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Subject: [Javanese] To Become or Not to Become (part 1)

When Indonesia received its independence from the Dutch on 27 Dec 1949, the Javanese in Suriname were given the opportunity to choose the Dutch or Indonesian nationality. The time to think this over would be until 1951. Those Javanese in Suriname who were born in Indonesia were Indonesian and had two years to declare their preference for the Dutch nationality. Those Javanese born in Suriname had two years to declare their preference for the Indonesian nationality. Javanese were divided about nationality. Those generations during and prior to 1950 were oriented to Java and Indonesia. The after 1950 generation oriented themselves toward Suriname and the Netherlands. In 1972, there were 58,863 Javanese living in Suriname. At present (1997) some 22,000 Javanese Surinamers live in the Netherlands. In 1950 those Javanese who retained Indonesian citizenship did so because : -they were recruited,-were not happy,-felt living conditions were not better than on Java,-felt neglected by the government,-the intelectuals felt there was no chance for advancement in Suriname,-they were proud to be Indonesian. Things began to change as on January 1951, Javanese who were not Dutch citizen could not participate in politics. This was quickly changed again and Indonesians in Suriname were now Dutch subjects and could participate. -----

Met dank aan Albert Buys

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