Rob Nieuwenhuijs (c.1940)
30 June 1908
Semarang, Dutch East Indies
|Died||8 November 1999 91) (aged|
|Occupation||Writer, author, journalist, historian|
Robert Nieuwenhuys (Semarang, Dutch East Indies, 30 June 1908 – Amsterdam, 8 November 1999) was a Dutch writer of Indo descent. The son of a 'Totok' Dutchman and an Indo-European mother, he and his younger brother Roelof, grew up in Batavia, where his father was the managing director of the renowned Hotel des Indes.
His Indies childhood profoundly influenced his life and work. His Javanese nanny 'nènèk' (English: grandma) Tidjah and particularly his Eurasian mother created the benchmarks of his childhood environment. In his award winning book Oost-Indische spiegel, he states: "If I write about my childhood, I write about her world." and "My Indies youth was critical to my receptiveness to particular cultural patterns. It ingrained a relationship with Indonesia that is irreplaceable."
Nieuwenhuys is the Nestor of Dutch Indies literature.
In 1927 he (and his brother) moved to the Netherlands and enrolled in the University of Leiden, but he abhorred academic life and never completed his study at the Faculty of Arts.He did however become acquainted with Indonesian nationalists studying in the Netherlands and adopted anti-colonial convictions.
In 1935 he returned to the Dutch East Indies and befriended his mentor, the iconic Indo writer E. du Perron. Perron influenced him to study the literary work of P.A. Daum and upcoming writer Beb Vuyk. He joined anti-colonial magazines as a writer, researcher and critic.
In 1941 he was a conscript medic in the KNIL and from 1942 to 1945 a Japanese POW. In the Japanese concentration camp Tjimahi he was part of a small group of intellectuals, including Leo Vroman and the iconic Tjalie Robinson, that for a while was able to print a camp periodical named 'Kampkroniek' (Camp Chronicles) and a pamphlet named 'Onschendbaar Domein' (Inviolable Domain).
From 1945–1947 he stayed in the Netherlands to recuperate from the war and evaded the violence of the Bersiap period.
In 1947 he returned to his land of birth during the continuing Indonesian revolution and set up a cultural and literary magazine in an attempt to mitigate the Dutch-Indonesian alienation via art and literature. Although Indonesian intellectuals and artists were receptive to this unique forum political developments and strong anti-Dutch sentiments surpassed all good intentions. In 1952, 4 years into Indonesian independence, Nieuwenhuys repatriated to the Netherlands.
In the Netherlands Nieuwenhuys became a teacher and pursued a literary career. He became a highly influential literary scholar and author and won numerous awards throughout his career, among them the 1983 Constantijn Huygens Prize.
Nieuwenhuys' magnum opus is the authoritative literary classic Mirror of the Indies: A History of Dutch Colonial Literature (Original Dutch: Oost-Indische spiegel), the main reference book regarding Dutch Indies literature
'Mirror of the Indies: A History of Dutch Colonial Literature' translated from Dutch by E. M. Beekman (Publisher: Periplus, 1999) Book review.
Hélène "Hella" Serafia Haasse was a Dutch writer, often referred to as "the Grand Old Lady" of Dutch literature, and whose novel Oeroeg (1948) was a staple for generations of Dutch schoolchildren. Her internationally acclaimed magnum opus is Heren van de Thee, translated to The Tea Lords. In 1988 Haasse was chosen to interview the Dutch Queen for her 50th birthday after which celebrated Dutch author Adriaan van Dis called Haasse "the Queen among authors".
Charles Edgar du Perron, more commonly known as E. du Perron, was a famous and influential Dutch poet and author of Indo-European descent. Best known for his literary acclaimed masterpiece Land van herkomst of 1935. Together with Menno ter Braak and Maurice Roelants he founded the short-lived, but influential literary magazine Forum in 1932.
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Paulus Adrianus Daum, more commonly known as P. A. Daum, was a Dutch author of Dutch East Indies literature of the nineteenth century.
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Elizabeth (Beb) Vuyk was a Dutch writer of Indo (Eurasian) descent. Her Indo father was born in the Dutch East Indies and had a mother from Madura, but was ‘repatriated’ to the Netherlands on a very young age. She married into a typically Calvinist Dutch family and lived in the port city of Rotterdam. Vuyk grew up in the Netherlands and went to her father’s land of birth in 1929 at the age of 24. 3 years later she married Fernand de Willigen, a native born Indo that worked in the oil and tea plantations throughout the Indies. They had 2 sons, both born in the Dutch East Indies.
Marion Bloem is a Dutch writer and film maker of Indo descent, best known as author of the literary acclaimed book Geen gewoon Indisch meisje and director of the 2008 feature film Ver van familie.
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The Indische Partij (IP) or Indies Party was a short lived (1912–1913) but influential political organisation founded in 1912 by the Indo-European (Eurasian) journalist E.F.E. Douwes Dekker and the Javanese physicians Tjipto Mangoenkoesoemo and Soewardi Soerjaningrat. As one of the very first political organisations pioneering Indonesian nationalism in the colonial Dutch East Indies it inspired several later organisations such as the ‘Nationaal Indische Party’ (N.I.P.) or ‘Sarekat Hindia’ in 1919 and, ‘Indo Europeesch Verbond’ (I.E.V.) in 1919. Its direct successor was 'Insulinde '.
"Revolutionary action enables people to achieve their objectives quickly. Surely this is not immoral [...] The Indische Party can safely be called revolutionary. Such a word does not frighten us[...]" Douwes Dekker.
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The Bataviaasch Nieuwsblad was one of the leading and largest daily newspapers in the Dutch East Indies. It was based in Batavia on Java, but read throughout the archipelago. It was founded by the famous Dutch newspaperman and author P. A. Daum in 1885 and existed to 1957.
Victor Ido is the main alias of the Indo (Eurasian) Dutch language writer and journalist Hans van de Wall. Born in Surabaya, Dutch East Indies from a Dutch father and Indo (Eurasian) mother. Ido was the Art Editor of P.A.Daum's Bataviaasch Nieuwsblad and later the Chief Editor of newspaper Batavia's Handelsblad as well as an accomplished musician (organist).
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Noto Soeroto (1888-1951) a Javanese prince from the Jogjakarta noble house of Paku Alaman was a poet and writer of Dutch Indies literature and journalist from the Dutch East Indies. He significantly contributed to the Dutch literary system by exploring new literary themes and focusing on indigenous protagonists, at the same time drawing attention to indigenous culture and the indigenous plight.
The Indo people or Indos are Eurasian people living in or connected with Indonesia. In its narrowest sense, the term refers to people in the former Dutch East Indies who held European legal status but were of mixed indigenous Indonesian and Dutch descent as well as their descendants today. In the broadest sense, an Indo is anyone of mixed European and Indonesian descent. Indos are associated with colonial culture of the former Dutch East Indies, a Dutch colony in Southeast Asia and a predecessor to modern Indonesia after its proclamation of independence shortly after World War II. The term was used to describe people acknowledged to be of mixed Dutch and Indonesian descent, or it was a term used in the Dutch East Indies to apply to Europeans who had partial Asian ancestry. The European ancestry of these people was predominantly Dutch, but also included Portuguese, British, French, Belgian, German, and others.
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Oeroeg is the first novel by Hella Haasse. First published anonymously in 1948, it has become one of the best-known Dutch novels and a staple of literary education for many Dutch school children. The novel, a Bildungsroman, is set in the Dutch East Indies, and tells the story of an anonymous narrator growing up on a plantation in the Dutch colony West Java. His childhood friend is a boy of the same age, but of native descent. As the narrator grows up he finds himself becoming estranged from his friend, as a result of the political and racial circumstances of colonial life. After having served in the army during World War II, he returns to his native land, only to be told that this is not where he belongs, and that he must leave.
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Nieuwenhuys, Rob Mirror of the Indies: A History of Dutch Colonial Literature translated from Dutch by E. M. Beekman (Publisher: Periplus, 1999)