Episode 19: indo-lite, or what it’s like being chinese-indonesian
Swedian’s out for the next couple of episodes, fighting the good fight in the United States and helping America elect its first female president — so for the next few weeks, we’ll have some special guests on the show to talk about feminism, politics, and everything in between!
In this episode, we have writer Skolastika “Tika” Lupitawina (named after the saint), a close friend of Stephanie’s and an active member of the Jakarta feminist scene. The impetus for this episode is the recent November 4th mass protest in the city — which turned violent in heavily Chinese-populated neighborhoods — against the governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, more commonly known as Ahok. Ahok, who is a Christian Chinese-Indonesian, was accused of blasphemy by several extremist Muslim groups for allegedly referencing a Quranic verse to criticize Islam during a speech he gave as he was campaigning for re-election. He is currently under investigation by the police.
Stephanie and Tika — who are both Chinese-Indonesian women — discuss the fear and concern they have over the increasing anti-Chinese sentiments and rhetoric that have emerged in Jakarta over the last few weeks. We break down some of the reasons why Chinese-Indonesians are feeling anxious, including the history of scapegoating, discrimination, and violence against Chinese-Indonesians, as well as debunk the myth of structural/institutional racism perpetrated by Chinese-Indonesians against native Indonesians.
In times like these — especially as this episode is going live on the eve of another potential mass protest against Ahok on December 2nd — we at Dialogika want to reiterate our commitment to dialogue that is driven by common sense and logic, and not fueled by prejudice and fearmongering. Let us have constructive conversations instead of destructive demonizations of individuals and communities! #BhinnekaTunggalIka #UnityInDiversity #AliansiDamaiTanpaDiskriminasi
Thanks for listening!
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For those interested in learning more about the topic, we’ve provided links to resources as well as other recommended readings.
Writings of @Tikalupit — Tika in her own words!
The History of the Ethnic Chinese in Indonesia — the Chinese have been in Indonesia since the 15th century!
The 1965 Massacre — thousands of Chinese-Indonesians were targeted because of their race
Indonesia Turns Its Chinese Into Scapegoats — a prescient February 1998 article from the New York Times
The 1998 Riots — thousands of Chinese-Indonesians were targeted, again, because of their race
Why it’s important to talk about Chinese-Indonesians or Chindos — courtesy of the Jakarta Post
The Discrimination of the Ethnic Chinese in Indonesia and Perceptions of Nationality — a senior thesis by Amanda Walujono for Scripps College
Prosecuting Beliefs — an Amnesty International report on Indonesia’s blasphemy laws
Aliansi Damai Tanpa Diskriminasi — Alliance for Peace Without Discrimination, an organization for diversity and inclusion in Indonesia