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Dear all,

A good day to all of you.

Zuraidah Ehsan and I are planning to start a book project on the Javanese community in Singapore. The book will not be an academic book, rather it will be a collective history of migration and settlement of our community. The tentative title will be; Javanese Singaporeans: Our Stories. We are hoping to publish it both in English and Malay.

We hope to compile the stories that have been shared in the Javanese Singaporeans group Discussion Forum to form the base of the story of the Javanese in Singapore. Since it is going to be a book on the Javanese community, we are also appealing to members of the Javanese Singaporeans Facebook group to contribute stories of their families’ migrations here.

The Hi2P funding from  National Heritage Board, NHB has provisions for the publication of heritage-related products and we are looking to make use of this fund for the publication of this long overdue book.

Below is a tentative contents page:

1) Foreword

2) Introduction/History

3) Essays/Contributed stories

4) Epilogue

The contributed stories will be placed in the different themes outlined below:

1) Immigration – Different periods of migration

    a) Pre – 1900s

    b) Pre – WWII

    c) During WWII

    d) Post – WWII

2) Immigrants from different regions of Java.

3) Settlements in Singapore.

4) Occupation/Expertise/Livelihood

As this book will be based on personal as well as family histories, it would be good if contributors could conduct interviews with their own family members. I have also outlined interview questions format below which will be helpful in the interviews:

Questions for interview :-

1. Full name

2. Age

3. Gender

4. Place of origin – eg. Village, name of major city, regency etc

5. Arrival – How?,

                   When?,

                   With whom?- eg, own relatives, fellow villagers, indentured labour etc.

                   Where? – Point of departure from Java

                                   Point of arrival in Singapore

                   Why? – Catalyst for migration

 

6. Settlement in Singapore – eg. How, where, what name, how long until HDB resettlement?

7. Occupation – initial occupation, subsequent occupation, membership in any organisations/Society, 

                             hobbies

8. Cultural aspects of “Javaneseness” still practised today – eg. Language use, food, clothing(eg.

    Preferences for batik,  Javanese –style headgear-wearing blangkon as opposed to songkok etc),  

    entertainment (eg. with the availability of Indonesian TV, do the older folks try to find out if there

    are shows/programmes of traditional Javanese music, wayang etc..), functions (ways of organising

    kenduri etc.)

Zuraidah and myself have set an indefinite timeline for us to receive your contributions. The contributions can be in essay format or in point form, be either in English or Malay and between 1000-5000 words. Please also contribute pictures if you have any. Regarding the editing and compilation of the essays, Zuraidah and I will be arranging it. Those who are also interested in doing the fieldwork for example, researching, going to the National Archives and conducting interviews may also contact Zuraidah and me. We eagerly look forward to your contributions and help to make this book project a reality.

You can email your contributions to:

zuraidahe@gmail.com or hamesha_hai@hotmail.com

Surya Wibowo

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