Re-Sinicizing Tales: Sin Po’s Cultural Vision for the Creolized Chinese of Indonesia Ravando, PhD Candidate at the University of Melbourne

Ravando Lie

PhD Candidate at the University of Melbourne

The 1911 Revolution in China, which was marked by the overthrowing of the Qing dynasty and the establishing of the Republic of China, provided a significant opportunity for hoakiao (Chinese Overseas) to imagine themselves as part of China. In the Dutch East Indies, the spirit of Chinese nationalism began to spread along with the proliferation of Chinese-Malay newspapers. Sin Po, which was firstly established in 1910, became an essential mouthpiece for Chinese nationalists in the country. Sin Po often emphasized in the editorials that the Chinese in Indonesia should not lose their roots as ‘Chinese.’ The paper was often involved in a serious polemic with other Chinese groups, such as Chung Hwa Hui, whom Sin Po considered as an elite and westernized Chinese group. This paper examines Sin Po’s role in facilitating creole Chinese nationalism in early 20th century Indonesia. How did Sin Po, the most influential peranakan newspaper in the Indies, cultivate and nurture the spirit of Chinese nationalism among the Chinese society in the country? How did Sin Po endeavour to reach Chinese totok in Indonesia who did not read Malay? To what extent were Indonesian and Chinese nationalism actually intertwined?


Ravando is a PhD student in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne. His thesis examines the Chinese-Indonesian newspaper Sin Po (1910-1965) as a lens to explore political movements and transnational connections of Chinese-Indonesian society in the Dutch East Indies.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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