History of Migration in Indonesia

Migration seems to have been a part of human tradition since antiquity. If a nation comes the arrival of another stronger nation they are urged, become extinct, or go seek new homes.

So a nation that inhabits a region is a nation that urges other nations ahead of them. The former nation first urged the former nation again, and so on. See also Economic benefits of transmigration in Indonesia.

  • Pre Historic Era (Tiongkok)

Since prehistoric times, Indonesia has become the destination of migration of ethnic groups residing in other regions. Around 2000 to 3000 BC, the Mohn Kmer tribe of China migrated to Indonesia. They are migrated because of the pressure caused by the war of ethnic groups in China.

Their arrival to Indonesia to get new territory. That is, they must conquer the nation that has inhabited Indonesia first. Because Mohn Kmer has a high culture, they also have equipment and tools that are more advanced. So that the conquest of tribes in Indonesia run smoothly. They even made the tribes he had conquered, as slaves.

  • The Arrival of Dravida

Initially the advanced nations made Indonesia a stopover place when trading. But over time they organize to control the territory of Indonesia. One example is the Dravidians from the Indian mainland. They can finally control the territory of Kalimantan and Sumatra.

The Dravidas then introduced the organization of power and politics to establish the Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms. The establishment of these kingdoms also marked the golden age in the period of slave ownership in the archipelago. The peak occurred in the period of Majapahit kingdom.

  • Islamic Empire

Along with the development of trade, there is also emigration of merchants and traders from the Arabian mainland. They then set up new Islamic empires in the coastal areas to exercise control over trade ports.

The establishment of the Islamic empire has urged the Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms to the hinterland. Then they introduce the planting system. Agriculture is more advanced than ever with the development of irrigation and improvement of agricultural techniques. This is a sign of the development of feudalism.

Immigrants from China are also a lot of coming especially with the intention of developing trade. For example a Chinese merchant ship expedition under the leadership of Admiral Ceng Hong who landed in Semarang.

At this time also has been going on the migration of the Javanese to the Malay peninsula which stopped in Malaysia and Singapore. They work temporarily to raise money in order to continue the journey to Mecca in the framework of religious pilgrimage. Likewise the people on Sangir Talaud island who migrated to Mindano (Southern Philippines) because of its very close proximity. Read also History of Islamic Law in Indonesia

  • Pra Colonial Era

Indonesia became the goal of massive migration from various tribes. The reason for the migration is the economy. They search for new territories to live. In addition they also realize the mastery of economic resources and trade routes.

This realization demands political power and the spread of supporting culture. The process of migration is marked by the ongoing war and conquest, the most vulgar ways in the history of mankind.

Migration has also encouraged the development of more advanced systems than ever before. Such as the introduction of the power organization that became the forerunner of the state as well as the agricultural system. You may see also Histrory of Trade in Indonesia.

  • Colonial Period

At the time of colonialism, the process of migration that took place was fully controlled by colonial policy and rule. For example, in the early days of colonialism, the VOC brought in many people from China to become trade aides and to manage agriculture in Batavia.

Their arrival has formed a Chinese settlement in Batavia. In subsequent developments, the number of Chinese migrating to Indonesia has increased rapidly.

It happened when the opening of foreign plantations both in Java and East Sumatra in the late 1900’s. Most of them were planted laborers. Likewise in the 18th and 19th centuries, Dutch colonialism exports human beings from Manggarai NTT to European countries as slaves.

The Javanese became the main target of Dutch colonialism migration policy. After the end of the Java war (1825-1830), the Dutch colonial government had an interest in opening up economic resources outside Java. It is included in order to develop its power more widely in other islands outside Java. Of course this is to anticipate competition with other colonial countries.

On that basis, many Javanese are sent out of Java to be hired in places rich with natural resources. In those days, Javanese and Sumatrans were also increasingly migrating to the Malay Peninsula (now Malaysia and Singapore).

The British had deliberately opened up the flow of migration from Sumatra and Java. This is because to overcome the problem of shortage of labor as a result of the still small human population in both countries. Read also History of Hindu Religion in Indonesia

The migration that took place at the time was entirely dominated by colonial policy. They did it for the colonial state.

Especially in terms of mobilization or cheap labor mobilization to places where the source of colonial profit lies. At the same time it has brought millions of people from different ethnic and national origins into a very grave situation of suffering.

The colonial government also uses migration as a way out to channel social unrest as a result of economic exploitation. As well as other reasons about population pressure in many rural areas of Java. The colonials moved them to the outer islands of Java. See also History of Puppet in Indonesia

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