Learning Indonesian in the Netherlands
Hello! I have begun this month to learn Indonesian. The family of my father had lived at Java for a long time, until they left the island in 1949 to move to the Netherlands. I'm curious how learning Bahasa can help me (and my family) to connect with Indonesia again. I visited Java and Bali last september and I was impressed! My native language is Dutch. Are there any Dutch students active here?
Yes, I am. I am doing the Indonesian tree for similar reasons. My partner was also born in Indonesia but moved here when he was four, a bit later than your father. He was on one of the last ships out, if not the very last. I have never been to Indonesia but would love to go sometime in the future. My partner has gone back a number of times. He especially loves Bali. I don't know if he speaks Indonesian, actually, other than using Indonesian vocab for some things and using Dutch words that only 'Nederlands-Indische' people use. (f.i. 'luitjes', to address a group of people).
Hi Archie - I wrote to you below, but I thought I would give you a better explanation as to my experience. Firstly, I have a wife who was born in Sumatera and I have two half Indonesian kids. I also have really long and meaningful friendships with Indonesian people, mainly in Sumatera, but friendships that have spanned decades. What I would say to you about connecting to Indonesia is that just by making an effort to speak their language, it will be respected. IF you really want to get to the heart of the issue - they love white people who take the time to learn their language, and they will be VERYYYYY forgiving of any mistakes you make. They are a very happy and easygoing people and the best way to reconnect with your history is to go there and understand how they think so you can understand their psyche. I wish you the best on your language journey. I have been a student of Bahasa Indonesia since I was 6 years old and I am 37 now, even now there are some forms of vocabulary and terms that I struggle with but managing a relationship, family life, friendships, getting stuff done is all at your fingertips if you speak Bahasa Indonesia well.