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Indo Of the Month – April- Written by Donni Anggraito

My Indo Legacy !

Since the dawn of time, human beings have been on a relentless search for a sense of belonging. For people all across the globe, identifying with a particular culture is a vital aspect of one’s identity. But how does one define cultural identity? Better yet – is it the people that define a culture, or the culture that defines a people?

For Indos, the descendants of a vibrant yet dwindling colonial past, the answer to that question is left for the individual. Most cultures can be traced back to a place of origin. For Indos, however, Nederlands Indië is no more. The beloved motherland now solely exists in the hearts and minds of the 1st-generation.

Nederlands Indië (Dutch East Indies), or Indië for short, was a place where Indo families have resided in for generations. It was filled with rich traditions and unique customs only relatable to the ‘Indischen’, people who shared mixed heritages from European and native Indonesian ancestors. Throughout the colonial period, the Indischen developed a notable Eurasian subculture and contributed a lot to society and the ethos of their time.

Following a contentious post-WW2 political climate with the newly-indepent Republic of Indonesia, Indos were expelled from the place that they’ve called home for centuries and were forced to seek new lives elsewhere.

So how can a group of people, uprooted from their homes and forced to assimilate into new countries, retain their cultural identity? It starts with two defining characteristics: the resilience and perseverance of the Indo people. 

I’m forever inspired by how my older relatives can be so lighthearted and kind despite everything they’ve endured. Indos are well-known for their openness and hospitality, and you’ll never leave their house with an empty stomach or without a smile on your face. Indos are never judgemental and will go out of their way to see that your comfortable and satisfied. 

My efforts to understand what being an Indo meant to me personally have been a complex, yet rewarding journey of self-discovery. To understand this, I’ll have to take you back to my unconventional childhood. My parents have always allowed me to absorb and embrace different ways of life, various ideologies and beliefs. Because of this, I feel internationally-minded instead of being confined to a single culture, and this sense of internationalism seems to be a relatable trait for many Indos. “Be a citizen of the world,” my parents would always say.

Growing up in Denver, Colorado, I relate to American culture first and foremost. My mom has the Dutch-Indo roots, and from an early age, I’ve always spoken to her side of the family in Dutch. My oma brought me up the Dutch-Indo way and I have a such a deep connection to Indisch culture because of her. She taught me to be strong-willed and independent. She taught me that no matter what life throws my way, I can always flip it into something positive.

My dad and his side of the family are full (native) Indonesians, and I’ve always spoken to them in bahasa Indonesia.  My upbringing felt unique because I’ve always navigated between the American, Indonesian and Dutch-Indo culture, while learning their differences and finding striking similarities between them. Growing up multilingual and multicultural has definitely given me a distinct perspective, and I’ve learned to be accepting and inclusive of everyone despite their backgrounds.

The idiosyncrasies of Dutch-Indo culture are reflected mainly in language, food, and behavior. Single phrases that mix multiple languages like “Ik moet gaan belandja” (I have to go shopping) or “ik heb de krupuk nog niet gegoreng” (I haven’t fried the kroepoek yet) are often heard in my family, and this hybrid way of speaking is a colorful remnant of Indo culture. 

Speaking of krupuk; food is arguably the most important part of our culture, the glue that binds us together. I can never come to an Indo gathering without hearing my older relatives talk about classic dishes for hours at a time! They’ll swap recipes for sambel goreng boontjes, talk about the “jajanan” (snacks) that they used to eat in Indië, and marvel at how Tante Anneke spent the whole night baking spekkoek.

There are so many aspects of our culture to appreciate and cherish. Our cultural pride is deep-rooted in centuries of tradition and an established hybrid mentality born out of a vibrant “east meets west” culture. Indo identity will continue to persist despite Indos no longer having a homebase or a country to return to, because our culture is passed on through stories, recipes, memories, and the importance of keeping family first. 

I’d frequently go with oma whenever there’s a kumpulan (a gathering of Indo family and friends). I’ve always enjoyed hearing their interactions, how they’d often mix 3 or more languages in one conversation, the sound of laughter and swapping stories, and the overall atmosphere that can only be described by the Dutch word “gezellig.”

I used to record their conversations on my phone and document them for later viewing, because I know my older relatives won’t always be around, many of whom are in their 80s and early 90s. I feared that once they were all gone, the Indisch culture would die out with them. However, I learned to overcome this false notion because I realized it’s up to my generation to carry the torch and keep our identity alive. 

If I can takeaway one lesson imparted by my family’s journey and the journey of Indos in general, is to always make the best with what you’ve got. Indos have been dispersed all across the world under crippling circumstances, but they’ve not only survived, but excelled in their respective homes. Instead of playing the victim, they chose to rise up and persevere against all odds. 

Indos are colorful, loud, expressive, nuanced, multilingual, multicultural, musical, kindhearted, understanding, approachable, and all around badasses! (Sorry Oma! I can already hear her saying “Ajo, joch. Niet zo vloeken!”) Regardless, the Indo legacy will never die. We are a resilient bunch and we refuse to fade away. Our culture is too beautiful, too boisterous and too substantial to be silenced. My name is Donni, en ik ben een Indo.

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Seeking Dutch/Indo WWII Veterans who are still among us.

Wanted Dutch/Indo WWII Veterans who are still among us ! Please share !

In the context of 75 years of liberation in 2019/2020, we are still making an ultimate attempt to find living WWII Dutch/Indo veterans at home and abroad who are still entitled to a military honor!

Who are we looking for? Living Dutch/Indo men who were mobilized at the time of the Japanese invasion in the Dutch East Indies for the KNIL and then in Japanese captivity

(during forced labor on the railway lines, shipyards or in the Japanese mines) and not have been rewarded with a War Remembrance Cross or Mobilization War Cross.

In addition, men who served between 1945 and 1951 in the Dutch East Indies and did not rewarded with the “Ereteken for Order and Peace”.

How can you help us ? Share this message within your network as much as possible and help !

http://www.ereschuldonderscheidingen.nl/?fbclid=IwAR0Mi8FRyOYlaWT1ldSPPHjSz2t4qrZCbQDp_GrkI-CU9ztGBf7AGXh1fSo


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Indo Of the Month – March- Written by Yvonne “Vonnie” Eschweiler

Hey there !

I’m Yvonne Eschweiler, but I’m pretty sure there are many Yvonnes out there who go by the name “Vonnie”, guess that’s an Indo thing, huh ? My dad is the Indo one, I always use him when people ask me what my ethnic background is, when the cops put “H” behind the section “Race”, I have to educate them that the “H” stands for Human, lolol, I usually tell them what it should be “Other” and not “H”. Eschweiler is German and there’s the mutt in me, dad’s family’s history goes back to the Dutch East Indies, Indonesia nowadays and once upon a time there was a German who was sent from Bergisch Gladbach, not too far from Eschweiler, Germany, how funny (my name) to Amsterdam to work for a trading company…He ended up in Batavia and history was made in the bedroom between the “Guling” under the “Kelambu”, you know in those days…to keep the damn mosquitos away from you while you can have more comfortable sleep under tropic temperatures. So old man Eschweiler played around with one of his “Baboes or servants” and that’s how there suddenly was an Indo EUROPEAN 9 months later, I don’t call him an Indo Dutch because he was German and the other part was a “Native”, not Indonesian, because it wasn’t there yet, according to my dad all of those who were born to a European father and “Inlandse or Native” mom born in the Dutch East Indies were called “Indo European or Eurasian”, but hey, throughout the years s Dutch guy got involved and so on and on until we play it simple and call ourselves “Indo”, at least I do…My great grandparents are Indo Dutch with the remaining German blood lines from and both were born on Sumatra, great grandfather in Belawan and great grandmother in Padang. My opa was born in Buitenzorg which is Bogor, Indonesia now and my oma who was born in Malang moved in 1957 to Dordrecht, Holland and in 1959 the moved to Bellflower where my dad was born in 1961, daddy married his high school love Rositta in 1984 the year when I was born, the year of 23rd Olympic Summer Games in Los Angeles and the year of Van Halen’s “Jump”, yes proud Indo here and I always educate people if they answer “Indo what/who”…Yes, Indo, like the Van Halens…. Opa and Oma never spoke about the Dutch East Indies and my dad raised me with “Don’t bother asking them” which I respected…Any Indos recognize similar situations like mine ? My mom is Puerto Rican, mix that with an Indo and the result is me, “Feisty and hot”, that’s what my “Abuela”, my oma from mom’s side always tells me to tell the guys before they start dating me, beware, beware, lolol. Being a multiracial child growing up in Socal with so many other people with a different ethnic background , I was born and raised with family values, both my Indo and Puerto Rican background can share two exact the same things we have in common which are “Food and Music” ! I remember growing up with parties we had at both sides of the family, food, music, music, food, laughter, arguing, gossiping, envying each other, blaming the Indo uncle he was flirting with the Puerto Rican aunty and vice versa, the not showing up from the oom and tante because whatever might have said or done and then suddenly after 4 or 5 months they make up again with the Indo/Puerto Rican pack and all is forgiven, I bet you Indos reading this you all have that family member who screws up big time and then you have this other oom or tia or tio telling you NOT to talk to them or avoid them or one of your cousins break up a relation and then there’s her telling you she will STOP talking to you if you continue talking to her ex….But at both sides of the families it was always a Happy Ending… My dad wasn’t too much involved in the Indo thing, he considered himself American which I respect and he doesn’t speak Dutch at all, understands it though, my opa and oma raised him in English and they only spoke Dutch when it was a no no for my dad to know what the conversation was about. It was after I visited Holland for the first and only time back in 2006 when I started to look more into my identity, there’s me, considered to be a Latina in The US but in Holland I was right away put in the category “Indo”…Ofcourse, where else than Holland, right ? But us Indo girls came in all sizes and shapes with different color of eyes, hair, skin…It was so much for me to dig in and especially when I visited the Tong Tong Fair/Pasar Malam in May 2006, some Indo please help me explain and agree with me when you arrive at that big tent and you go inside, the sounds, smells and people…it does something to you, I got sentimental and on the other side it was such a nice feeling to experience that all, seeing all the opas and omas talking to each other talking about their lives back in the Dutch East Indies, watching the shows on the main stage, experience both Indo and Indonesian stuff under one roof, I loved it… Ever since then I started to educate myself about my Indo Roots on line and thank God there’s a shit load of stuff. I’m kind of a private person and I don’t do social media, that’s right, I still have an old skool Nokia N-6, still has a freakin’ awesome Carl Zeiss 12MP camera though ! I’m an outdoor person, like dude’s stuff, motor cross, Formula-1 racing, Go Max Go Max, that’s how I met Michael Passage at a Red Bull Event who was wearing a SoCal Indo hoodie and I was more than happy to write my story of being an Indo in Socal. I work at an animal shelter in Whittier, trying to manage the place and trying even harder to find a right place with the even more right owners for the poor putty’s and pooches. The only real Indo recognizable Indo thing my dad has is that he eats rice with a spoon and not a fork and there is always “Krupuk/Shrimp Crackers” and “Sambal” within his reach at the table PLUS the dude puts “Sambal” on top of any sandwich he eats, you name it, he does it, anyone recognizes this ? Michael also told me about his get togethers where other Indos meet in SoCal and about the Holland Festival every last Sunday of the month of May, I love it ! So going back to the beginning of my story, I think I can’t or blame the cops when they put the “H” behind my “Race” because it’s kinda true because my mom is Puerto Rican… Thank you for your time reading my little IndoRican story !

Vonnie Eschweiler

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Indo Of the Month – February – Written by Rani

Hey there !

My name is Rani … I grew up in The Netherlands and lived in Lelystad, Hellevoetsluis, Amsterdam and after The Netherlands lost the FIFA World Cup Final from Spain in 2010 I moved to Burbank.
I really like what SoCal Indo does, trying to reach out to us younger Indos throughout social media … and especially to read the stories of other fellow Indos. I can identify myself very much… especially when it comes to confusion … and the question “what or who am I” ?
Please help me out here, hehehehe! 

😊

I was born in Manila, The Philippines. My mother is Filipina with Spanish blood running through her veins. Not at all complicated, at all hahaha but here comes the confusing part… but interesting enough for me wanting to know more. My father was born and raised in Amsterdam with what I thought both Indo parents and his brother, my uncle Frank Neijdorff, is an author of many books about The Dutch East Indies. My grandfather (Opa Neijndorff) has, as I have been told … some German in him and according to my aunt, also some Indian in him. From my grandmother I knew she was born in Bandung and I always thought she was Dutch and Indo. I knew that my great grandfather (Opa Hoepeling) was full Dutch, blond with blue eyes and all … and I thought that my great grandmother (Oma Ramelah) was Indo. Not so … Only a few years ago after I moved here my aunt told me that my grandmother was not Indo at all. Turns out my great grandmother came from India.

😳

That totally rocked my world. What was very confusing for me now is only getting more confusing, but don’t we all have omas and opas with more than one different kind of ethnic background, I have Indo friends in The Netherlands who are light skinned but whose great grandfather was from African ethnicity and one of my high school friends oma was Indo with Chinese and Sri Lanka blood running through her veins and let alone my Indo hockey coach Ventje Worthington who looked so “Bule” and blue eyes….must be his British great grandfather from whom he got it from because his oma was a Mrs Subrotto, just saying. My mother’s side of the family was not very attached to my Indo father’s side … we hardly saw each other … most of the times at weddings or funerals. They did not speak Bahasa at home … which I find really unfortunate. From the Indo culture I only got bits and pieces from it … you know the expressions “Adoe”, “Ajoh”, “Een Fler or a Lel” (Light form of ass whooping, lolol) But thank God that I’m too familiar with our Indo kitchen, “Ayam Balado” is my favorite Indo Dish. As mentioned earlier growing up in the Netherlands, I had many Indo friends … but I still felt excluded because what I thought they saw me as a Filipina rather than an Indo. At least I had one good friend with whom I always went to the Tong Tong Fair (Pasar Malam) every year in Den Haag last week of May and first week of June, I always bought a Pasar Pass which allowed me to go unlimited times in and out, watch the shows, enjoy the Indo food and join the variety of workshops or seminars hosted by first generation Indos and that’s what I miss sometimes.
Now I am almost 39 … And I still have the question in my head … am I also considered as an Indo or not ? Unfortunately, there are not many of my family members left who could answer my questions … especially when it comes to our family tree. But hopefully you can help me a little bit with the question that I always carry with me and that is why I am so happy there is SoCal Indo social media and there is always an Indo who can answer not only my questions but also from other Indos wo I have been following online.

🙂

I came to LA for a while each summer for the youth camp of our church, Bread of Life. Eventually I met my husband Bo there. First as friends, chatting every day on Yahoo messenger until it became more than just being friends. Losing the FIFA World Cup Final from Spain in 2010 was for me a dark year especially when that team had an Indo team captain Giovanni Van Bronckhorst and Indo team players Johnny Heitinga, Gregory van der Wiel, Demy de Zeeuw and Robin Van Persie …I decided to move permanently to SoCal and marry my Bo … a year later we got our son which we named Marcello who loves to Facetime with my mom and dad in The Netherlands on a weekly basis…

😃
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Indo Of the Month – January – Written by Fiori van Rijswijk

My name is Fiori van Rijswijk and I’m honored to be writing a little bit about my Indo related history for So Cal Indo of the month January 2019. I’m 24 years old and originally from the Netherlands.

I moved to New York when I was 17 years old to pursue my education with an athletic scholarship (field hockey: a very Dutch sport). I studied psychology and art history/music. I’ve always been the only one playing music and my Indo grandmother was the main force in supporting this journey. She always encouraged me to continue to play the piano as long as possible. And being older now, I see it as the best gift every given to me.

I’ve recently moved to Los Angeles to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a visual storyteller. I am currently pursuing my Master’s degree in Film and Television Production at Loyola Marymount University. I’m the 3rd generation to move to the United States. My main reason: to reach the world through visual storytelling. My Dutch-Indo background and family history are a main factor in this passion and drive.

I was born in Huizen (near Amsterdam) with two older sisters. My father (Dutch) was born and raised in Amsterdam. My Indo mother was born in Alblasserdam, the youngest of six. My mother’s family soon moved to Dordrecht. I spend most of my childhood in Dordrecht visiting my family, I bet many Indos reading this have lived or were born in Dordrecht.

When you look at me on the outside, I am often perceived as a typical Dutch girl: tall and blond(ish). I didn’t realize this till I moved to America. Many of my friends in the Netherlands came from different upbringings. Coming from a mixed cultural background was not perceived as unique. My closest childhood friend was also born into a Dutch-indo family. And, my childhood babysitter was Indonesian. I never realized how much the Dutch-Indo culture was part of my upbringing till moving to Upstate New York with little to no people who shared a similar history. Most people didn’t even know where the Netherlands were nor Indonesia. This has given me a lot of time to think about the Dutch-Indo culture and history.

 

My grandmother, Oma Ibu, (mother’s mother) was born in Malang, East Java, Dutch East Indies in 1919. She was the oldest of 12. Her father was from Dutch heritage and her mother full Indonesian. This mixed blood was eventually one of the reasons of my grandmother’s departure to the Netherlands.

My grandmother had three children at a very young age with her first husband, an Indonesian man. He passed away while working on the notorious Burma train tracks during WWII.

Being left a widow at age 24 with three young children, my grandmother met my grandfather who was part of the Dutch military. Together, with my uncle and two aunts, they left Indonesia after WII: Indonesia now independent, striving for purity within the country.

Arriving in the Netherlands, my grandmother had three more children: the youngest my mother. My grandfather passed away of lung cancer two weeks after I was born. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting him, however, he has met me.

My Oma Ibu was the most special person I’ve ever met in my life. She has passed away as well. However, her spirit lives on in all of us. I am the youngest of all my cousins. As you can see in the picture, there are many of us. And none of us would be here without that one person: Oma Ibu (very center of everyone).

Even though my mother and her siblings have different fathers, they have always considered and treated each other as full siblings. I, as well, have always considered all my uncles, aunts and cousins the same. There are a lot of us, and I don’t know everyone as well as others, however, there is this special family connection. A type of unconditional love, warmth, loyalty, acceptance, humbleness, gratefulness, and strength. And I believe this goes back to Indonesian culture. Seeing family is like coming home. Family is always number one for me and I would go through fire for any of them.

I visited Indonesia for the first time when I was 7 years old and I remember it as if it was yesterday. Every time I visit, I can feel a special bond. I see physical gestures in the people that I recognize in my family or in myself.

And of course: the food. I thought Indonesian food was everywhere, till, again: I moved to America. Every time I am home, I make my mother cook all the Indonesian dishes I can think of and if she doesn’t feel like cooking, no worries: I will go to the nearby toko. When I cook Indonesian for some of my American friends, I will have to give them a list of guidelines, including but not limited to: you shouldn’t eat that whole piece of ginger or lemongrass, it’s there for flavor. Have more white rice when something is spicy. Etc. etc.

In America, I am considered a “white” person. Though, I don’t completely feel like one. However, I also cannot say I am “Asian”. I haven’t thought as much about how to label my ethnicity as I have in the past few years in America. For every little thing you apply to, you have to identify your ethnicity. I’ve been in the States for 7 years now and I still can’t figure out which box to check. There is none that fits how I feel.

With my visual storytelling, I intend to address many aspects of life: giving voice to those who are underrepresented and pushing labels and boxes. Family relations are a big topic in my voice as a storyteller. And I hope that one day, I will be able to portray more of the Indonesian culture in my filmmaking.

And I am honored to now not only be a Dutch-Indo but also a SoCal Indo!

http://www.fioricarmen.com

 

 

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Indo Of the Month – December – Written by Jenn Spiller

Hi Everyone!

My name is Jenn Meijer (now Spiller…as soon as I officially change my name) and I am happy to be proud of SoCal Indo! I originally am from Orange County (hometown Huntington Beach). In High School, I moved to “the bay” and have been here for 15 years. Even though I am in the San Francisco East Bay now, apparently according to some, I am still always the Southern Californian. I currently work as the Sr Exec Asst for the plant management of a biologics plant in Hayward CA. We are a CMO that produces biologic components for many different companies. While not at work, I enjoy “road trippin’” to the coast and the mountains, some of that new age-y stuff ….and art!

This year has been a banner year between loving my job in science (will get to that in a moment) and just some really cool stuff! I joined in with musician VT100 some and friends in a new art group called FILMA out of Oakland…FILMA had it’s first show in June. I also organized an art show with the help of another set of friends at Tom Franco’s Firehouse Art Collective studio, Lottie Rose Art House. (Yes, James’ brother).

So……Where does all this artsy smartsy stuff come from????

Well…..I have to give my Indo Side credit for that! WE are a colorful people with a beautiful culture. We go interesting people in our crowd of the likes of the Van Halen Brothers, the Thielmann Brothers, Mark Paul Gosselaar,

Rev Ike (I looked it up) one of the Pussy Cat Dolls, Michelle Branch, ICANN rep (my dad) Roeland Meyer and (a cousin of mine) the actress/producer Jennifer Babtist. Most of the other Indos I have met are also just as brave trail-blazers, gorgeous, intelligent and talented!

My Indo heritage comes from my grandparents. Both my grandparents are Dutch Indonesian: Martin Meijer grew up on Java and Martjie Babtist on Borneo. Both my

great grandfathers came from the Netherlands. The story that I got is that great-grandpa Meijer and great-grandpa Babtist were good friends. They both worked for the dutch military…..I think great-grandpa Babtist was some kind of higher-up general(?) Also heard both families dealt a lot with ship/weapon(?) design….with the Babtists also dabbling with music and art..

Aha!!!! This is where the art and science stuff come in! After WWII, and after the “repatriation” back to Holland, Grandpa Meijer joined the Dutch military then my grandparents got married. Then they decided to move to the US with their 2 children at the time (Tante Marjolein & my dad). My Uncle Mike was born in Southern California. INS screwed up our last name and the spelling got changed to “Meyer”.

Upon coming to the US: Grandpa Martin got a job in aerospace with Rockefeller and helped design the B-1 Bomber. My Uncle Mike currently works as an engineer for GKN. My dad started off at Hughes Aircraft doing satellite communications and continued onto the internet and becoming a founding member of ICANN in the 1990’s. It kinda makes me feel proud to also be in the science field somehow to keep this up.

And now the art thing: As I mentioned, I was lucky to do some art projects this year. I have a cousin back in the Netherlands in Els DeGroot – she does fantastic photography, with a piece featured in an official building in Belgium. I also have another cousin Manon Babtist who creates beautiful paints. My Tante Marjolein does watercolors and runs White Rabbit Ranch Art Studio with her husband Billy in Nevada.

I would like to end this note not just on a ramble about me, but a “high-five” to all of us!!! Besides having some really cool relations, I am just so proud to be Dutch Indonesian or INDO !

We came here (sometimes with nothing and nobody) and made something out of ourselves. We are not fully recognized in the US and have no identity in the media, but we have more of a sense of who we are and where we come from than some other groups. We know who we are and what we can do (anything!) and despite how others may try to influence or change us, we usually can still be true to ourselves and values.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS INDOS 🙂

 

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Indo Of the Month – November – Written by Carl Bröker

Hi there, my name is Carl Böker, born in 1944 in Batoe, Malang, Java, Dutch East Indies. My Grandfather (father’s side) and my father served in the KNIL (Koninklijke Nederland’s Indië Leger/Royal Dutch East Indies Army).

Unfortunately with WW-II and then the subsequent Merdeka time (Indonesian takeover of The  Dutch East Indies). I never got to know my grandparents of both sides and do not know much of them other than my father’s father side, who was a German from Borghorst West-Germany and who volunteered to join the KNIL

My family lost my oldest brother and a sister one year older than I, due to illnesses, during the Japanese occupation while in the Dutch East Indies.

We left Batoe and moved to Surabaya and then to Bandoeng.

In September 1950 we left, the then declared Indonesia, in that they had gotten their independence in December of 1949. My mother was found to have Tuberculosis and left separately on a Dutch military hospital ship, while my father and us 8 kids left by a military troop ship.

Late October 1950 we arrived in Holland and were taken bij bus to the town of Maastricht, Province of Limburg in the South of The Netherlands and received our red cross winter clothing. We were temporarily moved into an old Dutch Hotel (one room with only a sink in the room and with the bathroom located in the end of the hallway) in Maastricht. We were then moved to another one-room hotel in Valkenburg near Maastricht. A year later we were moved into old military barracks in the city of Eindhoven. Then another year later we moved to another Hotel in The Hague. Then my older brother and I were placed in a catholic boys home in Vogelesang/Bennebroek, while my sisters were placed in a girls home. My oldest brother was 16 and joined the Royal Dutch Navy. Then another older brother and I lived with my mom’s family in Amsterdam, while my sisters and younger brothers were placed with other families in other towns.

We did not see our mother for 5 years until she was cleared from her illness (TBC). Then in 1955 she was cleared and allowed to to live with us,at which time we started our own real home in Valkenswaard south of the City of Eindhoven. Two years later we moved to a newer home in Bussum (the Dutch TV Town).

In 1958 my oldest brother and 2 of my oldest sisters gotten married and immigrated to the USA in 1959.

With all the turmoils and moving around to different schools, I excelled in my studies and was allowed to test out for the higher grades. At age 15 I was a student at the prestigious Dutch Merchant Marine College (The Hoge Zeevaart School) in Amsterdam studying to be a ship engineer.

But then in May of 1960 my dad got word that we were allowed to immigrate to the USA. So again, the family is packing up for another big move, and boarded the Dutch Civilian Carrier the Maasdam leaving Rotterdam to arrive in June of 1960 in New York. Then on the train to Denver were the family of seven started our lives in de USA.

My older sister and older brother and I gotten a job washing dishes at the Denver Hilton Hotel at 65 cents an hour, while my dad started cleaning airplanes for Continental airlines. No school for me, and therefore never saw the inside of a HS then. I got lucky, when the head Chef, a Dutchman, of the hotel thought he could train me to become a chef, and within 6 months at age 17, I was in fact a Junior Chef and gotten an offer to work as one of the many party chefs at the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel in California. I then moved in with one of my married sisters in her home in North Hollywood.

Then in late 1962 I received my draft notice. I reported to the North Hollywood recruitment station and volunteered to enter the Army as an Infantry Rifleman at a pay of $68 a month. I was told no high school diploma I could not make more than the $68 a month, unless I want to jump out of airplanes to be a paratrooper and get paid $55 a month more to be as a paratrooper. I took the offer.

I started my U.S. Army Career as an Airborne Infantryman in 1963; then was cross-trained to be an Airborne Combat Medic for the 1/502nd Infantry Bn. (Abn), 101st Airborne Division.
Vietnam 1966-1967.
In 1967, I was assigned to HHC, 1/509th Infantry/Mechanized Bde. (Abn) in Mainz, Germany to leave the infamous jungles and rice paddies of the former Republic of Vietnam. I got to learn how to operate an APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) and how to keep an eye out for the Russian and East German soldiers.
In 1968, I was re-trained to be a Military Policeman and was assigned to the only Paratrooper MP Platoon (1st MP Platoon (Abn), 8th MP Co., 8th Infantry Division) in Germany in support of the 1st Brigade 509th Infantry/Mechanized (Abn). We were also the 8th Infantry Division’s Honor Guard. Note: the majority of the 8th Infantry Division was non-airborne.
As a U.S. Army Master Parachutist , I had  also been awarded with Parachutist Wings of the former Republic of South Vietnam and the former country of West-Germany.
Did many assignments as an Military Police Investigator (MPI) to assist the US Army CID with undercover operations in CONUS and in the former West-Germany.
Subsequently received training from the US Customs Service to function as the first supervisor for the Schinnen Field Office Border Operations (42nd MP Group (Customs)) Schinnen, The Netherlands to conduct drug suppression operations at the Dutch/Belgian/German border crossings.

*****I did receive my promotion to Master Sergeant E-8 in May of 1982, but declined the promotion in lieu of retiring in April of 1983. 

Completed my military career at Fort Bragg, NC with the 118th MP Co. (Abn) (note: this was my 2nd assignment to this unit) as a Platoon Sergeant and Field First Sergeant respectively (and, having also ran the Ft. Bragg CID Drug Suppression Team for about 1 1/2 year prior).
Started my civilian police career as a Sheriff Deputy/Investigator in Georgetown, CO; 
then served with the Aurora Police Department in Aurora, CO (Patrol, FTO, PAR, DART, and subsequently as a Detective (was also the department’s representative with the Denver Field Office U.S. Custom Service); and in October of 1999 I was selected and hired to be the Chief of Police for the Fairplay Police Department in Fairplay, CO.
Just an extra note…., many assignments as a Military Police Investigator and subsequently as a Police Detective included undercover operations working for the FBI, DEA, Secret Service (VIP Protection), the US Customs Service, and working with the Dutch Marechausee (Military Police and Dutch Customs Operations), German Bundes Grenzschutz (Federal Police) and the Belgian Gendarmerie (Federal Police).My wife and I then moved to Las Vegas, NV in 2002. I tried working the casinos (did not like it), then worked for the first TSA/Homeland Security Department at the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. Currently retired (May 9, 2014) from the Las Vegas Convention Center  (AKA: LVCVA) as a Senior Convention Authority Officer.

 

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LOVE FOR SULAWESI

Requiring Immediate Action!!

Help get a water filtration system to earthquake ravaged Palu!

Palu in Indonesia just experienced a devastating 7.4-magnitude earthquake, which was followed by a horrific tsunami. This event has claimed at least 1,300 lives, this number is increasing by the day and has left countless others injured and without resources. Infrastructure and housing have been leveled. People are without shelter and struggling to obtain essentials such as food and clean drinking water. The collapse of the infrastructure has caused water sources to be unavailable or contaminated.

In an effort to help get clean water to the survivors, SoCal Indo is working hard to raise funds to purchase a water filtration system. The installation of this system will allow clean water to be available on demand.

We understand that many might be financially fatigued from helping to raise funds for Lombok. We are so appreciative for your help with that initiative. To our horror, another catastrophe has occurred, and people desperately need help. We are asking for everyone to donate just $2.50 to get this filtration system installed. If everyone in our Indo groups were to help – we could quickly meet the goal of $7,000 which is all that is required to make this happen.

We at SoCal Indo are so inspired by the support that is found within our Indo community. The Indonesian Diaspora Foundation will receive the donations and they will make sure it gets to the right authorities in Sulawesi. Please share this message and help to raise awareness while strengthening our unity.

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LOVE 4 LOMBOK 7.0 Charity Event in Indonesian Media

Our “LOVE4LOMBOK 7.0 Charity Event at Dutch Club Avio, Anaheim was a success, it reached The Indonesian media ! The link is below and we translated it from Bahasa Indonesia to English so all of you can read what The Indonesian Media writes about our event. We’d like to thank everyone who donated, participated, volunteered and performed throughout our campaign and during our event !

 

https://idnews.co.id/diaspora-indonesia-di-california-selatan-galang-65-juta-untuk-lombok/

 

The Indonesian Diaspora Foundation in Southern California, United States, held a fundraising named “Love 4 Lombok 7.0” to help earthquake victims on Lombok Island, Indonesia. This event which was held on Saturday 22 September, 2018 at Dutch Club Avio, Anaheim, California got the musical entertainment from Jolali Band and performances from Burat Wangi gamelan, Merpati Putih Martial Arts and a variety of traditional dances performed by Burat Wangi, Cal Art, Valencia.
About 400 visitors enthusiastically listened to the variety of traditional Indonesian art performances during this event. A variety of Indonesian specialties was sold by Holland International Market and other vendors. The “Love 4 Lombok 7.0” campaign raised Rp. 65 million and is a collaboration between SoCal Indo, The Indonesian Diaspora Network-United and The Indonesian Diaspora Foundation.

The head of the campaign “Love 4 Lombok 7.0” Michael Passage explained that this campaign was to raise funds through various ways ranging from Facebook, Youtube, up to the charity movement through this cultural title. “We invite all the cultural potential in Southern California to display Indonesian culture as well as to take part in this charity,” Michael said.

Deputy chairman of this event Jason Schmidt-Weymans added that this event is a form of concern for your countrymen in the country who are being hit by disaster.

Indonesian Diaspora Network-United (IDN-U) President Herry Utomo explained that the “Love 4 Lombok 7.0” program was one of a series of fundraising conducted by IDN-U in various cities in the world. “Previously we also raised funds in Northern California, Midwest, Oklahoma, Philadelphia, Paris and Bali. With this cross-continental fundraising activity, the diaspora’s collective contribution will be greater to produce a more meaningful impact on the country, “Herry said.

The Indonesian Diaspora Foundation (IDF) President Ida Wenefrida said that the IDF is always ready to be a “giving back” platform for Indonesian diaspora who want to contribute to Indonesia. Ida explained that fundraising for Lombok which was promoted by her organization with IDN-U had managed to raise at least Rp. 340 million. “Currently, it has collected Rp. 340 million and will increase again with fundraising that will be carried out immediately in Paris,” he said. (ndi)

Here are some pictures made on Saturday 22 September 2018 at Dutch Club Avio, Anaheim, CA

 

 

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