WED FORUM: Hybrid Identity of Indonesian-Christian-Chinese in Post Soeharto Era.

WED Forum oct 15

This research tries to unpack Chinese-Indonesian-Christian in negotiating their identity in post Soeharto era. It focuses on the agency of Christianity in that identity negotiation. This ethnographic research was conducted in the Indonesian Christian Church (Gereja Kristen Indonesia, GKI) in Perniagaan Street, Jakarta.


Using the concept of hybridity, this research found that their identitities are heteregeneous, dynamic and ambivalent and there are continual tension and negotiation between Chineseness, Indonesianess and Christianity. That tension and negotiation produce hybrid self identification, i.e. Chinese Indonesian Christian. Relate to their hybrid self identification, Dutch Calvinism, a branch of Protestantism, functions as “third space” where their hybrid identification of Chinese Indonesian Christian is possible to take place. Beside that, in the Christian third space they can answer the existensial question of what it means to be Chinese Indonesian Christian in post Soeharto era.


These findings contribute to debates over multiculturalism, especially regarding the perspective of seeing identity as hybrid not as fixed and essentialised way of understanding. The hybrid perspective of seeing identity helps us to live together in diversity.




Darwin Darmawan, MA., earned his Master degree in Religious Studies from Center for Religious and Cross-cultural Studies (CRCS), Gadjah Mada University in 2013, and Bachelor degree in Theology from Christian Duta Wacana University (UKDW). His MA thesis is published by Gading publisher entitled “Identitas Hybrid Orang Cina” (Hybrid Identity of the Chinese). He serves as a priest in GKI (Gereja Kristen Indonesia/Indonesian Christian Church) and one of the committees of BASOLIA, an interfaith-based social organization in Bogor, West Java. 




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