Tionghoa Peranakan Pre-war Novels (1903-1942): Journey[ing] as Identity
Postmodernism offers destabilization as the solution to the existence to postcolonial mindsets in South East Asia but the continuous flux leads to impermanence that is often delussionary and depressing. As their ancestors of half a century ago, the Chinese who landed in Java East Indies have evolved to become the Tionghoa peranakans of Indonesia. Their evolvement is a “journey” which is a replica of their first diaspo[ric] journey across the seas from their homeland China. Only this time it is a journey into themselves through the interrogation of past and present where the most dangerous barrier is the huge wave of Indonesian nationalism and Chinese patriotism. This is reflected in novels written in “low Malay” by the Tionghoa peranakans as early as the early 20th century which will be the focus of this paper.
Keywords: Postcolonial, Identity, Diaspora, Journey[ing], Tionghoa peranakan, Indonesia
Dr. Chee Cheang Sim
Lecturer, Center for the Promotion of Knowledge and Language Learning, University Malaysia Sabah