Greetings from West Covina, “SoCal”
I am number 3 of four boys in my Indo Dutch family. Both of my parents are Indo Dutch and their families are originally from Indonesia. My Father, Jeffrey Kerkhoff, born in Jakarta, Indonesia and moved to live in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 45 minutesNorth of Rotterdam, where he lived until he was 16. His father and mother Maximillian and Carol Kerkhoff relocated my dad and his two brothers to Baldwin Park, CA. My mother Elizabeth (Pieters) Kerkhoff, born in Sliedrecht, The Netherlands and moved to South Pasadena, CA in 1960 moved to Baldwin Park from there. She was number 4 of 8 children from John and Margaretha Pieters.
Growing up in an Indo home in SoCal was interesting as we looked like many kids out there, but very few actually knew “what we were.” I remember going to school and reporting I went to Oma and Opa’s house over the weekend and reacting to certain names as if someone just said a funny joke and my peers having no idea what was going on. All the huge family get togethers and amazing food that no one I spoke to ever heard of. I honestly saw it as “we were just exclusive” or in the “cool club” but the looks we would get were as if we were weird. I remember going to The Holland Festival as a kid with my Opa. We really weren’t that excited about the food as both sets of grandparents could prepare Indonesian food very well ! But it was more of the atmosphere and being around folk of the same background that were not in our immediate family. Of course food is HUGE in our culture and extremely important to me. So now in my family, we try to “out do” each other with who cooks the most and the best Indo food to share with the family. Having married my Latin American high school sweetheart Saida Kerkhoff, she makes it a deliberate point to master the Indo Culinary Arts for and with our 3 daughters Charisma, Alyssa, Charlotte and our son Obadiah. We are proud to be INDO and look forward to further exploring our culture with them in the future.