The Chinese in Indonesia form a significant minority of about three percent of the population, and have played a disproportionately important role in the country. Given that Chinese Indonesians are not seen as indigenous to the country and are consistently defined against Indonesian nationalism, most studies on the community concentrate on examining their ambivalent position as Indonesia's perennial "internal outsider." Chinese Indonesians Reassessed argues for the need to dislodge this narrow nationalistic approach and adopt fresh perspectives which acknowledge the full complexity of ethnic relations within the country. The focus of the book extends beyond Java to explore the historical development of Chinese Indonesian communities in more peripheral areas of Indonesia, such as Medan, the Riau Islands and West Kalimantan. It reveals the diverse religious practices of Chinese Indonesians, which are by no means confined to "Chinese" religions, and celebration of "Chinese" ethnic events. Presenting a rich array of historical and contemporary case studies, the book goes beyond national stereotypes to demonstrate how Chinese Indonesians interact with different spaces and environments to establish new Chinese Indonesian identities which are complex and multi-faceted. The book engages with a larger global literature concerned with diasporic Chinese identities and practices and offers sophisticated and empirically grounded insights on the commodification of ethnic cultures and religions.

chapter |26 pages


A critical reassessment of Chinese Indonesian Studies
BySiew-Min Sai, Chang-Yau Hoon

chapter 1|18 pages

The Tiong Hoa Hwee Koan School

A transborder project of modernity in Batavia, c. 1900s
ByDidi Kwartanada

chapter 2|20 pages

The Nanyang diasporic imaginary

Chinese school teachers in a transborder setting in the Dutch East Indies
BySiew-Min Sai

chapter 4|20 pages

Materializing racial formation

The social lives of confiscated Chinese properties in North Sumatra
ByYen-ling Tsai

chapter 5|18 pages

The translocal subject between China and Indonesia

The case of the Pemangkat Chinese of West Kalimantan
ByHui Yew-Foong

chapter 6|17 pages

The Chinese of Karimun

Citizenship and belonging at Indonesia's margins
ByLenore Lyons, Michele Ford

chapter 7|21 pages

The spirit-mediums of Singkawang

Performing “peoplehood”
ByMargaret Chan

chapter 8|19 pages

“By race, I am Chinese; and by grace, I am Christian”

Negotiating Chineseness and Christianity in Indonesia
ByChang-Yau Hoon

chapter 9|22 pages

Expressing Chineseness, marketing Islam

The hybrid performance of Chinese Muslim preachers
ByWai-Weng Hew