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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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