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Book source: The Javanese in Suriname, Ethnicity in an Ethnically Plural Society, Parsudi Suparlan,Arizona State Univ., Tempe, 1995. ISBN 1-881044-02-5

Subject: [Javanese] To Become or not to Become (part 2)

When in 1954 the Dutch and Indonesia were at war about West-Irian, new regulations were issued (Donker Wet). It required Javanese who wanted to retain or obtain Dutch citizenship to submit the request to the Government of Suriname. They had to prove that they lived for 5 years in Suriname and that their permanent residence was Suriname. They had to prove not to have any police record. Thus some renounced their Indonesian citizenship and became Dutch. Especially those who worked for the government, aluminum industry and the younger Javanese who had no desire of going back. As Indonesians were in 1954 excluded from participating in Suriname's politics they began to realize that the price they had to pay was costly. Eventhough in 1973 some 20% of the 58,000 Javanese were Indonesian. The Coup of 1965 frightened many Javanese thus some more decided not to return to Java. There was no longer a 'Go Home to Java' dream but a wake-up call of how to improve the living conditions in Suriname and thus 'hope of returning' was lost. ------ Albert

Met dank aan Albert Buys

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