Intergenerational Transmission of Memories and Narratives of May 1998 Among Chinese Indonesians in Jakarta

Dr Stefani Nugroho1, Dr. Dhevy Setya Wibawa1

1Atma Jaya Catholic University, Jakarta, Indonesia

The presentation examines the memories and narratives of the May 1998 violence that are transmitted from the first to the second generation of Chinese Indonesians in Jakarta. We consider the first generation to be those who were exposed to the anti-Chinese violence, and the second generation to be their descendants who were either at a very young age (e.g. toddler) or were not born yet in 1998. Based on in-depth interviews with both generations, we compare and contrast the way May 1998 is being remembered by both generations, and discuss not only the narratives that are being explicitly told and received about the violent episode, but also the silences, the implicit Otherings, and the various ways in which the memories continue to structure the lived experiences of being Chinese Indonesians in the contemporary society.


Stefani Nugroho is an assistant professor at the faculty of psychology, Atma Jaya university. She is mainly interested in the way nations are constructed discursively, including by the exclusionary strategies implemented towards certain groups.


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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