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Jakarta Post

Why efforts to eradicate ‘pribumi’-‘Tionghoa’ tension fail

  • Patrik K. Meyer

Yogyakarta   /   Fri, November 8 2019   /  01:32 am

JP/DONIndonesia’s multicultural, multiethnic, multireligious nature results in a diverse and vibrant society. Unfortunately, this diversity also results in numerous protracted interethnic tensions. Here, I want to shed some light on why the Indonesian government has failed to eradicate interethnic antagonism between pribumi (indigenous Indonesians) and Tionghoa (Chinese-Indonesians). Economic and social inequalities along pribumi-Tionghoa ethnic lines are the symptoms, not the source, of this antagonism. Fundamental sociocultural differences between the two groups are the sources of these protracted interethnic tensions.Pribumi-Tionghoa antagonism has deep historical roots, driven by cultural differences that have resulted in significant economic, political and social inequalities. Under Dutch colonial rule, Tionghoa enjoyed preferential treatment over the indigenous communities and co...