menu
Geef een of meerdere zoektermen op.
Gebruik dubbele aanhalingstekens om in de exacte woordvolgorde te zoeken.

Ordinary then, extraordinary afterwards

Mevrouw Van der Hoop tachtig jaar, 3 november 1959. Zij zit in het midden, omringd door familie, pachters en personeel

Toen gewoon, achteraf bijzonder

Henny van Harten-Boers

Publisher: Stichting landgoed Fraeylemaborg, Slochteren

ISBN: 9789080484603

The oral history of the Fraeylemaborg estate in Slochteren. The Fraeylemaborg was privately occupied until
1972, after which it became a museum.
Therefore, for a long time there were still people who could tell from their own experience about life on this historic estate. Henny van Harten spoke with members of the family, chambermaids, tenants and local residents. The memories of these people are vivid and detailed and cover the period from 1920 to 1970.

 

The title of the book is taken from a quote by Louise Thomassen à Thuessink van der Hoop van Slochteren (1915-2008): “We always thought it was quite ordinary, but afterwards you realize: well, that was quite special after all!”

Indonesian portraits

Elderly Indonesians and Chinese-Indonesians in Yogyakarta

The art project Indonesian Portraits by Martin van den Oever, Petra Timmer and Jos Janssen was created as part of the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies’ research programme From India to Indonesia. It consists of two parts. This part consists of interviews with elderly Indonesians in Yogyakarta, who learned Dutch during the colonial period.

The interviews focus on events and experiences in the 1920s – 2006.
They mainly talk about the Netherlands and Indonesia. Themes include World War II, Japanese occupation, fear, connection with the Dutch language and the Netherlands, youth, Indonesian revolution, schooling, Japanese language.

The collection is of limited public availability. If interested, please contact Jos Janssen.
The collection is on DV tapes. To preserve the interviews permanently for the future, digitisation and transfer to an e-depot is desirable.

The female hero

Wendy Janssen . De vrouwelijke held. In Wim Willems & Jaap de Moor (red.), Het Einde van Indië: Indische Nederlanders tijdens de Japanse bezetting en de dekolonisatie.
Sdu Uitgeverij, 1995

 

PhD research on identification processes in a postcolonial context; a study of intergenerational transmission among three generations of women of Indian background.

 

Wendy Janssen was a PhD student at the Belle van Zuylen Institute for Multicultural Gender Studies where Selma Leydessdorff was director. She wanted to investigate how narratives are passed on within families, and how different generations view their families’ reception in the Netherlands and their place in society over the years. Questions included: How are you seen? How do you see yourself? And how do you deal with that?

 

The interviews focus on events and experiences in the 1920s – 1996.
They mainly discuss Indonesia and the Netherlands. Themes include World War II, Indonesian revolution, arrival and reception in the Netherlands, identity, Dutch society, positioning, adaptation.

 

Management: The collection is managed by Wendy Janssen.
Preservation: The collection is on cassette tapes. To preserve the interviews permanently for the future digitisation and transfer to an e-depot is desirable.

Sarnami Hindostani 1920-1960

Sarnami Hindostani 1920–1960: Worteling, identiteit en gemeenschapsvorming in Suriname, volume 1.

Gharietje G. Choenni & Chan E.S. Choenni

Amsterdam: KIT Publishers, 2012

The Lalla Rookh Diaspora Foundation published this book in order to rectify deficiencies in knowledge of the history of the Surinamese Hindustanis (East Indians). 

The book’s introductory chapter deals with the departure of the Hindustanis from India, their life on the plantations, their numerical growth, their progress between 1920 and 1960, and the development of Sarnámi (a linguistic variation of Hindi). A chapter entitled “Settling and taking root” then relates the developments that took place after the contract period, when the Hindustanis created small villages of their own near their rice fields. The hardships of agricultural life are delineated as well as the diligence and perseverance of the settlers. The next chapter is devoted to transport, recounting how after some time many Hindustanis became active as wagoners, truck drivers, and bus drivers. The fourth chapter deals with the differentiation that took place when the children of the paddy farmers became entrepreneurs and craftsmen and later also government officials.

Chapter 5 is about housing. It paints the development from the plantation barracks to the simple dwellings in the villages and finally to the magnificent city houses of Paramaribo. It also describes the medical care the Hindustanis received. Chapter 6 discusses developments in education. Here attention is paid to the deterioration of the position of women in the third generation in Suriname. The setback was halted when later generations of women became better educated. This chapter also addresses the position of homosexual men and lesbians. The last chapter, which focuses on family life, paints the development of the joint family as well as its disappearance after the World War II and discusses Hindustani clothing, jewels, tattoos, food, and identity markers.

These seven chapters alternate with literary portrayals of seven elderly persons, a number of whom now live in the Netherlands, who reminisce about their lives in Suriname in the past.

Eighty in-depth interviews with elderly Hindustanis living both in Suriname and in the Netherlands form the main source of this book. The data they provide are subsequently checked in other (mostly written) sources. A reasonable number of Hindustanis say, for example, that the East Indians never asked for help from governmental social security, but the archives of these institutions prove that this is an exaggeration (pp. 16–17). So, the oral information is not blindly accepted, but critically evaluated. Choenni and Choenni call their method triangulation, which means that they have tried to get a reliable image of the situation by consulting various kinds of sources. Therefore this study fits the recent trend among historians of giving attention to oral history as an important addition to the written sources composed mainly by the writing elite and by the people governing the country. One could say that oral history is the history of the oppressed, which certainly is something that pops up in the material of this book. It is full of stories about the hardships people suffered in India even before their transportation to the Caribbean, the oppression on the plantations, the poverty and lack of medical care in the first years on the plantations and in the new settlements, and the discrimination against Hindustanis by the other population groups of the country.

In spite of the book’s merits, its sloppy writing style causes many inaccuracies. For example, the authors write that Columbus discovered Suriname (p. 37), which is untrue. Or again, there are many spelling errors or strangely written Dutch words, such as Hinduïsme instead of hindoeïsme. Other errors could have been prevented if the necessary academic literature had been consulted; people with the title maharaj are said to be chattri’s (p. 645), while in reality they are Brahmans (Clarke 1967:178–80). And a description of the development of the Hindu literary tradition (p. 434) is colored by the views of some Hindu religious experts, but deviates from the findings of authoritative research on the subject. These errors reflect a failure to engage academic fields outside of the social sciences.

Education in St. Maarten from 1954 to 2000

Education in St. Maarten from 1954 to 2000 – An Oral History Account

Milton George

ISBN: 978-1-4438-8892-9

Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016

Sample

 

Semper Progrediens – A Story of the Coming of Age of Education in St. Maarten (1954 – 2000)

KU Leuven, 2013

PDF Dissertatie

 

This book narrates the development of education in St. Maarten between 1954 and 2000, by tapping into the experience of the protagonists, giving them a voice in the recording of their own history. As such, it lends a voice to postcolonial subjects, who have often been bypassed or forgotten by most traditional historians, and thus rendered voiceless. The work is based on both written and oral history, including interviews with important educational agents, as well as former pupils and parents. By doing this, it describes the overall framework of education in St. Maarten within the juridical space of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

 

The first part of the book deals with the Dutch Antilles in general, and with St. Maarten in particular, examining the effects of slavery and its consequences. Both before and after the restructuration of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1954, education was essentially shaped by the different religious denominations on the island. Over time, St. Maarten’s schooling system developed from an almost non-existing entity to a well-structured one, which closely resembled the educational framework in the Netherlands, its former colonial ruler.

 

Part two reflects the respondents’ reactions to several issues concerning education in St. Maarten. It was only after local St. Maarten students became teachers that topics about the island found their place in the curriculum. Even though it took some time to integrate St. Maarten in the curriculum, the people did not (and still do not) have the feeling that education has let them down. It is only now that they are beginning to question whether, and to what extent, schools were, and are, able to positively influence young people. In the past, they believed that schooling – however foreign its curriculum may have been – did actually help them to find a niche in the world.

 

After studying both written and oral sources, the book concludes that the coat of arms of St. Maarten is representative of its findings about education on this island: Semper progrediens – “Always progressing”. Education in St. Maarten has progressed without showing radical breaks.

 

Dr Milton George was born in Suriname, and has lived and worked in St. Maarten, the Netherlands, London, Belgium, and Oman. His research interests and publication comprise education, religion, linguistics, and the sociology of the Caribbean. In addition, he has also coordinated and taken part in several volunteer projects in India, Ethiopia, and Egypt.