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Jakarta Post

Chinese-Indonesians feel like outsiders amid persisting racist sentiment

  • Ivany Atina Arbi
    Ivany Atina Arbi

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta   /   Thu, January 23, 2020   /  06:39 pm
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A Chinese-Indonesian woman prays during a Chinese New Year celebration at the Satya Dharma temple in Benoa, Bali.(The Jakarta Post/Anggara Mahendra)

The Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia has been home to over 300 ethnicities for more than seven decades but apparently not all of its citizens feel they belong to the country. A recent survey carried out by the Indonesian Psychocultural Consortium (KPI) reveals that almost all ethnic groups studied in the survey recognize that their Indonesian identity is “final”, except for one group: the Indonesians of Chinese descent. This, according to the consortium, could be caused by various factors, including traumatic incidents that occurred in the past – particularly during the 1998 riots when mobs targeted people of Chinese descent – as well as the lingering discrimination and racist treatment against this group.    Yessy Samalo, 26, a native of the West Sumatra city of Bukittinggi, said she was often scolded by strangers on the str...