Being an Indonesian in the Netherlands I am amazed to how much I am exposed to the word "Indonesia" or "the Dutch Indies" from time to time. It is true that the Dutch has settled about 350 years in Indonesia but Indonesia has been independent since 1945. Apparently 63 years are relatively short to get rid of what has happened between the two nations.

A small example. I have chosen a small book titled "Laatste Schooldag" (the Last School Day) by Jan Siebelink because I want to learn about school life in the Netherlands. And all of sudden in one part of the book appeared a story about gold mining of Sumatra.

Other story. Last Sunday I joined a tour to Fort of Abcoude. The guide told a long story and suddenly mentioned that the Fort has been used as an exercise place for armies who went to the Dutch Indies in the 50's.

Several months back I went to a jail museum in Drenthe Province. All participants biked, lunched, walked and during the talk I found out that the former hospital was for the malaria patients who went back from Indonesia.

I could go on and on with thousand examples. The point is every time I am exposed to stories and words of Indonesia I feel so close historically to the Netherlands, it almost feel like a home. I doesn't mean I agree with what they have done in Indonesia, but history is part of our current life, whether or not we like it. To some degree it reflects on many facet of daily life. Probably a Dutch person will feel the same feeling if he/she is in Indonesia and to see how much Dutch elements in the Indonesian life.


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