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…