Translocal Networks and Globalisation within Indonesia: Exploring the Hadhrami Diaspora from the Archipelago’s North-East

in Asian Journal of Social Science
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Abstract

This article contributes to the study of diasporic aspects of today’s Eastern Indonesia by emphasizing its long history of translocal connections, as well as the multiplicity and acceleration of contemporary flows. It focuses on the Hadhrami diaspora, i.e., Indonesians of Arabic descent whose ancestors migrated from the Hadhramaut (located in today’s Republic of Yemen) to almost all parts of the archipelago. Today, Hadhramis in north-eastern Indonesia, the region this article concentrates on, form distinct communities and maintain translocal networks. There already in colonial times, Hadhramis institutionalised their networks through an Islamic organisation called Al-Khairaat. The article investigates how the translocal networks in north-eastern Indonesia have developed, especially during the New Order and afterwards, when Hadhramis from the region increasingly incorporated Java, especially Jakarta, into their networks. Reconsidering post-Suharto transformations that are part of a globalisation within Indonesia, the article concludes that their networks connect now the north-eastern periphery and Indonesia’s centre more intensively than ever. And, as a consequence of this expansion, Hadhramis from north-eastern Indonesia were able to enter national elite circles in Jakarta.

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