A Foreign Investment: Indies Malay to 1901

John Hoffman
1979 Indonesia  
The prom otion o f Malay by the N etherlands In d ies a d m in istr a tio n during the sev en teen th to n in e te e n th c e n tu r ie s to a p o in t where the language became a stan d ard ized instrum ent o f q u a si-n a tio n a l id e n t it y was a n o ta b le d iv erg en ce from th e im p erial norm. By c o n tr a s t, th e P ortu gu ese, S panish, E n g lish , and French c o lo n ia lis t s elsew h ere imposed th e ir own la n g u a g es, which in many c a ses have p e r s is te d a fte
more » ... r the f o r mal end o f c o lo n ia lism as v ir tu a l n a tio n a l la n g u a g es, or at le a s t as v e h ic le s fo r com m unication w ith the o u tsid e w orld. The fa c t th a t Dutch did not p lay th is r o le in In d on esia is some tim es view ed as th e r e s u lt o f a sin g u la r and in te n tio n a l c o lo n ia l p o lic y to enhance Dutch fTp r e s t ig e u by w ith h o ld in g u se o f the Dutch language from th e Indonesian p e o p le s. Proponents o f such a view can p o in t to the a ttitu d e s o f some n in e te e n th cen tu ry Dutch o f f i c i a l s on Java who in s is t e d on a d d ressin g th e ir in d igen ou s b u rea u cra tic a s s o c i a te s in d ie n s tm a le is c h (s e r v ic e [o ffic ia le s e ]-M a la y ) or b ra b b e l-M a leisoh (g ib b erish -M a la y ) , and, i f o c c a s io n a lly th ey used D utch, they made c le a r th e ir e x p e c ta tio n th a t r e p lie s should be in High Javanese or M a lay .1 During th e same p e r io d , how ever, c e r ta in em inent Dutch p h ilo lo g i s t s , who were then concerned over th e fu tu re o f Dutch r u le in th e a r c h ip e la g o , regarded the fea r o f a lo s s o f p r e s tig e through w idespread use o f the Dutch language as mere p r e ju d ic e --in th e words o f one o f them "a vam pire, a n ig h t sp o o k ." 2 More im p o rta n tly , the c e n tr a l admin is t r a t io n i t s e l f at th is tim e str o n g ly condemned (and sought to p r e v en t) an e x c lu s iv e w all being b u ilt around the Dutch lan gu age, la b e lin g such attem p ts as another m a n ife sta tio n o f th o se encumbering " r e sp e c tcustom s" (h o rm a tg e b ru ik e n ) by which Dutch o f f i c i a l s tr ie d to m ain tain for th em selv es a s p e c ia l p la c e in the Javanese s o c ia l h ie r a r c h y .3 Re fu sa l by th e Dutch to use th e ir n a tiv e language as th e d ie n s tta a l (s e r v ic e language) in c o n v er sa tio n s w ith in d igen ou s o f f i c i a l s w as, in Bladen Adjeng Kartini, January 12, 1900, to Mejuffrouw E. H. Zeehandelaar, in
doi:10.2307/3350816 fatcat:gw2d6ihftnbsvecshhhdkrtr4m