Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-2009

Abstract

In the aftermath of the May 1998 riots that forced President Suharto to step down, ethnic Chinese received unprecedented freedom to assert their long suppressed cultural and religious identity. Following the transition from assimilation to multiculturalism, for the first time in over three decades Chinese culture became more visible and ethnic Chinese could finally enjoy the freedom to celebrate Chinese New Year (Imlek) publicly. This article focuses on the politics of the re-emergent Chinese New Year celebration in the Indonesian public sphere. It demonstrates the significance of Imlek as an ethnic symbol to Chinese-Indonesians. Borrowing Hobsbawm’s concept of “invented tradition”, the article critically examines how the festival has been reinvented, represented, commodified, and consumed by both Chinese and non-Chinese-Indonesians in the cultural, political and religious contexts of contemporary Indonesia.

Keywords

Indonesia, Chinese, Chinese New Year, ethnic relations, politics

Discipline

Asian Studies | Political Science | Race and Ethnicity

Research Areas

Humanities

Publication

Chinese Southern Diaspora Studies

Volume

3

First Page

90

Last Page

105

ISSN

1834-609X

Publisher

Australian National University

Copyright Owner and License

Margaret CHAN

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

https://chl.anu.edu.au/publications/csds/csds2009/04_CSDS_2009_HOON.pdf

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