most dutch who physically emigrated went to north america(post dutch) or south africa rather than to dutch colonies.

  73. Dutch imposed segregation and racism in schooling system. Only few selected high nobility from Indonesia can attend school where they taught dutch. Even so, the school for the Dutch kid is separated from Indonesian noble school.

  74. My grandparents are actually Dutch-Indonesian, and what they’ve gone through in their lifetime May offer some insight on this question. Following World War II, native Indonesians fought for and gained independence. During this time, my grandparents were forced out of Indonesia and immigrated to the Netherlands, before ultimately settling in the United States. My understanding is this was a very common occurrence, so when Indonesia gained independence, it literally purged anyone that had a shared Dutch-Indonesian heritage. I’m most certain there are other people of Dutch Indonesian heritage (apparently, Eddie Van Halen and Mark Paul Gosselar are both Dutch Indonesian) that can perhaps add additional insight into their own experiences, but this is what my grandparents have explained to me my entire life.

  75. The Dutch speaking population had to flee the country after the independance. Dutch and mixed Dutch(called "Indo" , plural Indos) were no longer welcone there. Source: I am from Indo descent. Grandparents + kids (includeding my mother) fled in 1957.

  76. I'm Indonesian, but you will have a hard time finding actual Indonesians engaging on this topic, because reddit is banned in Indonesia.

  77. Indonesian here, and long-time EU resident (educated here and gained rightful employment). My partner is Dutch.

  78. Last i was there they did have few words that looked dutch and they use mouse shit in their deserts, we call m mouse shit or muizen strontjes in dutch, small chocolate pellets, itt was a nice surprise until they added grated cheese on top of it... That was a bit of a culture chock. I mean yeah the dutch like muizen strontjes and cheese, BUT NOT TOGETHER 😱

  79. What are you talking about ? I only see Chinese, Malaysians and Singaporeans playing Badminton. Many Indian players have also come up in recent years but it's mostly Chinese dominant.

  80. Mia Audina is the only Dutch badminton player ever to won a (silver) medal at the Olympics in 2004, after winning a silver medal for Indonesia in 1996.

  81. Lack of integration, the dutch just ruled with an iron hand and lived in their own luxuary housing seperated from the the what was basically serfs, they got their spices and crops, and sold it at high prices elsewhere. It was a teneous hold as best, along with corruption and missmanagement that lead to the dutch losing out on the prime real estate in the 1800, since the way they kept control was with wars, and wars are expensive in places where you dont have solid foundations, and an endless amount of mercenaries/soldiers.

  82. I'm personally grateful we were colonised by the Dutch abd not the British. The Dutch are hopeless at the divide and conquer stuff, we got out of their clutches in one piece, unlike India or Malaya.

  83. So you are saying the corruption of people nowadays who never ever had anything to do or even see the colonialism, are corrupt because of the colonialism, and not because they are selfish and just corrupt and don’t do anything about it to change it themself?

  84. Dutch is what seperates Indonesian language from Malaysian/Singaporean/Brunei language. They use loads of Dutch words.

  85. Cos they looked over the border to Malaysia and say the Malays shooting the Brits in their country and didn't want none of that.

  86. Let me answer your question with another question: How many dutch colonist relocated there and how much of the local government was structured in the Dutch Language?

  87. Dutch, French, Portuguese and British had colonies in India but only french, portuguese and english became popular, wonder why?

  88. The welted shoe industry could be considered a significant holdover from the Dutch occupation. Lots of shoe makers carrying on the Dutch manufacturing traditions they left.

  89. not true. we use lots of localized dutch words. the whole area of "kota tua" and around yogyakarta post office has old european architecture and it's actually preserved, maintained, restored fairly often

  90. Indonesia has definitely left it's mark on the Netherlands though, there's so much satay around in NL compared to the UK - I love it! And Indonesian restaurants are much more common. Similar to how in the UK we have lots of Indian curry houses.

  91. Went there and the older generation almost all at least understood dutch and many of them spoke it. I guess a language can dissapear as fast as their opressors

  92. The most simple answer is Direct vs Indirect Imperialism. Direct required heavy military and civilian presences which led to culture changes. Indirect allowed local officials to maintain control with only a minor military presences required.

  93. Probably covered by other comments, but likely Dutch more interested in trading for value, not creating huge communities and making stuff/crops/etc themselves.

  94. I'm not an historian but if I'm not wrong I once read the Dutch were said to not "mingle" with the local population.

  95. This is not true. Quite some buildings are still there and are built in a comparable style you could find in the Netherlands from the same period. Especially on Java. Some of the older generation speaks okay Dutch and some words are still used in the Indonesian language (like 'Gratis' for example).

  96. They were not so much as colonies as they were resource deposit, you don't usually bring your culture to your storage room workers

  97. Well, a Dutch man and an Indonesian woman once fell in love, and they had two sons, Alex and Edward, and for that I'm eternally grateful...

  98. It was thought that teaching them a European language would 'enlighten' them, which would cause them to revolt against colonial rule.

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