I DON’T KNOW how to write about something that isn’t there, such as longing. My entire life, it seems, I have been longing for a country, a city, a small space on the side of the road where I needn’t feel like a stranger, an alien – someone to be gawked at or studied. I am an Indonesian of Chinese descent, which in my case means that six or seven generations ago a man set sail from mainland China to this country, married a local and fathered mixed-race children. I have no idea who that man was, or what he did, or what his life was like before he came here. But his blood runs through me, and this blood is the curse that will forever brand me as an alien in my homeland.
The history of the Chinese diaspora in Indonesia is as complex as it is obscure for some – if... Read more
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