Returning to the Kampung Halaman: Limitations of Cosmopolitan Transnational Aspirations Among Hakka Chinese Indonesians Overseas
Keywords:Chinese Indonesians, Cosmopolitanism, Home, Marginality, Migration
Migrants originating from Singkawang, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, experience limitations in their ability to engage in host societies overseas despite their hopes and fantasies of becoming cosmopolitan transnational citizens. Marginality, stemming from the lower status associated with being a migrant, as well as forms of parochialism which hinder the ability to adopt a flexible attitude to cultural difference combine and lead to a significant reimagining of those original cosmopolitan fantasies. Essentializing characterizations of “us” versus “them” reveal some of the difficulties of being received in other societies and come to constitute a recuperative discourse in which migrants can preserve a sense of self –as Hakka Chinese Indonesians –when the value of that identity is called into question. In this context, migrants experience practical limitations in translating cosmopolitan fantasies into lived realities. As a response, a romantic nostalgia for the home is constructed, which in turn provides the imaginative resources used for planning a return to the kampung halaman (Indonesian: home/home town).
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