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Post-Colonial Immigrants and Identity Formations in the Netherlands

Post-Colonial Immigrants and Identity Formations in the Netherlands

edited by Ulbe Bosma
Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 252
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  • Book Info
    Post-Colonial Immigrants and Identity Formations in the Netherlands
    Book Description:

    This book explores the Dutch post-colonial migrant experience within the context of a wider European debate. Over 60 years and three generations of migration history is presented, while also surveying an impressive body of post-colonial literature, much of which has never reached an international audience. While other research focuses on one or, at most, two groups, post-colonial migrants are treated here as a distinct analytical category with a unique relationship to the receiving society. After all, over 90 per cent were Dutch citizens before even reaching the Netherlands, as they did in huge waves between 1945 and 1980. Together they constitute 6 per cent of today's Dutch population. So, how did they form their identities? What were relationships with locals like? How have second and third generations responded? Post-Colonial Immigrants and Identity Formations in the Netherlands offers the germane scholarship on one particular country with a particularly rich history to readers worldwide. This title is available in the OAPEN Library -

    eISBN: 978-90-485-1731-2
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. 1 Introduction: Post-colonial immigrants and identity formations in the Netherlands
    (pp. 7-26)
    Ulbe Bosma

    Whereas the post-colonial condition has been extensively discussed in the Anglophone and Francophone countries, hardly anything of this has resonated in the Netherlands. This book explores how this phenomenon is related to the specific histories and composition of the various post-colonial groups in this country and the peculiarities of Dutch society. The least one can say is that post-colonial immigrants in the Netherlands came from highly diverse backgrounds. Among them were metropolitan Dutch (who were repatriated during and after the Indonesian War of Independence), Moluccan militia, Indo-Chinese, Afro-Caribbeans and Surinamese originating from India, Java and China. This heterogeneity is not...

  4. 2 Dutch politicians, the Dutch nation and the dynamics of post-colonial citizenship
    (pp. 27-48)
    Guno Jones

    Dutch nationals who came to the Netherlands from the former colonies after 1945 often found that their legal status was far less secure than they might have expected. Dutch policies and debates on post-colonial citizens after 1945 illustrate how, time and again, politicians redefined the meaning of Dutch nationality for post-colonial citizens. In fact, Dutch lawmakers were quite reluctant to respect the rights of Dutch nationals from their former overseas possessions. This chapter addresses how, and in what contexts, members of the Dutch Parliament and government tried to circumvent the fact that Dutch citizens from the overseas territories were entitled...

  5. 3 Representations of post-colonial migrants in discussions on intermarriage in the Netherlands, 1945-2005
    (pp. 49-76)
    Charlotte Laarman

    A recent study showed that, alongside religion, colonial history has had an important influence on intermarriage in Western Europe since World War II. Though post-colonial migrants marry out more than other migrant groups (Lucassen & Laarman 2009: 52-68) their relationships had to cope with prejudices too. This chapter will explore how certain stereotypes survived the momentous changes brought about by the dissolution of the colonial empire, and how they followed post-colonial immigration flows. Could it be that some stereotypes and prejudices were such an entrenched aspect of the way migrants and nationals perceived each other that they survived well into...

  6. 4 Group-related or host state-related? Understanding the historical development of Surinamese organisations in Amsterdam, 1965-2000
    (pp. 77-98)
    Floris Vermeulen and Anja van Heelsum

    As is typical of immigrant communities all over the world, Surinamese migrants to the Netherlands have formed a considerable number of associations following the time of their arrival (Rex, Joly & Wilpers 1987; Jenkins 1988; Moya 2005; Lucassen, Feldman & Oltmer 2006). In this chapter we look at the factors that may explain the development of the Surinamese organising process by focusing on the policy of Amsterdam authorities and on factors related to the group itself. This chapter shows that Dutch policymakers at first reacted encouragingly, as separate welfare institutions for the just-arrived Surinamese fitted into the existing categorical policy...

  7. 5 Post-colonial migrant festivals in the Netherlands
    (pp. 99-116)
    Marga Alferink

    Every year, the Zomercarnaval Rotterdam (Rotterdam Summer Carnival) attracts one million visitors, almost the same number as the famous Notting Hill Carnival in London. Both festivals are organised by Afro-Caribbean immigrants from former Dutch respectively British colonies. Meanwhile, Indian immigrants from South Asia or the Caribbean have their own gatherings, known asmela, in the Netherlands. These festivals and others like it, offer immigrants venues where they can assert and renew their collective identities, based on ethnic, religious or national commonalities. Festivals play an important role in the process of bonding. However, these large public gatherings also offer opportunities to...

  8. 6 Closing the ‘KNIL chapter’: A key moment in identity formation of Moluccans in the Netherlands
    (pp. 117-134)
    Fridus Steijlen

    At the time of their arrival to the Netherlands in 1951, the lives of 12,500 Moluccan soldiers and their families were dominated by their desire to return home – to an independent Republik Maluku Selatan (Republic of South Molucca, RMS) in the eastern part of the Indonesian archipelago. They had come to the Netherlands as the consequence of a complicated decolonisation process. Temporarily, they thought. Up until the mid-1970s they were convinced that they would return to a re-established RMS. Reluctantly integrating into Dutch society, they developed a politicised and oppositional identity towards it. This culminated in train hijackings and the...

  9. 7 Tjalie Robinson (1911-1974): A mediator between East and West
    (pp. 135-154)
    Wim Willems

    In January 1958, Tjalie Robinson sent a letter to Mary Brückel-Beiten, an Indische woman who, through demonstrations and cookery books, had for years tried to introduce the secrets of the Eastern kitchen to the Dutch population. However, her activities did not remain limited to the domestic world, because she was also known for organising annual ethnic markets in the southern provinces of the Netherlands. The next year she would organise a big market in the conference hall of the The Hague Zoo. This heralded the launch of the Pasar Malam, an Indische institution, now around for half a century and...

  10. 8 History brought home: Post-colonial migrations and the Dutch rediscovery of slavery
    (pp. 155-174)
    Gert Oostindie

    Slavery and slave resistance have been core issues in the post-war historiography of the Caribbean.¹ At the same time, massive migration from the British, Dutch and French Caribbeans to Europe has literally brought the legacies of colonialism and hence slavery home to the former metropolitan countries. Virtually all Caribbean nations, moreover, are thoroughly transnational today. One of the consequences of this post-colonial condition has been the emergence of what is now generally known as ‘the Black Atlantic’, a concept coined by Gilroy (1993). The shared history of enslavement provides a central point of reference within this Black Atlantic. It also...

  11. 9 Cultural memory and Indo-Dutch identity formations
    (pp. 175-192)
    Pamela Pattynama

    In his well-knownCulture and imperialism(1993), Said argued that imperialism and colonialism are constructed not only on the basis of military or economic force, but on culture as well (Said 1994).¹ Culture and politics, he states, produce a system of control that goes beyond military power, as it works through representations and images. Such representations and images not only provide the underpinning and justification of colonialism and imperialism, but they have also continuously dominated the imaginations and memories of both colonisers and colonised. Said’s emphasis on the ongoing influence of imperialism upon people and the cultures they live in...

  12. 10 Why is there no post-colonial debate in the Netherlands?
    (pp. 193-212)
    Ulbe Bosma

    The era of decolonisation coincided with Europe’s changing status from a continent of emigration to a destination for immigrants. At least five to seven million post-colonial immigrants came to Europe. In today’s Portugal, the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom, first-and second-generation post-colonial immigrants comprise up to 6 to 8 per cent of the population. These countries differ, however, markedly with respect to how they deal with their colonial pasts. In the Netherlands, traces of the colonial past are everywhere, but rarely in an explicit post-colonial context. The flourishing cultural market for ethnic literature and cuisine, the well-visited post-colonial ethnic...

  13. Collective references
    (pp. 213-232)
  14. List of contributors
    (pp. 233-234)
  15. Index
    (pp. 235-244)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 245-251)