Indos pioneers of Dutch pop music
THE JAKARTA POST
Amsterdam, The Hague | Fri, August 3, 2018 | 09:23 amOn the moves: The crowd dances to an Indorock band at the Pasar Malam Fair in The Hague in 1960. (Tong Tong Foundation, The Hague/File)
Few people would guess the best-selling Dutch singer of all time is a woman from Sulawesi’s Tondano. Anneke Grönloh’s first record was in her native Malay language, and she went on to sell over 30 million records worldwide throughout her career.
“The Indos introduced the electric guitar to the Netherlands,” says music commentator and journalist Leo Blokhuis. “Anyone in the Netherlands who was interested in going into pop music listened to Indorock.”
A recent exhibition called “Indo Icons in Dutch Pop Music” underlined the contribution of the Indos — those of mixed Indonesian and Dutch heritage — to Dutch pop music. The exhibition was held at the Tong Tong Fair, a major annual event in The Hague celebrating the Dutch Indo community.
The exhibition also featured vignettes from Klanken van Oorsprong (Sounds of Our Roots), a new documentary by Hetty Naaijkens-Retel Helmrich about Indo musicians.
The beginnings of rock music in the Netherlands, and the part that Indos played in that, was a convergence of seemingly unrelated historical events.
During colonial rule in Indonesia, many Dutch civil servants and merchants came to live in the archipelago, married local residents and raised families.
After Indonesia became independent, hundreds of thousands of Indos migrated back to the Netherlands, which mostly happened from the mid-1940s until 1959.Read more here