Sunday, November 16, 2008

Indos in the USA-Where Are You ?

Pasadena, California, early 1960's the first Indos, De SOOS club

It is estimated that around 60,000 Indos (Indisch or Dutch-Indonesians) emigrated from The Netherlands to the USA in the early 1960's under the Paster-Walter Act which allowed us to come to the USA outside of the immigration population quota of 3000. I have not been able to verify this Paster/Pastor/Pastore-Walter Act through any of the government archives available on line. If anyone out there have another means of verification please send it my way.

Because Nederlandse/Dutch-Indonesians were classified as Dutch it is unclear as to how many actually landed on U.S. soil. The highest concentration started out in California. However, we know now that we are all over the North American continent. For instance, my family started out in Wisconsin the first couple years and ended up in Washington state because we had extended family there. My father's side of the family started out in Massachusetts and ended up on Oregon. What is your story ? If you'd like to volunteer, please leave comment on what state/country you live in.


Elizabeth said...

Our family entered the United States in New York in 1959 and immediately settled in Long Beach California. We were typical of most Indisch and lived in Huntington Beach for many years. My sister and I grew up in a large community of Indische friends that became our extended family in the U.S. During the 60's and 70's we even used to have home delivery from the Hollandse bakker regularly in our neighborhood. Our American neighbors also became regular consumers of ontbijtkoek and boere kaas! One neighbor, Bud loved my mother's food and adopted our style of eating rice with a big spoon and fork. Eventually we branched out, I lived in Northern California, my sister even moved live in the Netherlands for many years. Now my children have moved to New York, Washington state, Oregon, and one lives here with us, in Ventura County. If you look on my blog you will see a picture of our family on the day we became American citizens.

Jeroen said...

The Dutch Studies Program at the University of California, Berkeley recently started a research project related to literature from and about the “Indo” community in the diaspora. In this context, we are looking for all types of text (such as novels, memoirs,
autobiographies, stories, letters, articles, diaries, etc.) written by
Indo’s after they left the Dutch East Indies. We are particularly interested in people who wrote about their experience as emigrant in the US (or Australia, Brazil, Suriname, etc.). All types of text are welcome, both in English and in Dutch.

If you would have such materials yourself or if you know someone who might
have texts that could be interesting for our research project, please

Prof. Dr. Jeroen Dewulf
Queen Beatrix Chair in Dutch Studies
Department of German
5329, Dwinelle Hall
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-3243

Anonymous said...

Hi Bianca,

The Pastore-Walter Act was effective from 1958 through 1961 and enabled circa 20.000 Dutch-Indonesian, Moluccan and Indo-African families to emigrate to the US. I will send you addtional information on the Act asap.

Congratulations on the project!

Griselda Molemans