Friday, September 12, 2014

Sarawak Javanese

Excerpted from wikipedia

Mak and Bapak are Sarawak Javanese

The present generation are descended from the original ethnic Javanese people, the majority from the province of Central Java, who arrived in Sarawak as "kuli kontrak", indentured servants who were brought in by the Dutch via Batavia (modern-day Jakarta) during the late 1800s to the 1940s and transferred to a British company to work in the rubber plantations. After the end of their contracts, some of them had decided to settle down and work on land no longer producing rubber. Over the years, these labourers were prosperous and were later given the right of ownership to several hectares of land.

An estimated 50,000 Javanese people are found all over the state, establishing their own villages, with the majority concentrated in Kuching and its surrounding areas. Some of the younger generation still carry traditional Javanese names and are identified as ethnic Javanese in their birth certificates. They are proud of their heritage; the current population still speak the language of their parents and retaining their age-old traditions and practices of their forefathers.
The friendly Javanese are traditionally Muslims, so they have a strong affinity with the Malays, with many of them intermarrying and living within Malay-majority areas and also other communities. They use Sarawak Malay or English as a common lingua franca to communicate with the other ethnic groups.

Spot on!

But I think Mak and Bapak's forefathers were not kuli kontrak though, they willingfully made the voyage to seek greener pastures. 

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