How Literature Taught Me About Indië

My name is Ingrid Dümpel and I was born and raised in Indië or the Dutch East Indies. Both my parents are ‘Indisch’—with paternal ancestors from the west and maternal ancestors from Indonesia. I realized what a privilege it was to have grown up there, when I started interviewing Indisch children who were born in Holland. Something is missing for me, they said.What did they miss, I wondered. That life in the country of their Indonesian ancestors, being surrounded in the inner circle by Indisch people, their way of living and way of thinking, the use of that colloquial language, varying from correct Dutch to petjok*, a mix of Dutch and Indonesian. Thank God, Tjalie Robinson wrote one book in petjok: Ik En Bentiet. The Indo Project

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